Prototype plastic injection molds produce real injection molded parts for functional testing. They can also serve as bridge tooling to fill the manufacturing gap for production tooling. Prototypes differ from production molds in that they usually are not meant to be used in the long term.
Why Use a Prototype?
A prototype offers a means to efficiently and cost-effectively evaluate a mold before committing to the final product. Unsure of how best to meet specifications or what your final product should look like? Then a prototype can provide the solution. It can help you determine what works and what needs to be changed.
Because a prototype uses lower-cost materials and a faster process, you won't feel pressured to settle for something that doesn't meet your needs.
- Machined parts instead of molding
- Prototype stacks using customer base
- Class 103 tools
- MUD Units
What Is Rapid Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping (RP) uses three-dimensional computer-aided design (CAD) data. Construction of the part is usually done through 3D printing or "additive layer manufacturing" technology.
In addition to creating prototypes, RP is also used to manufacture production-quality parts in relatively small numbers.
Rapid prototyping includes stereolithography, selective laser sintering, fused deposition modeling, and laminated object manufacturing. Each of these techniques builds parts, one by one, from 3D-CAD models, joining layers of material to create the finished prototype.
The Right Method for Your Project
The right prototyping method at the proper phase of development will not only save time and money but also enable more (or more effective) iterations. In other words, better prototypes result in better end products.
Let the prototyping experts at Prodigy Mold & Tool suggest which method is best suited for your project.