Rapid prototyping, a methodology for which additive manufacturing was invented, has developed across 30 years to deliver new efficiencies and productivity during the product design and development process. The new additive technologies and materials for prototyping can deliver:

  • More than 15 times faster prototyping than alternative methods
  • Same day prototype production
  • Decreased product time-to-market
  • Development of better products, faster
  • Reduced costs of product development
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Digital Design and Prototyping

3D Systems’ digital prototyping solutions have made transforming a design into a physical object even faster and more affordable. 3D Systems’ digital prototyping solutions offer a streamlined workflow to advance and accelerate your projects.

  • Reduce Lead Times for New Products and Parts

    3D printed prototypes can be created directly from CAD in hours compared to the weeks the process takes using traditional model-making, CNC machining or tool-based production. This fast turn-around enables companies to significantly improve product time-to-market as well as deliver a superior product within that shortened time. With 3D printed prototypes designers can have new iterations of a design prototyped daily, enabling the evaluation of 12-15 new iterations of a design in the same time that 1 prototype could have been produced using traditional processes. This increased frequency of iterations means that the designers have time and opportunity to improve the designs while still delivering within or before deadline.

  • Streamline Engineering Effort and Costs

    While additive manufacturing enables the production of more prototypes within a given time, it can reduce the amount of prototypes needed by enabling the industrial designer or engineer to more quickly dial in to a finished design. The digital design workflow also enables CAD data to be shared through a distributed network, where it can be quickly printed in different locations, enabling greater understanding of the design among teams and a faster knowledge turn. As knowledge improves so there can be faster, better and resultingly fewer iterations.

    Rapid prototyping can reduce costs of product development and design by tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars through quick-turn iteration, reduced man-hours and a significantly reduced cost of prototyping through additive.

  • 3D printed architectural models, courtesy LGM

    Appearance Models

    As the name suggests, an appearance model is a high-level visualization of a product or design idea. The uses and purposes of appearance models can vary greatly throughout product development and can add value at any stage.

    Early prototype appearance models offer an opportunity to evaluate and evolve designs, whereas compelling functional appearance models at later stages can be used to solicit consumer feedback or help secure investors or buyers.

  • Prototype electronic slider case 3D printed on Figure 4 3d printer

    Functional Prototypes

    Once a system has been defined theoretically, it must be made practical. Functional models can confirm the form, fit, articulation, and interaction of components to ensure product designs are on track or enable fine-tuning for the desired results.

    With a high precision 3D printing process, the parts produced will reflect the CAD data provided, resulting in high-quality prototypes for thorough fit and function testing.

3D Printing Solutions for Rapid prototyping

Figure 4 Standalone for lightning speed

The ultra-fast Figure 4 Standalone 3D non-contact membraneentry-level industrial printer delivers prototype production times up to 15 times faster and at a lower part cost than alternative production methods, with high quality and accurate small- and medium-sized parts. With a growing range of materials for prototyping, production and investment casting patterns, customers have commented that parts from Figure 4 Standalone rival injection-molded quality and durability, and time to first part can be a matter of a few minutes. Delivering 3D print speeds of up to 100 mm per hour, Figure 4 Standalone offers unparalleled ease-of-use, repeatability and part quality never before seen in the industry.

MultiJet Printing solutions for bigger prototypes

Multijet printing (MJP) solutions from 3D Systems offer a larger build volume(up to 20.4 x 15x 11.8 in) than the entry-level industrial class of platforms, and, with a wide choice of materials, is a highly versatile 3D printer for all kinds of prototyping. Using an ink jet style of 3D printing, MJP also delivers easy support removal with the melt-away wax supports. This combination of printed parts with wax supports also enables rapid creation of functional prototypes with moving and interlocking parts, living hinges and enclosed volumes. Materials properties for MJP 3D printing compare to ABS and polypropolenes, as well as elastomeric and clear.



ColorJet printing (CJP)

From educational settings to the most demanding commercial environments, 3D Systems’ family of ProJet CJP x60 3D printers provides unparalleled, full-color 3D printing at exceptional print speeds, efficiency and low cost of operation.

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Produce tough, durable parts from a range of production-grade nylon materials that have been optimized, validated and tested to ensure quality, with isotropic 3D mechanical properties. The ProX SLS 6100 brings versatility to your applications, whether for functional prototyping or direct 3D production. Choose from industrial-grade nylon 11 or nylon 12, flame retardant nylon 12, fiber-reinforced, glass-filled, and aluminum-filled materials. Our SLS materials can meet the standards of ISO 10993-5 and 10 opening the door to production of select medical devices.

Stereolithography (SLA)

Produce exact plastic and composite material parts without the limitations of tooling by using 3D printing in SLA with 3D Systems. These gold-standard additive platforms deliver part accuracy and surface quality achievable only with this leading manufacturing technology.  Immediately produce low- to medium-run parts at a lower per-unit cost, and build massive, highly detailed pieces faster,



3D Sprint software ties it all together

3D Systems delivers true productivity gains for manufacturers through the3D Sprint additive manufacturing software, delivered exclusively with its plastic 3D printers. 3D Sprint delivers tools that allow customers to 3D print better plastic parts without needing high-priced software to achieve it. With an arsenal of additive manufacturing preparation and editing tools, 3D Sprint can significantly decrease cost of ownership of your 3D printers by reducing the need for costly software seats by third party vendors.

3D Sprint’s management and monitoring tools allow you to accurately estimate print time and optimize material levels and usage both before and during the print operation. Manage print queues, job priorities, and monitor multiple 3D Systems printers for real-time job control and mitigation.



Customer Application Stories

  • Fast, Affordable 3D Printing with Figure 4 at Rapid Application Group
    See how 3D printing service, Rapid Application Group, delivers 3D printed prototypes and production-grade plastic parts in less than a day with 3D Systems’ Figure 4 Standalone and 3D Sprint print software.
  • Birdstone Proves Packaging Design with Clear 3D Printed Prototypes
    3D Systems helps packaging design firm achieve aesthetic and functional prototypes with clear SLA 3D printing. (Click image to read the case study)
  • 3D Printing Helps Drive R&D at Renault Sport Formula One Team
    3D Systems 3D printing solutions help Renault Sport Formula One Team overcome engineering challenges using SLA, SLS and direct metal 3D printing for wind tunnel parts, investment casting patterns through to on-car parts to add driving speed between every race