Rapid Prototyping Services

Rapid prototyping services with the use of state-of-the-art manufacturing processes, including 3D Printing | CNC Machining | Urethane Casting Sheet Metal | Rapid Injection Molding | Prototype Extrusions.
  • Various rapid prototyping services
  • Abundant materials & finishes
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Superior Rapid Prototyping

Rapid prototyping is a part of product development that makes product parts easy and easy for evaluate and testing. If you are looking for professional prototyping services to help realize your ideas and assist with product development? Then you’ve come to the right place. We provide superior quality, fast turnaround and cost-effective rapid prototyping services to our customers worldwide. We are one of the best rapid prototyping companies, a specialist in CNC machining, vacuum casting, rapid tooling and sheet metal fabrication ensure that your designs and ideas are actualized in the real world in just a few days. Our expert team will also help you with every step of product development, from optimizing your design to helping you find the most efficient path for your production needs. We have extensive experience with rapid prototyping to assist you in making the best decisions about your design. Choose from a variety of materials and finishes so you can make informed decisions about how to move your project forward. We have a range of rapid prototyping processes for you to choose from. If you’ve already completed your prototype and are ready to move on to production, check out our low-volume manufacturing services. Here are the main rapid prototyping processes we offer:

Rapid 3D printing

3D printing (additive manufacturing) rapid prototyping service encompasses different 3D printing technologies:
Our 3D printing rapid prototyping services are ideal for 3D printed plastics and metals, with extensive material and finishing options available. These additive manufacturing technologies can also sometimes be used for production. Because 3D printing doesn’t require tooling, prototyping of 3D printed parts takes only a short time, without sacrificing build quality. Other advantages include geometrical freedom and affordability, especially in low volumes. 3D printing is often preferred for concept models, but precision technologies SLM can also work for functional prototypes and even production parts.
  • FDM — Low-cost plastic parts prototyping
  • SLA — Plastic parts prototyping with exceptional surface finish
  • SLS — Strong prototyping parts in nylon or nylon glass
  • SLM — Metal parts prototyping in steel or titanium

Rapid CNC Machining

operates a large number of CNC machining centers, mills, and lathes (for CNC turning), enabling rapid prototyping of CNC machined parts made from plastic or metal. We offer a wide range of material and finishing options and the potential to combine CNC machining with other rapid prototyping processes. CNC machining is one of the most high-precision rapid prototyping technologies available. Although rapid CNC machining prioritizes short turnarounds over ultra-tight tolerances, the quality remains high. Turnarounds are fast in low volumes, and CNC prototyping produces parts not too far from production quality. The cost is higher than 3D printing but the surface finish and part strength are often superior.
  • CNC Turning — All types of round components
  • CNC Grinding — Tight tolerance and good surface
  • CNC EDM — For deep pocket & sharp conners

Rapid vacuum casting

Rapid vacuum casting is a low-cost prototyping service for the production of low-cost plastic parts, particularly items like colorful display models. Advantages of rapid vacuum casting include very low tooling costs compared to injection molding and a much lower minimum order quantity. And although vacuum cast parts are not especially durable, they come out of the mold with an excellent surface finish without post-processing. The silicone mold used for rapid vacuum casting typically lasts around 20 shots, ideal for most prototyping scenarios.
  • Rigid Plastics — Such as ABS, PC, PA simulate prototype parts
  • Soft Rubber — Rubber like prototypes from Shore A 30 to 90 degrees.
  • Wax — Patterns for low-vlume investment casting

Rapid sheet metal prototyping

Rapid sheet metal prototyping is a set of rapid prototyping services for the production of sheet metal parts. This includes various forming, cutting, and assembly processes for manipulating the sheet metal stock in different ways. Rapid sheet metal prototyping is generally used for flat parts like brackets and enclosures, and it can accommodate a range of sizes, including very large metal parts. Setup times can be longer than comparable processes, but sheet metal is highly cost-effective when making large and relatively simple parts. An advantage of rapid sheet metal prototyping is that the solid sheet metal feedstock can later be CNC machined for additional features.
  • Cutting
  • Bending
  • Stamping
  • Welding

Rapid Metal Casting

Casting is generally considered a production process for high-quality metal parts, but rapid metal casting — using 3D printing to make low-cost patterns — offers an affordable route for prototyping cast metal. Our rapid metal casting services are only available due to our close relationship with several large casting companies which typically would not accept low-volume (10+) prototyping orders from new customers. Advantages of rapid metal casting include near production-quality metal parts, with potentially very large sizes, at surprisingly fast speeds. Cast parts also have excellent tensile strength and can also be post-machined.
  • Pressure Die Casting
  • Investment Casting
  • Gravity Casting

Rapid Tooling / Mould

Rapid tooling (bridge tooling or prototype tooling) refers to the rapid CNC machining of metal tooling for injection molding. It is therefore the first step toward rapid injection molding. Prototyping tooling for molding is ideal when the customer requires between 100–2,000 units of their injection molded parts; more than this and production-level steel tooling may be preferred. Advantages of rapid tooling include fast turnarounds and the ability to carry out prototyping and testing of injection molded parts that might otherwise take months to produce. Rapid tooling is also significantly cheaper than mass production tooling. Although rapid tooling and rapid injection molding is more expensive than 3D printing, it provides plastic parts much nearer to production quality that can therefore be used for functional testing.
  • Plastic Injection Mold
  • Die Casting Mold
  • Extrusion Mold
  • Silicone Mould

Rapid CNC Machining

Our advanced 3 axis, 4 axis and 5 axis CNC machining help cut your product parts with great precision, ensuring your rapid prototyping runs smoothly while producing as many parts as possible.

Rapid Injection Molding

Our rapid injection molding process results in an identical set of durable parts for testing and multiple backups. This process has a longer lead time, but it is usually worth it, especially for a product with strict material and mechanical requirements.
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Rapid Sheet Metal Fabrication

We offer a variety of metals and alloys, including stainless steel, copper and aluminum, for your metal fabrication prototyping. We also have the capacity to fabricate two or more metal prototype designs simultaneously.
3D-Printing-rapid-prototyping

Rapid 3D Printing

This is the most common method used for rapid prototyping. This process requires no tooling, making it cost-effective and has a fast lead time. We use different 3D printing methods, including fused deposition model (FDM), selective laser sintering (SLS) and stereolithography (SLA).

Rapid Vacuum Casting

We offer rapid vacuum casting for the manufacturing of low-cost plastic parts. This method of rapid prototyping is similar to injection molding. However, the tooling for this manufacturing is not very durable, making it ideal for low volume production.

Why Choose Us for Rapid Prototyping Services

No MOQ

We are flexible for one-off prototypes and low-volume parts. No matter the size of your order, we can handle it.

Affordable

We have built up an efficient rapid prototyping system which allows us to offer competitive prices that can match any offer.

Rapid Turnaround

Our capacities allows us to finish your rapid prototyping projects in days

Experience

Our team has years of experience in a wide range of industries and can handle even the most challenging projects.

Tight Tolerances

We service the aerospace and medical industries and can produce precise parts with tight tolerances.

Fast delivery

With dozens of machines and a familiar supply chain, we can quickly take your project from engineering to delivery.

Material Options for Rapid Prototyping

We provide quotations for over 100 metals and plastics for your prototyping needs. On our platform, you can also view the different materials and the cost of their machining.
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Metals

There are different types of metals, each with different physical and chemical properties. These differences make some metals better suited to a particular application than others. The methods for producing metal prototypes include; CNC machining, Casting, 3D printing, and sheet fabrication.

Brass
Titanium
Aluminum
Copper
Stainless Steel

5-axis-CNC-milling-PMMA

Plastics

Plastic is a broad term encompassing several materials. Most of them have favorable properties that make them ideal for rapid prototyping, including ease of molding, insulation, chemical resistance, wear resistance, and lightweight.

The methods for making plastic prototype parts include; urethane casting, 3D printing, and CNC machining.
ABS     Nylon (PA)     PC    PVC   PU    PMMA    PP
PEEK   PE    HDPE      PS    POM

Ceramics

The advantages of ceramics in rapid prototypping are their extreme rigidity, insulation, and temperature resistance. They are popular in many industries because of this. We can offer Alumina, ZrO2, AIN, Si3N4 & SiC.

Prototypes and Parts Delivered Quickly
with 4 Simple Steps

1. Upload Your Files

Upload your design files & tell us important details about your project.
File Formats: STEP, STP, STL
Max. File Size: 8MB

2. Quick Quote for You

Quickly quote you and analyze your prototypes and production parts based on 3D drawings and important requirements.

3. Start Production

Once you accept our quote and place an order, we start working with our team to make your ideas a reality.

4. Receive Your Parts

Once manufactured, your custom parts are delivered quickly and directly to your doorstep.

How to make rapid prototypes

What processes or steps are generally used to make rapid prototypes? The processes that are often used are as follows

Rapid CNC Machining
For rapid prototyping of plastic and metal parts, CNC machining is the ideal production option, as we can create all the prototypes you need with precision detail and complete them within a short lead time.

Type                                                  Tolerance
Linear dimension                       +/- 0.025 mm (+/- 0.001 inch)
Hole diameters (not reamed)   +/- 0.025 mm (+/- 0.001 inch)
Shaft diameters                          +/- 0.025 mm (+/- 0.001 inch)
Part size limit                                 950 * 550 * 480 mm(37.0 * 21.5 * 18.5 inch)

Rapid Injection Molding
Our proven injection molding process is fit for the task when it comes to creating low-volume molds and plastic parts. Along with injection molding, we also apply secondary processing and other techniques to produce impressive products for your brand.

Standard capabilities                          Description
Mold cavity tolerances                    ±0.05 mm
Standard lead time                          15 business days or less
Part to part repeatability               ±0.1 mm
Production grade                            1-100,000 cycles

Rapid Sheet Metal Fabrication
Take advantage of RapidDirect’s streamlined sheet metal processing to produce metal parts. The combination of advanced equipment and in-house production ensures short lead times and strict quality standards.

Dimension detail       
                                                                                              Tolerance
Edge to edge, single surface
Edge to hole, single surface                                                                                    +/- 0.005 inch
Hole to hole, single surface
Bend to edge / hole, single surface                                                                        +/- 0.010 inch
Edge to feature, multiple surface / Over formed part, multiple surface          +/- 0.030 inch
Bend angle                                                                                                                     +/- 1°

Rapid 3D Printing
Utilizing the latest 3D printing technology, RapidDirect caters to your rapid 3D printing needs, such as SLA, SLS, FDM, and more. With our fast production capabilities and streamlined process, you’re guaranteed to get your custom parts within a few days.

Standard capabilities                                            Description
Min. wall thickness                          1.0 mm
Layer height                                     50 – 300 μm
Max. build size                                250 * 250 * 250 mm (SLA),
420 * 500 *420 mm (SLS),
500 * 500 * 500 mm (FDM)

Tolerance                          ± 0.5% with a lower limit of ± 0.5 mm (± 0.020″)

Rapid Vacuum Casting
If you’re looking for a quick and reliable source of elastomeric plastic parts, RapidDirect has you covered. Our vacuum casting process offers high-quality, consistent plastic pieces with intricate and impressive details.

Standard capabilities                               Description
Maximum build size                               +/- 0.025 mm (+/- 0.001 inch)
Standard lead time                               Up to 20 parts in 15 days or less
Dimensional accuracy                             ±0.05 mm
Layer thickness                                    1.5mm – 2.5mm

TRUSTED BY OVER 1K+ COMPANIES

Types of rapid prototype

Used by customers across many industries, rapid prototyping encompasses different technologies and materials. It also covers different kinds of prototype, including visual-only prototypes and functional prototypes used for testing a part’s performance.
This is one of the simplest types of prototypes. Also called a proof-of-concept prototype, engineers use the concept model to convey the basic idea of the design. Before use, this type of prototype undergoes multiple changes.
Engineers develop this type of prototype to make it look similar to the final product. Most times, functionality is not a factor considered under the display prototype as the focus is mainly on appearance.
This prototype focuses on functionality and aims to enable engineers and designers to test the product to make modifications if any, for optimal functionality. The prototype developed here should behave the same way as the final product.
This is the last type of prototype developed before production. There are two major purposes of this type of prototype. First, to validate the process chosen by the manufacturer for mass production, and second, to ensure the manufactured part functions optimally.

Gallery of Rapid Prototyping Parts

From 2012, we have produced prototypes for various industries including medical, automotives, aerospace, construction, and other industries.

Precision Machining FAQ

There are a couple of scenarios where rapid prototypes become a need. The first is when the cost of product development becomes too high. Rapid prototyping cost is lower than conventional prototyping, reducing product development costs. Rapid prototypes are also needed when you need to identify and evaluate product hazards as well as test functionality.

There’s a wide range of materials that can be used in precision machining – you can use aluminum brass, copper, steel, titanium, as well as rigid plastics like PPS, PEEK. Reach out to learn more about the types of materials that are available when using precision machining technology.

the fast lead time for rapid prototyping is 5 working days. This is especially true when you use reputable brands that offer rapid prototyping online services for your needs.

Rapid prototyping and 3D printing are completely different from each other. 3D printing is a technology that uses additive manufacturing to develop products. On the other hand, rapid prototyping is an umbrella term for a group of techniques used for the manufacturing of product parts from a 3D CAD model.
Using rapid prototyping technologies requires design software. This software allows you to design a part on a computer, controlling its shape and dimensions and making design adjustments based on the chosen manufacturing technique. However, whether you are able to develop a feasible digital design probably depends on your level of design and engineering experience. Those without prior CAD experience might need to consult a professional product designer to fulfill the design brief. Professionals know how to manipulate the software, and they also know whether a design can realistically be fabricated using hardware like a CNC machine. (We often receive designs that are not manufacturable because they do not take into account factors like draft angles, parting lines and overhangs.) Those who do have CAD experience — product designers, R&D specialists, etc. — can create a digital design using their design suite of choice then export it to a machine-readable format such as a STEP file (for CNC machining, etc.) or a Mesh file (for 3D printing etc.). The digital file is the most important stage, but you must also specify a desired material, quantity and surface finish (if required) to the rapid prototyping company. In many cases, you might prefer to send off Requests for Quotation (RFQs) to several rapid prototyping companies in order to compare quotations in terms of price, proposed lead time and the reputation of the manufacturer. Once a satisfactory quotation has been received, you can finalize the order with the rapid prototyping company, who will use your digital design and order specifications to commence production. The prototypes will be shipped to you once production is complete.
Rapid prototyping is a fast way to verify the aspect and function of your design. Prototypes are also widely used for business proposals, where they can be shown to potential investors and customers.
Most rapid prototyping projects can be completed in a matter of days, and we offer fast global delivery. If you require a precise lead time, please submit your project to get a free quotation and lead time information at the same time.
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