Prototyping with CALT Dynamics
What is Prototyping in Product Development?
The Prototyping Process
Depending on the complexity of the product, iterating through the traditional prototyping process can take months, if not years. With the use of 3D Printing and rapid prototyping technologies, the process can be shortened significantly.
At CALT Dynamics, answering the recent call of global PPE shortage, our Face Shields went from concept art to fully usable prototypes in days. With frontline healthcare workers engaged in our user testing, we were able to engineer features into our product, such as:
We were also able to scale production to meet demand by starting with low-cost printing methods before moving onto more industrial 3D printing techniques and then finally mass production.
After we successfully produced a production prototype of our Face Shield, we had to scale our manufacturing to meet the increasing demand from healthcare facilities all over Ireland and Europe. We used one of our technologies incorporated into a large scale photopolymer printer to produce multiple moulds at a time to increase our output dramatically. Within one week of batch manufacturing, we were able to produce enough to start meeting nationwide demand. Within weeks, we were producing thousands of units of these face shields per day.
Prototyping For The Future of Innovation
The 4th industrial revolution is currently underway with massive development in 3D printing and rapid prototyping technologies. Companies that are developing innovative products need reliable partners to help them move from ideas to concepts to prototypes quickly using a comprehensive approach to prototyping.
Good products come from taking an exploratory approach to innovation. But, that does not mean massive amounts of time spent in product development. Paying attention to details of features, materials, and cost by making strategic choices in design, engineering, testing, and manufacturing can save time and lower costs. We've been rethinking the product development process and new techniques are emerging to cut the cost of iterating hardware product development and we're creating new ways to manufacture products all the time. This is an exciting time in manufacturing where the creative genius of inventors and entrepreneurs can be met with rapid product development to deploy products much faster than was historically possible.
A critical aspect in creating a product is whats called 'design for manufacture' but what 'manufacture' means is changing all the time and the design process has to absorb this to be efficient. Creating a soft step for hardware development has been a key focus of our team at CALT Dynamics and we've found it incredibly useful. 3D batch production is a new concept we're pioneering at CALT Dynamics that's set to impact where and how products get made. This means better products and less waste.
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