Rapid prototyping isn’t a new technology. Manufacturers have been taking advantage of it for decades and its usefulness has only grown over time.
In the beginning
The need to develop a physical model for customers to see and hold has long been beneficial for new product offerings. However, building models was a long and painstaking process until progress in the 1980s gave the academic community and industry leaders the ability to build models layer-by-layer.
With rudimentary materials, the rapid prototyping industry was formed, although much experimentation was still taking place and “rapid” really wasn’t happening yet. Still, the potential of shortening product development cycles was obvious.
The technology grows
This technology’s potential sparked growth even as speed, accuracy and precision improved in the 1990s. Rapid prototyping services proved they could deliver highly specific customer demands with improved machinery and tremendous investments. The accuracy, precision, speed and improved performance of these new machines birthed a promising new industry near the end of the millennium.
Adding services, broadening the scope
As a global industry, rapid prototyping is continually expanding, offering services that reach beyond “prototyping” and into what’s now known as direct digital manufacturing (DDM). This addition accommodates a wider range of material usage and selective laser sintering.
Engineering plastics at extremely high temperatures is also advancing what’s possible with rapid prototyping. Many companies are introducing components that can be used under the hood of automobiles, which wouldn’t have been possible 20 years ago. Rapid prototyping is even finding its way onto desktops without a scientific or engineering skill set, which will only serve to accelerate its growth.
The professionals at PDS keep rapid prototyping on the cutting edge with the latest equipment and experienced technicians at the controls. We stand ready for your next project, so get a fast quote and let’s get started.