Rapid prototyping is a process of software development wherein physical objects are automatically constructed by means of SFF or solid freeform fabrication. In the process of rapid prototyping, a prototype or working model can be constructed quickly, and tested for its functionality, performance and output. The new features or ideas can be illustrated well in the prototype and early user feedback can be collected with regards to the product. There are numerous advantages of rapid prototyping.
Benefits of Rapid Prototyping: Significant advantages of rapid prototyping include reduction of project cost and risk. Typically, one or more prototypes are developed in the process of software development in a series of incremental and iterative steps. Every prototype that is manufactured is based on the previous designs' performance and it is a corrective process through which the past design defects or problems are corrected. The product is readied for production when the prototype is refined as per requirements and meets all the design goals like manufacturability, robustness and functionality.
Another great advantage of rapid prototyping is that it finds use and application in almost all the industries. The other advantages of rapid prototyping include the following.
Visualization capabilities are enhanced in the early designing phase with use of rapid prototyping. The user gets a fair idea of how the final product will look by observing the working model in early design stage.
The design flaws can be detected before manufacture process is initiated.
Rapid prototyping enables producer and users to participate actively. Active participation between the users and producer is encouraged.
The user is able to get a higher output.
The development costs are reduced considerably, since rapid prototyping proves to be quite cost effective.
Rapid prototyping increases the speed of system development.
With rapid prototyping, it is possible to detect deficiencies in the earlier prototype, coding activities and requirement analysis.
Rapid prototyping assists in refining the potential risks that are involved in the delivery
The different aspects of the prototype can be tried and tested and immediate feedback is possible form user.
Better communication is enabled between the users and designer as there is clear expression of requirements and expectations in the start itself.
Rapid prototyping enables easy delivery of high quality product.
Cost and Time Savings: Savings of development time and process costs are some of the greatest advantages of rapid prototyping. Time can be saved by decreasing the amount of time required to produce the prototype parts and tooling. Production costs are lowered as the mistakes regarding tooling are identified in the early stages and hence, the modification costs can be cut down in the actual production.
Advantage of Innovation: Rapid prototyping can be used in many innovative ways. There are many firms that use rapid prototyping innovatively, hence, offering additional benefits. The advantages of rapid prototyping in innovative applications are advancement of new testing procedures and analysis, production tooling manufacture, improved communications across production departments and support of customized manufacturing. The new technologies can be used in a cost effective and successful manner with innovative applications of rapid prototyping.