Types of Prototypes

Handwork and Numerical Control Prototype

According to the means of manufacturing, prototypes are divided into the below two categories:

1.Handwork prototypes: Main workload is finished by hand
2.Numerical control prototypes: prototypes are mainly made by numerical control machine tool and can be divided in to SLA prototyping (rapid prototyping) and CNC prototyping according to the equipment used.

A.SLA Prototyping: Mainly produced by laser rapid prototyping technology.
B.CNC prototyping: Mainly produced by CNC processing center

SLA and CNC Prototype

SLA Rapid Prototyping and CNC Prototyping each has its advantages over the other. SLA rapid prototyping’s advantages are embodied in its rapidity. However, due to the accumulation molding, SLA rapid prototypes are relatively rough. So, you can produce parts if the product has certain requirements on wall thickness.

The advantages of the CNC prototyping are reflected in its very accurate reflection of the information expressed in the drawings, and surface quality of CNC prototypes is high, especially after a complete surface coating and silk screen. Sometimes it is more colored and dazzling than the final product. Therefore, CNC prototype manufacturing becomes the mainstream in the prototype manufacturing industry.

Plastic, Silicone, Metal and Clay figurine prototype

According to the material used in prototyping, there are plastic prototype, silica gel prototype, metal prototype and clay figurine prototype.

1. Plastic Prototype: Its raw materials are plastic, and mainly for plastic products, such as televisions, monitors, telephones and so on.

2. Silicone Prototype: Its raw material is the silicone and is mainly to show the shape of the product design, such as car prototypes, mobile phones, toy prototypes, handicrafts, daily necessities, and so on.

3. Metal Prototype: Mainly use aluminum or magnesium alloy and other metal materials for some high-end products, such as notebook computers, advanced player, MP3 players, CD machines and so on.

4. Clay figurine prototype: mainly for product design and development but was replaced by freeform.

Appearance, Structure and Function Prototype

According to the implementation result, there are appearance prototypes, structure prototypes and function prototypes.

1.Appearance prototypes: to test product design. It requires fine appearance and accurate color. The internal processing is not quite matter.

2.Structure prototypes: to test the rationality of product structure, and has strict requirements for size. Relatively low demand for appearance.

3. Function prototypes: requires the prototype to be the same with real product in appearance, structure and function and can be understood as unlisted products with highest requirements.


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