Rapid prototyping isn’t always to do with originality and developing brand new ideas. In business products are often a reaction to your competitors and this is in fact where speed is most important and rapid prototyping really does need to be fast to get a product to market before someone else establishes themselves too firmly or a market becomes saturated.
The quickest way to create a product based on someone else’s or based on features from someone else’s is to reverse engineer a design.
Sometimes reverse engineering a design is simple and you simply take it apart and look at simple pieces. What though if you want to recreate something a little more complicated such as a fellow car makers incredibly efficient engine.
Well using Rapidform software you can create a CAD file directly from the product you have through 3D scanning the product as a whole and in separate parts.
With a CAD file you can of course manipulate and examine in great detail but you can also use 3D printing for rapid prototyping to come up with your own test models as quickly as possible. If there is no intellectual property as such involved then you can make a direct copy but generally you will need to make some changes and so your own version can be printed from a CAD based on the 3D scan of your competitors product in quick and easy steps.
Rapidform software is produced by Korean INUS Technology and creates intelligent 3D CAD models using point clouds and polygon meshes so that surfaces are perfectly modeled.
Though human input is still required with Rapidform because it is designed specifically for reverse engineering a lot of jobs are done automatically, which could take days for a human to do from raw 3D scan data.
Along with 3D printing massive time savings can be made; 3D printing is much quicker than traditional rapid prototyping technology and models are far more accurate in terms of size, shape and weight: they can also be fully working models in some cases. With these models testing can be done long before having to set up tooling machines and production runs that may take weeks to make the actual product itself.
These time savings mean that a product can be got to market much faster, in theory if you can get a prototype from a competitor you can set up production to get to market ahead of them if you use 3D scanning CAD and printing technology and they don’t.
Rapidform’s latest version of their software also has significant updates all aimed at saving even more time. Surfaces are more accurately scanned and rendered and editing certain defined of a design is possible in order to add in your own changes, of course extra features and your own identity and packaging. As well as this though Rapidfrom when doing the job of creating sketches is 50% faster meaning further days could be saved.
Unsurprisingly many of Rapidform’s biggest users are car manufacturers but also medical equipment and research equipment makers where accuracy is vital.