Last Updated on February 9, 2023 by Leizi
The product development cycle is the process that starts with prototyping and testing, and ends with the mass production of a new product and release to the market. Therefore, the importance of prototyping is self-evident.
After prototyping, the designers make it as fast as possible by choosing a cost-effective processing way. The whole processing is not a small challenge for the designers. This article will explain five factors that affect the project from prototype to large-scale production.
Popular prototyping techniques include CNC machining, 3D printing, and vacuum casting. These three processing methods have their own characteristics. If timeliness is especially considered, then 3D printing and silicone composite molding are suitable processing solutions; if the requirements for the precision of the parts are very high, then CNC processing is your first choice. High-precision is one of the advantages of CNC machining.
And its tolerance range can reach ±0.002mm. The silicone replica is suitable for making small batches of plastic copies. If your budget is limited with no high requirements for tolerances, vacuum casting can be your best choice.
After creating the initial prototype, the next step is to test the finished prototype and refine the product design based on the test data. After considering the comprehensive factors such as cost, performance and aesthetics, you can decide the final version of the product design drawings.
● Mass Production
As for mass production, there is also a range of popular processing options: injection molding, die-casting, and sheet metal processing. Injection molding is suitable for making large quantities of identical plastic parts while die casting and sheet metal fabrication are suitable for mass production of metals.
At this stage, you have finalized the final version of your product design. After considering product performance, aesthetics, and cost, you can determine the processing way.
● Selection of Materials
For prototyping, there are almost no restrictions on materials. However, it is not suitable for making prototypes for very expensive or extremely rare materials, which will affect the material selection and production timeliness in subsequent mass production.
Only when the material has a certain degree of universality can it be guaranteed that the market can supply with it at any time when mass production is required, thereby promoting the launch of the new product.
● Cost and Lead Time
Processing and time costs are also factors that product developers need to consider. The amount of budget will determine the different processing methods.
The ideal product development process is to create a prototype with the lowest tooling cost, test the prototype, adjust the design, and put it into production. And the time will affect how long you will put into the parts into the market.
● Components and Assembly
For cost-effectiveness, you can choose to have the entire production and assembly done by one manufacturer, or you can choose to have multiple suppliers for production and assembly.
The more components that need to assembly, the more assembly steps and costs are required. Therefore, reducing components can ensure the consistency of different batches of parts to a certain extent.
Throughout the product development process, there are many factors to consider. After comprehensively considering these five factors, designers get a more efficient and cost-effective solution to complete the entire product development efficiently.
Ruitai Provides Solutions from Prototyping to Mass Production
We offer you one-stop solution from small batch prototyping to mass production. Our processing capabilities include: CNC machining, 3D printing, silicone molding, injection molding, die-casting, and sheet metal processing. If you need our support, you can contact us here.