Customer satisfaction takes precedence over everything else in the world of highly competitive product manufacturing. Competition gets tougher as every year passes, so the wrong turn in the product design and production process can have severe consequences on the quality and ultimately on the ROI the product brings to the company.
For this critical reason, it is important to use a good simulation software program like Ansys, Abaqus, or COMSOL. Once the design is created, and all possible weaknesses are worked out in simulated form, it’s time to make a 3D prototype. In most cases, a company relies on a 3D printing company to create this prototype. But when that is finished, what do you do?
Once you have a 3D print of your prototype, along with the details of your product design, it is time to think about producing your sample product and then making your first production run.
What are the steps to producing a final sample product? Here we will outline the basic steps to creating an initial sample of your 3D prototype.
If this is your very first production, you’ll need to find a production facility willing to create a sample of your product from your 3D printed prototype. Think about the materials your product is made of. The type of sample you get will depend on the materials you are using in your product.
If your product is plastic, or ceramic, or some type of casted metal, you will need to make a cast for your product. Consider using something like a cast made with polyurethane casting. The cast will create the sample product you want. Always make sure to work with a reputable polyurethane casting material supplier to make sure that your projects aren’t damaged by using faulty supplies.
If your prototype contains metal parts, you need to find a reliable machining service company to help you make your sample product. Based on your designs and your 3D prototype, the machining service can create your first working product. So, where do you find a machining service company? Most cities have this type of service, but if you want to save some money, you might look into outsourcing to another company that can handle the work.
If your product is plastic, you might do better to send the prototype and the designs directly to a production facility and ask for a sample of the product before you sign a contract for a first production run.
In general terms, this is the process to get a first production run. The entire process can take somewhere between three to six months. The cost will depend on where you get the first product designed and whether you use an overseas production or not.