Benefits of 3D Printed Prototyping

Date: May 10, 2023

Prototyping in manufacturing is vital in many areas, such as product and machine development. It enables designers to create physical, functional versions of their vision and accurately develop and refine it. In addition, this beneficial approach reveals unexpected problems and allows the designer to respond to them, substantially reducing development costs and deadlines.

At Dean Group, we offer a rapid prototyping service that involves creating an exact wax model replica of the actual part, which is cast using our Investment Casting process with fully finished products manufactured in the UK. Before the wax is made, we would run casting simulations on our bespoke casting simulator to understand how the metal would behave to give the customer a working casting that meets the drawing and technical specifications. Read on to learn more about our service and the benefits of choosing 3D printing rapid prototyping.

Benefits of Rapid Prototyping

The primary benefit of rapid prototyping is that it allows designers to identify potential problems early on and make necessary adjustments before the product reaches the market. In addition, this approach is advantageous in the stages of product development before committing to manufacturing. The process enables designers to test and refine their ideas through many iterations before investing significant resources into the final product, such as tooling for precision investment casting.

Prototyping is proven to save time and money for businesses when developing their eventual products. It is especially beneficial when your design requires metal casting as it prevents costly mistakes and reduces the time required for tooling, testing and changes. Even if everything is as expected from the design the first time, our 3D wax printing prototyping enables designers to experiment with many different design options in a much shorter time to explore potential ideas before committing to a final design.

Businesses that Benefit from Rapid Prototyping

Prototyping is widely used in a range of industries, including the following examples:

  • Engineering prototyping involves creating machines, parts, and structure prototypes to test their functionality and durability.
  • Architecture prototyping relates to architects creating models of buildings and structures to evaluate their design, functionality and safety elements related to construction.
  • Product design is the most common sector that uses rapid prototyping. It is used to create prototypes of consumer products, such as electronics and toys, to test their functionality, safety, ergonomics and usability.printed components

Where Does 3D Printing Fit Into Prototyping?

As part of our product development service, our engineers will use a supplied 3D digital model to create a physical wax replica with our thermojet wax modelling system. This system delays the tooling expense until the design is confirmed and the client is happy to commit tooling for casting. The advantage of this particular process is just how quick it is, being much faster than other available options. As such, the thermojet wax system efficiently creates small quantities of parts for validation or just small one-off batch orders.

At our UK foundry, we have an in-house 3D wax printing room that enables us to take a client’s concept from prototyping to the final metal cast product all under one roof. This initially covers the potential creation of a digital model with 3D CAD and simulation testing. Our digital simulations are especially beneficial for designs that require high casting integrity. In addition, these simulations ensure that the resulting castings are reliable and long-lasting, which is crucial for detailed castings.

It also includes turning these digital creations into physical prototypes, as mentioned previously, and once that is confirmed, the 3D printed designs help with the actual metal casting and forming process. This provides greater attention to detail than when working with separate facilities and ensures our clients get the best results from their designs.

3D Printed Rapid Prototyping from Dean Group

At Dean Group, we understand the importance of identifying potential issues early on with rapid casting prototyping, and that's why we offer comprehensive monitoring and assessment alongside our prototyping services. We have spent over 50 years providing accurate prototypes for a broad range of businesses nationwide.

Our expert engineers closely monitor key disciplines, including tolerances, FEA analysis, and tooling design viability. By closely monitoring these elements, we ensure the production of successful prototypes for your needs. For more information on our services, read our case studies to discover our many success stories, including this specific example of when we helped take a successful bike immobiliser design from prototyping to production.

Contact us if you have any questions about how our services will benefit your next application.

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