Rapid prototyping is a group of techniques used to quickly fabricate a scale model of a physical part or assembly using three-dimensional computer aided design (CAD) data. Construction of the part or assembly is usually done using 3D printing or “additive layer manufacturing” technology.

The 3D file is saved to an STL or similar format and opened with the 3D printer’s software. The software slices the 3D file into layers, determines material usage and printing time. The layers are sent to the printer and builds the part layer by layer.

An existing part can also be scanned (see our 3D Scanning services), modified in a computer application (see our 3D File Modification services) and then printed on one of our 3D printers (see our 3D Printing service page) to perform size and feasibility studies before the unit is mass-produced.

This process can save the manufacturer much money and time.