Functional or Working Prototypes

Building functional, or quick visual prototypes is a necessary stage of the development process. It is often viewed as an “Insurance Policy” before committing to expensive mass production runs. For many companies, the creation of prototypes is an essential part of any product development, integral to the process of testing, trials, pitching, and market research. Malcolm Nicholls Limited (MNL) exploit a broad range of technologies and materials allied with traditional craft skills to create accurate, detailed, and true-to-life finished prototypes by the most time and cost effective method.

As computer-aided and advanced manufacturing methods continue to evolve, MNL are able to combine cutting-edge digital technology with traditional model making skills to produce the best possible results. Our team of experienced and time-served model makers and technicians have access to a range of prototyping processes, from engineering, to vacuum casting to CNC machining. We can create small technical components, working prototypes, 1:1 scale ergonomic studies and finished, full-size display models.

Complex 3D models, functional parts, casting patterns, and tooling inserts can all be faithfully and accurately built directly from your 3D CAD files. Snap-fits, screw threads, flexible lugs and locking devices can all be built in to the parts. This allows you to test the full functionality of either individual parts or complete product mock-ups, making sure that a design is fit for purpose.

Our rapid manufacturing technologies remove the need for arcane and costly processes to produce optimised prototypes. MNL can further enhance the prototype using an extensive range of finishing techniques.

MNL provides a full prototyping service from basic no-nonsense functional prototypes direct from 3D printers to fully working and aesthetic replicas of the production intent designs.

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