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Planning Ahead: The Basics of Rapid Prototyping in Minneapolis, MN

July 6th, 2016 · No Comments

Thomas Engineering Company is first and foremost a precision-based manufacturer. This means that the parts we produce, which serve the electrical, medical, and automotive industry, demand the highest accuracy and quality of design to meet their functional purpose. Because the production of our parts must meet such precise standards in all cases, our engineers place great importance on pre-production planning for each part. This is where the great advantages of our rapid prototyping in Minneapolis, MN, come in.

Rapid prototyping using computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software is one of the greatest benefits to engineering industries today. Rapid prototyping gives us the tools we need to create a pre-production part design that is accurate down to the last detail.

Essential Steps

In simplified terms, the rapid prototyping process can be broken down into three basic steps.

Creating a prototype for the part needed is often the most involved step of the process. This can include anything from the rough mockups of an early design to the final product with the highest fidelity to the actual part. In all cases of a prototype design, our teams start with their best judgement based on their experiences with past materials and practices with similar parts.

Reviewing the design with customers and our engineering team is the next step in the process of creating a prototype. This is crucial to gathering information about any potential flaws in the original design. Feedback from the customer after the initial consultation and creation of the original prototype is almost always helpful to further evaluating the expectations of the part and the parameter needs of the customer.

Refining the original prototype design to meet the functional needs is the next course of action to modifying the design for the final part. At this stage, the clarified expectations of the customers and the engineers’ understanding of the part’s function are included. Sometimes this step leads to drastic changes in the prototype design, such as the use of a different material or even scrapping the original design for a brand new slate.

These basic steps of creating a prototype can be repeated multiple times over before the design is finalized. At TEC, we take pride in our perfectionism when it comes to creating any part for our customers. For more information about our rapid prototyping in Minneapolis, MN, contact Thomas Engineering Company at (763) 533-1501.

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