Whatever tasks you have where you are using rapid prototyping technologies, be it for creating models for testing, consumer groups or other stake holders it is important to use the best tools for the job and this will depend on a number of factors including materials and what elements of the model, such as weight, size, texture, need to be most accurate.
3D printing has replaced other Rapid Prototyping Service techniques for many jobs, it allows a model to be made that is very accurate in its dimensions and can be very strong.
With the right printers models can be in full color and have designs printed with minute accuracy as well removing the need for painting a model afterwards. The primary 3D printers used for full color printing are Z Printers by Z Corps, part of 3D Systems, and these print using a laser to harden powdered resin with pinpoint accuracy
Pros of 3D printing
Fast, low cost, highly accurate
Cons of 3D printing
Limited availability of 3D printers, generally only produce plastic/resin models and can’t be used for strength testing.