Rapid Prototyping

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of rapid prototyping?

The advantages of rapid prototyping in the product development cycle are endless. Not only can rapid prototyping open new opportunities for innovation, it now means that designers can incorporate complex shapes, surfaces and structures into their designs which would have been impossible in conventional prototyping.

 

Rapid prototyping gives you the ability to create realistic three-dimensional scale models and utilising our paint spraying and finishing, gives your product the edge. We often get told how close to the real thing our products are.

What Is the difference between rapid prototyping and 3D printing (short answer)

Rapid prototyping is an application used in additive manufacturing giving you the ability to produce a model faster than conventional prototyping. 3D Printing is a method of additive manufacturing, whereas Rapid Prototyping is an application of additive manufacturing. 

Difference between rapid prototyping and 3D Printing? (Detailed)

Rapid prototyping is an application used in additive manufacturing giving you the ability to produce a model faster than conventional prototyping. 3D Printing is a method of additive manufacturing, whereas Rapid Prototyping is an application of additive manufacturing.

 

The original additive manufacturing process is stereolithography and Malcolm Nicholls Ltd was one of the first service providers to offer Stereolithography (SLA) back in 1999. Rapid Prototyping has always been the original “buzz word” for SLA and over the years SLS and FDM have fallen under the same umbrella of Rapid Prototyping.

 

Since the introduction of SLA, new processes and technology have entered the marketplace, including selective laser sintering (SLS) and (FDM) fused deposition modelling.

As technology continually advances, additive manufacturing is finding its way into more applications in engineering and manufacturing – a continually evolving process that’s become critical in new product development for many businesses.

 

3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping are two very similar terms so they can be easily confused. A lot of industry leaders will agree to disagree between the terms as they are so closely linked!

What are the different types of rapid prototyping?

With additive manufacturing techniques constantly evolving we take a look at the different types of rapid prototyping.

Stereolithography – SLA

Stereolithography (SLA) is the most widely used 3D Printing / rapid prototyping technology. It is generally considered to provide the greatest accuracy and best surface finish of any prototyping / 3D printing process.

A computer-controlled UV laser beam scans across the surface of a vat of photosensitive resin instantly turning liquid to solid wherever it touches. Successive layers or slices of cured resin are gradually built up into a solid version of the intended CAD model.

 

Selective Laser Sintering – SLS

 

The use of SLS 3D printing allows MNL to automatically build functional parts, casting patterns and tooling inserts from your 3D CAD data. Malcolm Nicholls Limited, HiQ Sinterstation system,(SLS 3D Printing machine) representing the future of Instant manufacturing technology, directly produces end-use plastic or metal parts, tooling inserts, or casting patterns from your 3D CAD data files. Eliminate the need for machining, tooling, casting or other secondary processes — saving you time and money.

 

Functional high-strength components – without the need for tooling

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