Rapid Prototyping for Product Design

Welcome to Rapid Prototyping for Product Design. After you designed your part in the computer, it's standard practice to generate a physical prototype of that part to evaluate it before sending it to manufacturing. In this course, we'll look at several common methods for prototyping, so you can start to decide which method will work best for your parts. We'll start with a quick overview of the different prototyping methods. We'll take a look at how prototyping fits into the production workflow. We'l look at different options for 3D printing, a quick method for creating physical parts which has become very popular lately.

We'll then dive deeper into what's involved in setting up and running a printer. We'll spend some time with CNC mills and lays to give you an idea of what's involved in machining and turning a part. We'll look at both resin casting and injection molding, two similar processes for creating casts and molded parts. And finally, we'll work a 3D laser scanner and a touch probe system to reverse engineer a part and build a model in the computer. If you've designed a part in Solworks or some other CAD application, and you're ready to see that part in the real world, this course will give you a good idea of your options.

So, let's get started with Rapid Prototyping for Product Design.

Understanding design software and web resources

There are lots of different methods for prototyping and depending on the method that we chose, we need to design parts correctly for that manufacturing process. It's important to look at the full process and not just the prototypes. It's really the end result that we're looking for and we want to chose a prototyping method that will work well to simulate that final product. In this course I'll be using Solid Works to work with 3D cad models that we'll be eventually prototyping. However there's lots of different software that are available, so let's take a look at a few of these other options. is the software I'm using here in the course.

Rapid Prototyping for Product Design

software and web resources

There's also a company called PTC, who makes Pro Engineer, which is a very powerful software. And then I've got Autocad Inventor, again a quite popular software. And these first three here, which is Solid Works, Pro Engineer and Inventor, are all solid modeling programs. So these are going to work well for machining, molding, as well as 3D printing. Jumping over here to MODO. MODO is a surface modeling program, so it's going to work really well with 3D printing. Not so well with real world parts that you're going to machine or mold. Rhino is another real popular one,, check em out.
The Lender is another fairly popular software out there that's available. And then we have a couple free options, one of themes called one, two, 3D from Autodesk. You can download take a look at it. And then SketchUp. So SketchUp has a bunch of different modules. From everything from construction down to higher education, 3D printing. You name it, you can design parts in there and start printing them or modeling them for all types of different prototyping processes. If you don't want to design files, you can also download lots of models off the Internet in STL, Step formats, IGES and all types of different formats.
Then send those directly to a 3D printer or they can be used for machining and molding and so on. Let's take a look at a few options there. So GrabCAD's one of the first ones. And this one is focused primarily around solid model parts. So you've got SolidWorks parts. You've got Inventor parts. And then you've also got, you'll step in all these formats. They are mostly all available here, but there's some other options. This is great for working with machines or parts and you can just go in here search, find what you're looking for, download it, bring inside of Solid Works or any of your other modeling programs, work through a design or just use those inside of another piece you're working with.

Save out an STL file and 3D print it, save out a step file and machine it. Bunch of different options here, so GrabCAD's a real nice website that's, you know, offering a lot of great resources for us. Thingiverse is Maker Bot's website and if offers all types of 3D CAD files. You can download and most time they're going to be in, in STL format. Drag that file in. Run it through your Makerbot software, and you can 3D print it directly from their site, which is really handy. The next one's going to be TurboSquid. This is a site that offers all types, different 3D files that you can use, 3D print, and a lot of times people are using these for animations or graphics, but, same files can be used for all types of different processes.

And finally here, is Shapeways. Shapeways allows to upload files, download files, sell files, all types of different things for 3D printing. That's a pretty neat software and website combination that's available through them. So definitely, take a look. There are lots of different software options for design parts for prototyping and we have training for many of these on the training library. Additionally, there are many other web resources available for downloading and reusing content. So let's get our design ready and start prototyping.