Before having a product mass-produced, companies turn to fabricators for a prototype. This serves as a model that allows designers and engineers to check for any flaws or defects. Doing this eliminates the risk of having thousands of bad products manufactured. For custom prototypes, most fabricators prefer CNC machining.
There are two key advantages of using the services of prototype companies. First, manufacturers have access to cutting-edge machinery and equipment. Second, they use various tools to create what the customer needs. These tools include drills, end mills, punches, lathes and more.
Although a versatile and fast way to fabricate parts and components, CNC machining can get expensive. The best way to keep costs in check is by hiring one of the best prototype manufacturing companies. Below are some additional cost-saving tips.
Every type of metal has unique characteristics, meaning some are much stronger and rigid, while others can be soft or more malleable than others. When making custom prototypes, the customer selects the appropriate material. If the customer does not know what material to use, the fabricator can make suggestions with what material to use as well. However, this is the more expensive metal compared to others like aluminum and galvanized steel.
Even if a customer wants to spend less on the material, they need to consider one important fact. If they plan to test the prototype in action, going with a cheaper material could affect the results. This is why customers need to rely on the expertise of reputable prototype companies.
Professional fabricators factor in things like this to ensure they produce a superior prototype while saving the customer money in the long run.
Before creating anything, prototype companies must first get a CNC machine ready to perform. Along with programming tool-paths, which involves preparing the machine and then pulling together the required materials. Two things that take the most time, which equates to higher costs, are programming tool-paths and material removal. A professional fabrication company has ways to make these more affordable.
Many fabricators only use CNC machining for custom prototypes with simple designs. These require less setup time and, therefore, are less expensive. Another time- and cost-saving measure is to reduce the amount of material to remove. Although CNC machining is still a great option for intricate prototypes, it will increase both time and cost.
Another cost driver has to do with tolerances. To save their customers money, the best prototype manufacturing companies suggest using standard tolerances rather than specialized ones.