Our comprehensive in-house workshop facilities include 3D printing, high-speed CNC machining, vacuum resin casting, vacuum forming and paint finishing. Along with conventional workshop tools, this allows us to create a wide range of prototypes in a variety of materials to suit the level of product development required, including:
Ideas must be put to the test, that’s why we make prototypes; otherwise they will never be more than ideas. Rapid prototyping gives us the ability to test and examine ideas and developments throughout your project. This is the best way to guard against unnecessary risks and expensive mistakes. So we see prototyping as absolutely key to the success of product design – giving you the opportunity to see your product come to life in physical form in the most cost effective manner.
Sketch models, foam models, or soft models are – physical renderings made from soft, low cost, easy to work materials. These are generally crafted at the start of a project to evaluate, explore and assess a range of concepts. Quickly gathering information helps develop your idea efficiently into a commercially viable product with the maximum appeal to your target customer.
The highly realistic appearance models we produce are invaluable when testing your product with the target audience. Once potential users have encountered a product, we can use their feedback and opinions to follow a knowledge-based design process.
The properties of the proposed finished design and model are matched as closely as possible to the finished product so user reaction is as authentic and reliable as possible.
Ergonomic models can be created at various sizes, to review your design and optimise the size and position of features like handles and controls, making sure they are right for the user. As well as small, handheld models we can also produce ergonomic rigs at a much greater scale to assess larger products.
Whether we are designing for young or old, people with particular needs or the general population, our rigs and models evolve – changing to test different aspects of the product with different user groups.
In terms of materials and manufacturing process, both working and pre-production prototypes are made to be as close as possible to the finished product. This allows you to use and test the design – giving you real confidence as you move into the manufacturing stage.
Working prototypes are produced and constructed from a range of different processes, methodologies and materials;, including 3D printing, vacuum casting and ‘soft’ aluminium tooling.