A manufacturer presented the ERC with a project that had an extraordinarily tight timeline for prototype development (one week), and of three design iterations created, the team was unsure which would be best for final production. Given the tight timeline for the project, there was not enough time - or funding - to make design tweaks or produce three separate molds to test three different prototypes. However, testing of all three design iterations would have to be completed at the same time with the best prototype selected to meet the final production deadline.
There are many technologies available for the manufacturing of rapid prototype models, some which that can be completed in a matter of hours. These processes may require the manufacturer to make sacrifices in the areas of strength, finish, usability and ultimately - cost. There are many other factors that come into play when deciding what is going to get your product to market on time and within budget. Oftentimes, when a prototype is developed without completing an injection molded process, compromises will be made to the parts overall functionality and probability of use.
Our engineers wanted the manufacturer’s prototype parts to be ready for immediate functional testing and final production. They knew the characteristics for the part needed to mirror the same performance requirements of the intended production part particularly in regard to comparative strength, finish and design elements.
The solution for the manufacturer’s tight timeline and design challenges was to create one mold which incorporated all three design iterations -- resulting in quick testing, final design decision and production turnaround. With access to the best technology, engineering and tooling resources, the manufacturer was able to compress timelines and get the ideal working part within a week.
Without access to the in-house technology available through the ERC, the manufacturer would have likely experienced a longer design and production process, higher development costs and a possible shortage of parts needed. The ERC’s experienced design engineers used the latest processes and state of the art equipment to provide the manufacturer with a fast and cost-effective solution that kept the part in production with no product delays.
Keeping your prototype development needs under one roof and working closely with an experienced engineer can save valuable time and funding. Without access to all the resources needed, the manufacturer’s experience shared in this post, like many others, would have experienced a longer design and production process, higher development costs and a delayed time to market.