On-Demand Manufacturing: How To Choose The Right Manufacturing Process

On-demand manufacturing or Manufacturing on Demand is a rather new concept in the custom manufacturing world. This concept brings about dramatic changes to how engineers and buyers interact with their suppliers.

The rapid evolution of cloud-based platforms and technologies completely changes the landscape in the manufacturing space. In doing so, the potential to eliminate delayed quotes and improve efficiency increases. Products can get to market a lot faster, and the visibility for orders in the supply chain improves significantly. 

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How to Choose the Right Manufacturing Process for Your Custom Parts?

Prototype CNC machining projects these days require greater customization, faster turnaround times, and reduced waste. On-demand manufacturing has provided the answer to all of these. 

There are several manufacturing processes associated with on-demand manufacturing. These processes make it a lot easier to get your idea to the market as fast as possible. However, it is important to consider certain factors to choose the right process for your product. The following factors will help you make the right choices when selecting a manufacturing process:

Parts Geometry

The sizes and shapes of a part is a determinant of prototypes manufacturing. Always have it at the back of your mind that the physical properties matter to customers. The way a product feels and looks is most important. The manufacturing method has a deciding influence on how customers access prototypes. CNC machined prototypes feel much different and more high quality than others.

Most times, the prototype market requires smaller differences from the spacecraft and marine industries. For smaller, tiny, and average-sized parts, closed moldings are advisable, while open molding is suitable for huge structures. In addition, the shape of a part necessitates the production technique used. For instance, filament bending or curving is the most appropriate method for manufacturing pressure containers and cylindrical forms.

Material 

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Prototype manufacturing engineers possess numerous choices when it comes to using raw materials. Also, there are diverse processes and methods of fabricating the parts. A number of materials are formed only with specific manufacturing methods. For instance, lost wax or sand casting will be the ideal method of making parts out of iron. Other methods like die casting are considered inappropriate. This is because of the high temperature required to turn these metals into pure liquid form.

Function

The intention of the product must be put into consideration whenever you want to choose a manufacturing process. A product intended for use in high-wear demand applications will require a different procedure that needs less intense application. Also, the conditions of the environment to deploy the product will also determine the manufacturing process to choose for such a product.

Application Scenario

Automation has been introduced to manufacturing procedures and CNC machining to amplify production. This helps to improve the statistics of productivity as well as the efficiency of resources. It is quite essential to decide if to subscribe to the option of human labor or machine use. 

Tolerance, Quantity, and Cost 

There are usually two major costs involved in the production process of CNC machined parts. These are parts cost and tools cost. Parts cost comes to light when parts are manufactured, while the cost of the tools is the amount used in creating mold. An increase in the tools’ cost ultimately results in a decrease in parts cost. 

Generally, the tolerance of parts and the quantity produced affect the overall cost of production. Therefore, you should analyze the given costs, then choose a manufacturing method with the best capabilities. It could be injection molding for bulk volume plastic parts or CNC machining for high-tolerance parts. 

Using Rapid Prototyping to Evaluate Manufacturing Process

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Rapid prototyping basically deals with improving the standards of a prototype or part. In this aspect, manufacturers get to test prototypes with users and stakeholders. This way, all errors or faults are immediately detected and corrected.

The main aim of rapid prototyping is to fetch effective recommendations and early reports. With this, manufacturers make amendments to meet the needs of customers. Rapid prototyping is quite useful at all stages of the product invention process. Here are some of the prevalent use instances: 

Validating New Innovations 

Prototypes are commonly ideal ways of deciding how parts add value to interested customers. Through this, solutions are created on how to meet customers’ needs.

Market Certification

Rapid prototyping serves as a priceless tool for product-market authentication. Through this means, users have the privilege to witness or behold what a product is. Likewise, users get to familiarize themselves with the usability of this product. This way, a product gets better market recognition. 

Determining How a Product Fits into Market

Giving out prototypes to potential customers is a great way to amass priceless feedback. Also, you get to examine the product-market fit for your product. Doing this grants you the opportunity to assess how a product meets the needs of the intended audience. The tendency of increase in sales can also be predicted.

Tips for Making Rapid Prototyping a Part of Your Manufacturing Process

There are some of the best routines to adhere to in order to get the best rapid prototyping. This aspect showcases these routines and how to put them to good use. 

Make It as Quick as Possible

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Rapid prototyping, as its name implies, requires a faster process of manufacturing. Do not waste too much time trying to build the perfect version of the prototype. The main objective is to actualize your ideas and test them through all the users available. 

Examine Prototype with Real Users

Getting the right set of people to test the prototype is highly important. This is because the best set of people to test the prototype are users who have requested a product. Better still, those who match the standard of the target buyers or users. 

Get the Stakeholders Involved

Rapid prototyping is beneficial to different group members across the board. Numerous feedbacks from tests can serve as a useful source for views or introspection of the prototype. Likewise, it can fetch you valid recommendations on the product decision-making process when all stakeholders are gathered. 

Final Thoughts

As on-demand manufacturing continues to grow in popularity, it becomes more important for product teams to choose the best manufacturing partner. This guide provides you with tips for choosing the right manufacturing process. Following these tips along with working with the right prototyping partner will get your product to market within a short period while reducing cost. 

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