How Prototyping Services fit into your Product Development Cycle

Whatever stage of development you are in, we have prototyping services to help you achieve the utmost out of your product.

Concept Design Section    Concept Design Phase

FDM models are often the cheapest form of concept model available.

FDM Concept Models

FDM models are often the cheapest form of concept model available.
SLS parts make excellent, robust ergonomic concept models. Produced in 1-2 days typically in durable nylon.

SLS Ergonomic Models

SLS parts make excellent, robust ergonomic concept models. Produced in 1-2 days typically in durable nylon.
SLA prints make great quick, cheap styling models. they are often available in only 1 day.

SLA Styling Models

SLA prints make great quick, cheap styling models. they are often available in only 1 day.
Full colour 3D prints that portray the essence of the completed product within hours.

Full Colour Concepts

Full colour 3D prints that portray the essence of the completed product within hours.

Finalising your Concepts

Styling concepts, one of the common prototyping services here at MNL, are typically reviewed and approved by senior management and as such require a higher degree of surface finish than that achievable by 3D printing alone. Our finishing specialists add colour and texture to 3D printed models or CNC machined components. To complete the realism graphics are applied.

Art Fashion TV and Film related 3D Printing and Prototyping Case Studies

Fully Finished Concepts

Transform the basic 3D printed concept into a perfect replica of your design intent . Our finishing team will smooth away the build lines and apply perfect paint finishes and textures exactly how your design demands.
Art Fashion TV and Film related 3D Printing and Prototyping Case Studies

With Graphics for added Realism

For the ultimate concept model our fully finished parts with full colour graphics are perfect for high profile presentations.

Concept Design Section    Detailed Design Phase

The devil’s in the detail

How true. Get it right and you’re on to a winner. Don’t take any chances with your design either. Get the detail right and prove it out with an accurate prototype from MNL. Using some of the most accurate 3D printing technologies available, we use our prototyping services to produce highly detailed, accurate prototypes to prove out designs in wonderful detail. Our technology consultants, always on hand, advise on the best technology to suit your needs. Our large capacity and pricing choices compliment speed and delivery of your detailed prototype.

Whilst most modern CAD packages perform basic assembly checks and other design related checks, there is nothing like getting your hands on an accurate physical model of your carefully designed product.

  • Does the assembly fit as anticipated?
  • Are your supporting ribs, bosses, fixings etc, in the right place?
  • Do your electronic boards fit?
  • Can the design be costed-down, made simpler etc?

Many of the above questions plus many more are answered more clearly with the aid of a detailed prototype from MNL.

So which technology is best? Well our technology consultants advise, but here are some good reasons to choose the following technologies…

Large accurate SLA models - 990mm long.

Highly Accurate SLA models

Stereolithography or “SLA 3D Printing”, 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.
Detailed SLS parts with the best surface finish in Europe - straight from the machine

Smoothest SLS Parts in Europe

Functional high-strength components – without the need for tooling. Excellent for fit and function. Ideal for clip features, hinges and snap-fit connections. Behave like moulded components. Strong and durable.
Large FDM models in a wide choice of materials

FDM models in a wide choice of materials

FDM materials offer specialized properties like toughness, electrostatic dissipation, translucence, biocompatibility, UV Resistance, VO flammability and FST ratings. This makes them perfect for demanding designers and engineers in aerospace, automotive, medical and other industries.

Concept Design Section    Product Testing Phase

  Today’s demanding customers

With so much to be tested for today’s demanding customers, our prototyping services department offer durable prototypes that live up to the rigours of modern testing environments.

The importance of material type will dictate which direction is best suited.

For certain test legislation, only the actual production material will be sufficient for the tests.

Our prototyping service department offer two main processes for producing prototpes in the actual material.

  • CNC machining can produce extremely accurate prototypes with smooth surface finishes.
  • FDM 3D printing can offer 10 different materials offering fire grade, high temp, abs, nylon etc.

The most popular method for producing prototypes in materials close to those in production is Vacuum Casting. With materials to emulate most end-use plastics and quality to boot, prototypes from this method are often of a quality better than that of production.

So which technology is best? Well let our technology consultants advise you, but here are some good reasons to choose the following technologies…

CNC Machining in Production Materials

CNC Machining in Production Materials

Regardless of size, complexity or quantity, we have a choice of processes to produce your CNC machined components. Precision components can be produced via 3 or 5 axis milling or multi-axis turning (11 axis!) in a broad range of materials including: hard plastics and other many materials.
Large FDM models in a wide choice of materials

FDM models in a wide choice of materials

FDM materials offer specialized properties like toughness, electrostatic dissipation, translucence, biocompatibility, UV Resistance, VO flammability and FST ratings. This makes them perfect for demanding designers and engineers in aerospace, automotive, medical and other industries.
Vacuum Casting at MNL

Vacuum Casting in PU Resins

We can produce Polyurethane (PU) castings in the following material simulants or properties: ABS, Polypropylene, Nylon, Glass-filled Nylon, Polycarbonate, TPE, Hytrel, HDPE, etc. Temperature specific materials, flexible materials with A Shore ratings as low as 30A up to 90A and D Shore ratings also.

Concept Design Section    Market Research Phase

 Yielding extra benefits

Market research often occurs early on in the concept stage. Detailed market research yields extra benefits; use a prototype from MNL’s prototyping services dept. that cannot be distinguished from its intended production parts.

Public perception of products and their branding alongside the users experience of todays demanding consumers is paramount:

  • Is the perception of your product true to  your design brief?
  • Does the product match the current branding?
  • Does the product function as desired with ease?
  • Have you created a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist?

Many of the above questions plus many more can be answered more clearly with the aid of a detailed prototype from MNL’s prototyping services department.

Get the true feedback you deserve from your market research.

DONT let poor quality models influence your market research results…

Market Research Samples made by Vacuum Casting

Market Research Samples made by Vacuum Casting

Vacuum cast components are frequently used as market research models as they are often impossible to tell the difference between them and the production items. We can produce Polyurethane (PU) castings in the following material simulants or properties: ABS, Polypropylene, Nylon, Glass-filled Nylon, Polycarbonate, TPE, Hytrel, HDPE, etc. Temperature specific materials, flexible materials with A Shore ratings as low as 30A up to 90A and D Shore ratings also. When adorned with graphics the realism is complete.

Concept Design Section    Sales & Marketing Phase

Photographic Models

Photographic Models

Photography will highlight every single minute flaw. Ensure you have perfection in front of the lens!
Exhibition Models

Exhibition Models

Exhibitions are often the first showcase for exposing new products and concepts to buyers and the general public. Physical samples, prototypes and models create a far stronger and effective link from the supplier to the customer.
Production Bridge Tooling

Production Bridge Tooling

Vacuum castings can be used to bridge the gap whilst sales are ramping up to full production.

With a resurgence of exhibition models …

Exhibitions are often the first showcase for exposing new products and concepts to buyers and the general public. Making that all important first impression count, an exceptional exhibition model is paramount. Whether to attract interest, illustrate the look or function, assist raising project funds, or gain publicity, an exceptional model for exhibition is essential and indispensable.

Functioning Demonstration Models by MNL

Functioning Demonstration Models by MNL

The perfect sales aid, a functioning demonstration model, before production samples are ready will squeeze the time to market even further leading to increased sales.
Gaining Financial Backing

Gaining Financial Backing

Raising funds to progress your product into production can sometimes be an arduous task. Whether you are about to embark on a kickstarter campaign or approach a venture capitalist; a functioning prototype from MNL will help the cause.

Concept Design Section    Production Phase

 High or Low Volume Help

We help during your production phase too. Assembly jigs and inspection fixtures produced by 3D printing in FDM or CNC machining. We also produce low volume production methods via additive manufacturing or with PU resin parts from vacuum casting or RIM.

Whether you require mass production or low volume, MNL have services to help out

For low volume production MNL can offer:

  • Polyurethane parts via vacuum casting or RIM
  • Additive manufacturing utilising SLS or FDM

For mass production MNL can offer:

  • Assembly jigs or inspection fixtures made by either CNC or FDM
Holding Jigs and Inspection Fixtures made via FDM

Jigs and Fixtures in Mass Production

Holding Jigs and Inspection fixtures are a great fit for FDM parts or CNC machining.
Low Volume Production with Additive Manufacturing

Low Volume Production with Additive Manufacturing

Using SLS or FDM 3D printing for low volume components where aesthetics are not important; are perfect approaches.
Low Volume Production with Vacuum Casting or RIM

Low Volume Production with Vacuum Casting or RIM

PU resin components from either vacuum casting or RIM processes offer excellent strength and durability suitable for production. A wide variety of material grades available to suit many applications.