At Star Rapid, we specialize in the production of high-quality prototypes produced at a great price. With a range of technologies at our disposal, we are the perfect one stop shop for all your prototyping needs. When you’re ready, we also provide low-volume manufacturing of 100,000+ parts. Learn more about the rapid prototyping process below or send your 3D design file to our international team of engineers for a free quote.
What Is Rapid Prototyping?
Our rapid prototyping service is often used to produce a physical sample of a product design. It can be used to evaluate the form, fit and function of a part or to test out new and innovative idea.
Prototypes are often made quickly using cheaper and less robust materials. We produce “rapid” prototypes because many clients need to produce a physical part quickly in order to validate a design or to capture a fleeting sales opportunity.
Benefits Of Making A Prototype
- Show your customers and investors a model of your product
- Demonstrate the appearance, dimensions and features of your product
- Test your design for its suitability
- Save time and money by identifying and reducing design flaws
- Improve and streamline the production process
- Reduce your work load when the time comes to manufacture
- Create multiple versions with different colors, surface textures and finishing processes
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CNC Machined Prototypes
CNC machining is ideal for making rapid prototypes from plastics or metal and which look and feel like production made parts. They are able to achieve tighter tolerances with better surface finishes than other prototyping methods. Our machined prototypes have all the features needed to make a fully functional part, including tapped and threaded holes and precisely flat mating faces.
3D Metal Printed Prototypes
3D metal printing is an advanced, additive manufacturing process for making complex parts with features that cannot be produced by other traditional manufacturing techniques. 3D printed parts are created on a special 3D printing machine layer-by-layer. This unique process lets you add internal features like conformal cooling channels and lattice structures to your product design. Adding these design features can help you to reduce weight while preserving strength. Because the process is completely computer controlled, you are also able to modify features quickly and easily without additional tooling expense, allowing you to test different versions of a prototype fast. Metal 3D printed prototypes can be made in stainless steel, aluminum and titanium.
At Star, we can provide you with our AddSub service. This service involves combing additive and subtractive manufacturing under one roof. By combining additive manufacturing with our subtractive machining and finishing services, you have everything you need to create sophisticated prototypes for all industries including medical and automotive.
SLA & SLS Rapid Prototypes
SLA & SLS are two of the original 3D printing processes. These methods are ideal for making rapid, one-off prototypes in plastic. These prototypes can be used as-is, or to function as master patterns for our vacuum casting process. Like with other 3D additive manufacturing processes, you can add complex internal features that can’t be made using traditional plastic manufacturing.
Polyurethane vacuum casting is a rapid prototyping technique suited for making up to 30 prototypes of a master pattern from a silicone rubber mold. The level of detail and surface finish of the copies is dependent on the quality of the master pattern. You choose the casting compound to match your design idea – hard or soft, colored or clear. We also offer over molding to combine two or more different types of material in a single finished vacuum casting.
Our team of vacuum casting specialists are experts at preparing master samples for casting. Samples can be provided by you or we can make them using our CNC machining service or one of our 3D printing services such as DMLM, SLA or SLS.
Rapid Prototyping To Production
At Star, we offer a low-volume production service where we can provide you with 100,000+ plastic and metal parts. Our low-volume manufacturing options ensure that we can take you through the entire journey from prototype to bridge tooling to low-volume production. Learn more about the benefits of manufacturing in low volumes.
When you speak to our engineers about your prototype ask them for a free quote for production as well so you can get an idea of the savings.