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Rapid Manufacturing System Rapid Prototyping System
envi s ionTEC
There are a wealth of Rapid Prototyping and 3D Printing technologies available, almost all of which use lasers or inkjet heads. The Perfactory® system from envisionTEC is different.
4 Perfactory® Buyers´ Guide Perfactory® Buyers´ Guide - © envisionTEC Germany - V.2008-04-18 envisionTEC GmbH 5
Perfactory® Buyers´ Guide
Introduction to the Perfactory® System
The Perfactory® system builds 3D objects from liquid resin, like stereolithography, but using a projector rather than a laser. This projector is almost identical to those found in high quality presentation and commercial theatre systems, known as Digital Light Processor or ‘DLP®’ projectors. ‘Perfactory®’ is the short form of ‘Personal Factory’ and a registrated trade mark of envisionTEC, Germany. On page 13 you can read in detail how the Perfactory® system works. For now, here’s the simplifi ed version! The Perfactory® system works like a copy station. It builds solid 3D objects by using the DLP® projector to project sequential voxel planes into liquid resin, which then causes the resin to cure from liquid to solid. Each voxel plane made up of tiny Voxels (volume pixels), with dimensions as small as 16 μm x 16 μm x 15 μm in X, Y and Z direction. It’s like building your part from very small Lego blocks! With the Perfactory® system you can choose the
balance between feature resolution and build speed. Dynamic Voxel Thickness gives you control over z build thicknesses from 15 μm to 150 μm and the Projector Optics give you control over X and Y resolution from 16 μm to 68 μm. If your requirement is for a 3D printer which is fl exible, easy-to-use, low cost to buy and run, and which produces parts combining, excellent surface fi nish, and superb detail and accuracy, then you should consider purchasing a Perfactory® system. • • • • • • 6 Perfactory® Buyers´ Guide
Why Choose the Perfactory® System
There are some convincing arguments for choosing the Perfactory® system for your 3D printing application. Very High Quality of Parts The resolution of fi ne detail is unmatched by any other Rapid Prototyping system, regardless of price. The dynamic voxel thickness can be as low as 15 μm. Very High Speed By exposing the whole voxel plane in one go, the system build speed is very fast. This high speed is independent of the number of parts in the build, or their complexity, further improving productivity.
No jets to block. No lasers to fail. Very few moving parts. DLP® technology is proven in over 13,000,000 projectors! The projector bulb lasts up to 1,000 hours of operation. Highly Versatile Wide range of materials, for prototyping, casting, ceramic-fi lled, and more. The biocompatible parts can be post-fi nished if required – fully dense cured resin, suitable for vacuum casting master patterns also, biocompatible parts for direct manufacturing •
• • • • in mass customization applications such as hearing aids and digital dental manufacturing, such as crowns, bridges, and drill guides. Very Low Cost of Ownership No inkjet heads to replace. No expensive lasers to replace. Minimal supports needed. No material wasted during build process. The projector bulb does not costs the world. Very Easy to Use Out of the box and ready to build parts in less than 10 minutes. Easy to change materials, it only takes a few minutes. Straightforward to use – simple to maintain. Predictable build times. Easy-to-install and requires only simple facilities, less than 0.3 m² fl oor space! • • • • • • • • •
Coming to the Right Decision
envisionTEC GmbH 7
Key Application Advantages
Here are the key application advantages of the Perfactory® system: Upside Down Building The inverted build platform improves part quality and speed by eliminating the need for levelling and recoating minimising the need for support structures allowing quick change of materials. minimal material stockage No Laser and No Printhead Jetting The light source is an economical reliable projector light bulb. • •
• • Mask Projection with DLP® Optical Semiconductor Technology Accuracy and resolution beyond Laser technology. High build speeds, regardless of part number or complexity. DMD® chips have a life time of about 6 years, when operating the Perfactory® machine on average for 10 hours a day. DLP® technology development is driven by the consumer industry. Built-in PC and Hard Drive Having an embedded PC allows for reliable data communication. The hard drive can store up to 40 jobs in a queue. Very Few Moving Parts Less wear and tear, and greater reliability Easy to position voxel planes for excellent registration of high detail. • • • • • • •
8 Perfactory® Buyers´ Guide
Different Application Areas
Four main application areas are the Perfactory® systems predestinated for: Jewellery Industry, Hearing Aid Industry, Dental Industry, and Toy Industry. Jewellery Industry envisionTEC Perfactory® is the number one choice for jewellery due to the precision and castable materials offered straight from the machine. Highly detailed fi ligree and accurate settings are routinely produced with little or no adjustment to the machine. The throughput of the machine is proven to be unparalleled in the industry. For instance a set of 15 rings can be produced in a castable material within 5 hours! The accuracy achievable is beyond laser or printing alternative technologies with 15 micron resolution capability as standard. This makes it the perfect choice for micro pave or invisible settings.
Hearing Aid Industry envisionTEC Perfactory® offers a perfect solution for the Hearing Aid Industry with over eight biomedically approved materials to offer with various skin tone colors along with Red, Blue, Clear and Rose clear, for application ranging from Ear Molds to Shells with integrated face plates the Perfactory® DLP® process can supply high quality parts in bespoke materials. The economics of running a perfactory make it the preferred choice for the Hearing Aid Industry with a throughput of over 30 shells every 90 minutes! envisionTEC GmbH 9 Dental Industry The speed, accuracy and choice of materials from the Perfactory® DLP® process makes it an ideal choice for the Dental Industry. Multiple parts can be processed simultaneously on the Perfactory® DLP® process. Up to 80 caps and copings can be produced in under two hours in a castable material compared to being individually produced by hand or CNC. Accuracy from the Perfactory® machine exactly replicates input data resulting in a perfect fi t of parts. A range of materials can also be used with the same machine to produce either wax up components for casting or ceramic fi lled resins that will produce direct manufactured cap, copings, crowns etc. Toy Industry and Animation The requirement of the Toy, Film and Animation Industry is for highly detailed models with good surface fi nish so that models can be used for visual mock ups, photo/fi lm shoots and master patterns for molding. The Perfactory® DLP® process makes it an ideal choice for this industry as the surface fi nish of models from the machine means little or no hand fi nishing of the parts are required, which is essential on free form textured models.
10 Perfactory® Buyers´ Guide
Materials for the Perfactory® System
There is a growing range of materials available for the Perfactory® systems. As material developments are ongoing please contact us with your requirements to get the most up-to-date information. However
the summary below gives an idea of the variety of materials which can be easily and quickly swapped in and out of the Perfactory®. envisionTEC PIC 100/300 Series The envisionTEC PIC 100/300 series is developed for investment casting, mostly for jewellery and dental markets. It provides highest quality details without sacrifi cing on toughness and ease of handling. While there are other wax-based materials out there used in model making, they tend to be far more brittle and harder to handle and fi nish when compared to the models built on the Perfactory® systems using the PIC 100 resin. Image building, e.g. up to 40 rings with different designs in less than eight hours, that is the speed of Perfactory® with envisionTEC PIC 100. envisionTEC R 05 and R 11 The envisionTEC R 05 and envisionTEC R 11 are
liquid, photoactive resins that produce robust, accurate, and functional parts. The material offers superior chemical resistance, a wide processing latitude, and excellent tolerance to a broad temperature and humidity range during and after build. Parts created from envisionTEC R 05 and envisionTEC R 11 exhibit superior fatigue properties, strong memory retention, and high quality up-facing and down-facing surfaces. It also offers a good balance of properties between rigidity and functionality. envisionTEC R 05 and envisionTEC R 11 are used for general prototyping, visualisation and vacuum casting master patterns. envisionTEC e-Shell 200/300 Series The envisionTEC e-Shell series is a durable, opaque skin tone colored resin for use in Perfactory® and Perfactory Xede / Xtreme® systems. It is developed for adoption in Hearing Aids and otoplastics.
The parts are CE certifi ed for use as hearing aid products and Class-IIa biocompatible according to
Materials - Everything is Possible...
envisionTEC GmbH 11 ISO 10993 (Medical Product Law). The material is available in different skin tone colors such as pink, tan, mocca, beige (envisionTEC e-Shell 200 series) and water clear, rosé clear, red and blue (envisionTEC e-Shell 300 series). envisionTEC eShell series mimics traditional engineering plastic ABS, which makes it usable in many other nonhearingaid applications.
envisionTEC RC 25 (NanoCure)
The envisionTEC RC 25 is a ceramic fi lled resin for use in Perfactory® and PerfactoryXede / Xtreme® systems. Parts created with envisionTEC RC 25 have an opaque peach color appearance. It is developed for applications requiring good temperature resistance, toughness, and stiffness, e.g. automotive components, pump housings, wind tunnel test parts, pump impellers, light refl ectors, injection molds, hard chrome plating. envisionTEC SI 500 The envisionTEC SI 500 is a high-speed, liquid resin that produces fl exible, high-impact-strength, and accurate parts using Perfactory® systems. envisionTEC SI 500 has a wide processing latitude and excellent tolerance to a wide temperature and humidity range during and after build. This material is especially useful in functional applications where extreme fl exibility and impactstrength are critical requirements, e.g. automobile panels, electronic enclosures, medical products, snap-fi t parts, packaging, and plastic bottles.
Materials - Everything is Possible...
12 Perfactory® Buyers´ Guide
Choosing the Right Perfactory® Model
The Perfactory® consists of two main models, the Perfactory® Standard and the Perfactory® Mini Multi Lens system. Both models look identical from the outside and share many common components. The difference is in the optics and in the size of usable build envelope. Perfactory® Standard The Perfactory® Standard system with ERM fi tted with a zoom lens, this model is capable of making the largest parts. The build envelope can vary from 120 x 90 x 230 mm to 190 x 142 x 230 mm (XYZ direction) with a dynamic voxel thickness from 25 μm to 150 μm and a build speed up to 20 mm per hour. Perfactory® Mini Multi Lens The Perfactory® Mini Multi Lens system with ERM is available with a choice of 3 lenses, this model is ideal for making the fi nest detailed models. The build envelope varies according to the selected lens (45 mm x 34 mm to 84 mm x 63 mm), as does the Voxel resolution in x and y direction. Lens f=60 mm
30 μm Pixel, XY: 84 mm x 63 mm with ERM Lens f=75 mm 21 μm Pixel, XY: 59 mm x 44 mm with ERM Lens f=85 mm 16 μm Pixel, XY: 44 mm x 33 mm with ERM Dynamic Voxel thickness is from 15 μm to 50 μm with a build speeds up to 15 mm per hour. There are other models available, including custom versions. Please ask if you feel that your application is not served by the Perfactory® Standard or Perfactory® Mini Multi Lens. • • •
You Have the Choice – It´s Quite Easy!
Unrivalled Feature Resolution
Using different focal length optics on the output of the projector means we can vary the detail resolution in X and Y direction. Perfactory® is the only 3D printing system with this ability, and it means you can build parts with feature sizes less than to 20 μm. It‘s even possible to have a special adaptation which can increase resolution to around 10 μm. envisionTEC GmbH 13
You Have the Choice – It´s Quite Easy!
The Perfactory® Desktop System is designed to support Rapid Prototyping and Direct Manufacturing with a low cost, high resolution solution. Based on the principle of Photopolymerisation the Perfactory® Desktop System creates three dimensional resin models through a patented Digital Light Processing System. Utilizing a built in Ethernet® interface the Perfactory® Desktop machine can easily connect directly to a PC workstation or be integrated into a network. The Perfactory® Desktop has an embedded PC, which allows the system to work independently from the pre-processing workstation. The Perfactory® Desktop can be remotely
monitored from any computer on the network using the communication software from the Perfactory® Software Suite. Any STL data format can be easily imported using the Perfactory® Software Suite. 14 Perfactory® Buyers´ Guide
The PerfactoryXede® and PerfactoryXtreme® three dimensional Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing systems allow for the production of exceptionally large 3D parts at fast build speeds without sacrifi cing surface quality and part accuracy. Using state of the art Digital Light Processing technology from Texas Instruments®, a series of Voxel Planes is projected from the projector curing the photopolymer into a solid object where the image is projected and consequently producing a highly crisp and detailed accurate part. The continuous layerless Z build on the PerfactoryXede® and PerfactoryXtreme® eliminates the part layering that is visible in other competing layer based Rapid Prototyping technologies. The PerfactoryXede® and PerfactoryXtreme® create three dimensional models that range from conceptual to the fully functional using many photopolymer based materials which are like ABS, Polypropylene, and Glass fi lled Nylon parts. Photopolymer materials fi lled with Aluminum Oxide, Zirconium Oxide, Silicon Oxide, and Paraffi n Wax are also available for use on the new Perfactory® machines. The PerfactoryXede® / PerfactoryXtreme® System can connect directly to a PC workstation or integrated into a network where pre-processed job fi les can be transferred. The System has a stand alone PC, which allows the system to work independently from the pre-processing workstation. It can be remotely monitored from any computer on the network using the communication software that is integrated into the Perfactory® Software Suite. Any STL data format can be easily converted into Voxel Planes using the Perfactory® Software Suite and then imported into the Perfactory® System to be built. The build envelope size ranges from 304 x 228 x 381 mm with the PerfactoryXtreme® to 508 x 337 x 457 mm with the PerfactoryXede®. You can reach a continuous producing velocity of up to 25 mm per hour in Z directon at a Voxel depth of 50 μm.
You Have the Choice – It´s Quite Easy!
envisionTEC GmbH 15
The Perfactory® Layout H ow the Perfactory® System Works
Like most 3D printing systems the input data for the Perfactory® is usually in STL format. The STL fi le is imported into our own proprietary software which prepares the build and then creates a series of voxel planes, which contain individual voxels known as volumetric pixels varying in thickness for each single exposure from 15 μm to 150 μm. The voxel planes are sent to the Perfactory® machine via an ethernet link, either direct from a PC, or on a network. The Perfactory® has its own hard disk, which can store up to 40 jobs in the queue. The voxel planes are sequentially projected into the liquid resin using a DLP® projector, at the heart of which is a DMD® (Digital Micromirror Device). The light cures the liquid based photopolymer, turning it into a solid, and as each Voxel Matrix (projected image with pixels with different gray scale values) is projected one after the other, a complete 3Dimensional part is created.
Some Technical Details – If You Like...
3D CAD Model Voxel Cube 3D Solid Model
16 Perfactory® Buyers´ Guide Standard Mode Enhanced Resolution Mode The Digital Micromirror Device (DMD®) has been developed by Texas Instruments® for high quality digital projection. You will fi nd it in the heart of all Digital Light Processing (DLP®) projectors, such as you may use for business, or for cinema. It consists of around 1.5 million individual mirrors, each mounted on tiny hinges and can be individually controlled. The current resolution of the DMD® is called SXGA+, and it has an array of mirrors 1400 x 1050. Each mirror shown in the following pictures is only of size 13 μm!
You can fi nd out more about the DLP® process and its benefi ts at www.dlp.com.
Cutting-Edge Technologies Included
DMD® and DLP® – Heart of all Perfactory® Systems Enhanced Resolution Module – ERM
To further improve surface fi nish and accuracy, most Perfactory® systems are supplied with ERM. For each voxel built there are two exposures, shifted by half a pixel, which halves the native resolution of the system. For instance a Perfactory® system with a native resolution of 64 μm will build with a resolution of only 32 μm when using ERM. This provides excellent surface fi nish, reduces pixilation effect, and maintains accuracy to the intent of the 3D CAD design. envisionTEC GmbH 17
What the Perfactory® Costs to Run
Buying the envisionTEC Perfactory® Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Manufacturing system is one thing. But what are the running expenses? Less than maybe expected.
The Perfactory® uses only 110 V/240 V single phase electricity, about 5.5 A/2.7 A, so is low cost to operate. For operation it does not require any gases, air-conditioning, compressed air or water. It can be operated in most offi ce and workshop environments.
The main consumables used by the Perfactory® are the projector light bulb, the basements (trays for the resin) and the resin. Projector light bulbs last up to 1,000 hours and can be fi tted by the operator, so do not need for an engineer visit. This makes it a low investment to keep multiple materials in stock. Resins typically have a shelf life of up to 12 months when kept in the bottle.
All new Perfactory® systems come with a 12 months parts and labour warranty. Within the warranty period it is possible to purchase a comprehensive maintenance contract but this is purely optional as the Perfactory® needs little or no maintenance under normal operation. This contract covers all parts and labour. All customers under maintenance are entitled to unlimited telephone and e-mail support. Alternatively you may buy an
annual software and fi rmware upgrade, as well as phone and Internet support service agreement.
We trust this short document has provided you with an overview of why the Perfactory® system is the acknowledged market leader for creating 3D physical models with high accuracy, high detail and excellent surface fi nish. We would be pleased to discuss your application in more detail, and guide you through choosing the right combination of hardware, software and materials. We are always pleased to build benchmark parts, free-of-charge, to demonstrate the Perfactory® capabilities. Please do not hesitate to get in contact with us if you require any further assistance. Your envisionTEC Team!
Finally – It Does Not Cost the World
18 Perfactory® Buyers´ Guide
Brüsseler Straße 51 D-45968 Gladbeck ● Germany Phone +49 2043 98 75-0 Fax +49 2043 98 75-99
www.envisiontec.com ● email@example.com
is the name given to a host of related technologies that are used to fabricate physical objects directly from CAD data sources. These methods are unique in that they add and bond materials in layers to form objects. Such systems are also known by the names additive fabrication, three dimensional printing, solid freeform fabrication and layered manufacturing. They offer advantages in many applications compared to classical subtractive fabrication methods such as milling or turning: Objects can be formed with any geometric complexity or intricacy without the need for elaborate machine setup or final assembly; Objects can be made from multiple materials, or as composites, or materials can even be varied in a controlled fashion at any location in an object; Additive fabrication systems reduce the construction of complex objects to a manageable, straightforward, and relatively fast process. These properties have resulted in their wide use as a way to reduce time to market in manufacturing. Today's systems are heavily used by engineers to better understand and communicate their product designs as well as to make rapid tooling to manufacture those products. Surgeons, architects, artists and individuals from many other disciplines also routinely use the technology. The names of specific processes themselves are also often used as synonyms for the entire field of rapid prototyping.
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Among these are stereolithography (SLA for stereolithography apparatus), selective laser sintering (SLS), fused deposition modeling (FDM), laminated object manufacturing (LOM), inkjet-based systems and three dimensional printing (3DP). Each of these technologies - and the many other rapid prototyping processes - has its singular strengths and weaknesses.
Stratasys Rapid Prototyping Upgrades Increase Speed and Capacity; FDM Titan gets 54% Speed-up; FDM Vantage gets 150% Build Volume Increase
MINNEAPOLIS--Nov. 2, 20036, 2003-- Rapid prototyping system maker, Stratasys, announced significant upgrades for its T-Class platform. The FDM Titan's(TM) build speed will increase by 54 percent on average, and the FDM Vantage(TM) will receive an optional build volume increase of 150 percent and a doubling of its modeling material capacity. The FDM Titan upgrade will be previewed December 3 - 6 at Frankfurt's annual Euromould show by Alphacam, Stratasys' German distributor. The Alphacam stand is in Hall 8.0, stand number L11 / M10. Upgrade kits will be available to equipment users in mid-December.
FDM TITAN UPGRADE: The FDM Titan upgrade will improve build speeds for all three supported materials - ABS, PPSF (Polyphenylsulfone), and PC (Polycarbonate). Model resolution is maintained even though the speed has increased. The amount of speed improvement depends on a number of factors, including material type, layer thickness, model geometry, model size, and support style. Not every combination of factors will result in a significant speed improvement. The larger the model size or layer thickness, the greater the speed improvement. Based on a multi-part suite of 12 to 18 parts built at a layer thickness of 0.010 inch (0.254 mm), the average build-speed increase for ABS, PPSF, and PC are 50, 30, and 55 percent respectively. The speed increases can reach as high as 125 percent with an overall average of 54 percent. "In most cases, the Titan's build speed exceeds that of our fastest machine, the FDM Maxum," says product manager Patrick Robb, "And the part quality remains high." The speed-improvement upgrade will become a standard feature on new Titans shipped beginning mid December. FDM VANTAGE UPGRADE: The larger build chamber available for the FDM Vantage has a volume 150 percent greater than the existing one, allowing users to create larger prototypes. The chamber upgrade measures 16 x 14 x 16 in. (406.4 X 355.6 X 406.4 mm) compared with the existing chamber size of 14 x 10 x 10 in (355.6 x 254 x 254 mm). The upgraded canister bay will house two additional material canisters: one for modeling material (ABS or PC) and one for support material. When the first material canister is empty, an auto-changeover function will load the second canister and continue the build process automatically. This allows users to leave the machine unattended for long periods of time, unlike some rapid prototyping processes, which require ongoing attention. The FDM Vantage was designed to allow this and future upgrades, such as new materials, which allow the machine to grow in capability as the user's needs expand, extending the life of the product and protecting the user's investment. The upgrade package will remain an optional purchase and will not become a standard feature on new systems shipped. Both Titan and Vantage upgrades will require a field service visit to install new hardware and software. System users should contact their local sales representative for more details and pricing. The FDM Titan and FDM Vantage are built on what the company calls its T-Class highperformance platform, which allows the use of high-temperature, high-performance engineering thermoplastics. Like all Stratasys FDM systems the T-Class machines require no special facilities or venting and involve no hazardous materials or by-products. Stratasys Inc, Minneapolis, manufactured 31% of all rapid prototyping systems installed worldwide last year, the highest percentage of any manufacturer, according to Wohlers Report 2003. The company patented the rapid prototyping process known as fused deposition modeling (FDM(R)). The process creates solid models directly from 3D CAD files using ABS plastic, polycarbonate, PPSF or other materials. Stratasys manufactures rapid prototyping systems for OEMs such as aerospace, automotive, defense, consumer, and medical product makers. This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Introduction of new products and materials are subject to timely completion of development and timely manufacture, and the success of new products is subject to their operation in the field as well as customer acceptance. Other risks are detailed from time to time in the Company's SEC Reports, including the report on Form 10-Q for March 31, June 30, and Sept. 30, 2003 and Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2002. FDM Vantage, is a trademark, and Stratasys is a registered trademark, of Stratasys, Inc.
Stratasys Rapid Prototyping System Used in Brandeis University's Evolution Project
19 October 2000 Stratasys Rapid Prototyping System Used in Brandeis University's Evolution Project MINNEAPOLIS--Oct. 18, 2000--Stratasys announced that its rapid prototyping system was used by Brandeis University scientists when they recently programmed a computer to follow the laws of evolution and design a basic robot. After the program allowed the robot design to evolve through 600 design generations, the computer sent the fittest design to the Stratasys Genisys 3D Printer, a rapid prototyping system, which built the 3-dimensional structure from the computer's design file, requiring no tooling or human intervention. The successful automated evolution and construction project is a giant leap for artificial intelligence. About Stratasys: Founded in 1989, Stratasys is a manufacturer of rapid prototyping devices for industrial-, consumer-, and medical-product OEMs. The company's patented Fused Deposition Modeling process creates solid models directly from 3D CAD files using ABS plastic, wax, elastomer, or polyester compound. For the last three years combined, Stratasys shipped more RP systems than any other manufacturer.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search For other uses, see Prototype (disambiguation). This article's introduction section may not adequately summarize its contents. To comply with Wikipedia's lead section guidelines, please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of the article's key points. (October
A prototype is an original type, form, or instance of something serving as a typical example, basis, or standard for other things of the same category. The word derives from the Greek πρωτότυπον (prototypon), "primitive form", neutral of πρωτότυπος (prototypos), "original, primitive", from πρῶτος (protos), "first" and τύπος (typos), "impression".
• • • • • • • • • • • • •
1 Semantics 2 Basic prototype categories 3 Differences between a prototype and a production design 4 Characteristics and limitations of prototypes 5 Modern trends 6 Mechanical and electrical engineering 7 Electronics prototyping 8 Computer programming/computer science 9 Prototype, software prototyping and alpha software 10 Scale modeling 11 Metrology 12 Pathology 13 Advantages and disadvantages o 13.1 Advantages of prototyping o 13.2 Disadvantages of prototyping 14 See also 15 References
In semantics, prototypes or proto instances combine the most representative attributes of a category. Prototypes are typical instances of a category that serve as benchmarks against which the surrounding, less representative instances are categorized (see Prototype Theory). In many fields, there is great uncertainty as to whether a new design will actually do what is desired. New designs often have unexpected problems. A prototype is often used as part of the product design process to allow engineers and designers the ability to explore design alternatives, test theories and confirm performance prior to starting production of a new product. Engineers use their experience to tailor the prototype according to the specific unknowns still present in the intended design. For example, some prototypes are used to confirm and verify consumer interest in a proposed design whereas other prototypes will attempt to verify the performance or suitability of a specific design approach.
In general, an iterative series of prototypes will be designed, constructed and tested as the final design emerges and is prepared for production. With rare exceptions, multiple iterations of prototypes are used to progressively refine the design. A common strategy is to design, test, evaluate and then modify the design based on analysis of the prototype. In many products it is common to assign the prototype iterations Greek letters. For example, a first iteration prototype may be called an "Alpha" prototype. Often this iteration is not expected to perform as intended and some amount of failures or issues are anticipated. Subsequent prototyping iterations (Beta, Gamma, etc.) will be expected to resolve issues and perform closer to the final production intent. In many product development organizations, prototyping specialists are employed individuals with specialized skills and training in general fabrication techniques that can help bridge between theoretical designs and the fabrication of prototypes.
 Basic prototype categories
There is no general agreement on what constitutes a "prototype" and the word is often used interchangeably with the word "model" which can cause confusion. In general, “prototypes” fall into four basic categories: Proof-of-Principle Prototype (Model) (also called a breadboard). This type of prototype is used to test some aspect of the intended design without attempting to exactly simulate the visual appearance, choice of materials or intended manufacturing process. Such prototypes can be used to “prove” out a potential design approach such as range of motion, mechanics, sensors, architecture, etc. These types of models are often used to identify which design options will not work, or where further development and testing is necessary. Form Study Prototype (Model). This type of prototype will allow designers to explore the basic size, look and feel of a product without simulating the actual function or exact visual appearance of the product. They can help assess ergonomic factors and provide insight into visual aspects of the product's final form. Form Study Prototypes are often hand-carved or machined models from easily sculpted, inexpensive materials (e.g., urethane foam), without representing the intended color, finish, or texture. Due to the materials used, these models are intended for internal decision making and are generally not durable enough or suitable for use by representative users or consumers. Visual Prototype (Model) will capture the intended design aesthetic and simulate the appearance, color and surface textures of the intended product but will not actually embody the function(s) of the final product. These models will be suitable for use in market research, executive reviews and approval, packaging mock-ups, and photo shoots for sales literature. Functional Prototype (Model) (also called a working prototype) will, to the greatest extent practical, attempt to simulate the final design, aesthetics, materials and
functionality of the intended design. The functional prototype may be reduced in size (scaled down) in order to reduce costs. The construction of a fully working full-scale prototype and the ultimate test of concept, is the engineers' final check for design flaws and allows last-minute improvements to be made before larger production runs are ordered.
 Differences between a prototype and a production design
In general, prototypes will differ from the final production variant in three fundamental ways: Materials. Production materials may require manufacturing processes involving higher capital costs than what is practical for prototyping. Instead, engineers or prototyping specialists will attempt to substitute materials with properties that simulate the intended final material. Processes. Often expensive and time consuming unique tooling is required to fabricate a custom design. Prototypes will often compromise by using more flexible processes. Lower fidelity. Final production designs often require extensive effort to capture high volume manufacturing detail. Such detail is generally unwarranted for prototypes as some refinement to the design is to be expected. Often prototypes are built using very limited engineering detail as compared to final production intent.
 Characteristics and limitations of prototypes
Engineers and prototyping specialists seek to understand the limitations of prototypes to exactly simulate the characteristics of their intended design. A degree of skill and experience is necessary to effectively use prototyping as a design verification tool. It is important to realize that by their very definition, prototypes will represent some compromise from the final production design. Due to differences in materials, processes and design fidelity, it is possible that a prototype may fail to perform acceptably whereas the production design may have been sound. A counter-intuitive idea is that prototypes may actually perform acceptably whereas the production design may be flawed since prototyping materials and processes may occasionally outperform their production counterparts. In general, it can be expected that individual prototype costs will be substantially greater than the final production costs due to inefficiencies in materials and processes. Prototypes are also used to revise the design for the purposes of reducing costs through optimization and refinement.
It is possible to use prototype testing to reduce the risk that a design may not perform acceptably, however prototypes generally cannot eliminate all risk. There are pragmatic and practical limitations to the ability of a prototype to match the intended final performance of the product and some allowances and engineering judgement are often required before moving forward with a production design. Building the full design is often expensive and can be time-consuming, especially when repeated several times—building the full design, figuring out what the problems are and how to solve them, then building another full design. As an alternative, "rapidprototyping" or "rapid application development" techniques are used for the initial prototypes, which implement part, but not all, of the complete design. This allows designers and manufacturers to rapidly and inexpensively test the parts of the design that are most likely to have problems, solve those problems, and then build the full design. This counter-intuitive idea —that the quickest way to build something is, first to build something else— is shared by scaffolding and the telescope rule.
 Modern trends
With the recent advances in computer modeling it is becoming practical to eliminate the creation of a physical prototype (except possibly at greatly reduced scales for promotional purposes), instead modeling all aspects of the final product as a computer model. An example of such a development can be seen in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, in which the first full sized physical realization is made on the series production line. Computer modeling is now being extensively used in automotive design, both for form (in the styling and aerodynamics of the vehicle) and in function — especially for improving vehicle crashworthiness and in weight reduction to improve mileage.
 Mechanical and electrical engineering
A prototype of the Polish economy hatchback car Beskid 106 designed in the 1980s. Main article: rapid prototyping The most common use of the word prototype is a functional, although experimental, version of a non-military machine (e.g., automobiles, domestic appliances, consumer electronics) whose designers would like to have built by mass production means, as
opposed to a mockup, which is an inert representation of a machine's appearance, often made of some non-durable substance. An electronics designer often builds the first prototype from breadboard or stripboard or perfboard, typically using "DIP" packages. However, more and more often the first functional prototype is built on a "prototype PCB" almost identical to the production PCB, as PCB manufacturing prices fall and as many components are not available in DIP packages, but only available in SMT packages optimized for placing on a PCB. Builders of military machines and aviation prefer the terms "experimental" and "service test".
 Electronics prototyping
In electronics, prototyping means building an actual circuit to a theoretical design to verify that it works, and to provide a physical platform for debugging it if it does not. The prototype is often constructed using techniques such as wire wrap or using veroboard or breadboard, that create an electrically correct circuit, but one that is not physically identical to the final product. Open-source tools exist to document electronic prototypes (especially the breadboardbased ones) and move forward toward production such as Fritzing and Arduino. A technician can build a prototype (and make additions and modifications) much quicker with these techniques —however, it is much faster and usually cheaper to mass produce custom printed circuit boards than these other kinds of prototype boards. This is for the same reasons that writing a poem is fastest by hand for one or two, but faster by printing press if you need several thousand copies. The proliferation of quick-turn pcb fab companies and quick-turn pcb assembly houses has enabled the concepts of rapid prototyping to be applied to electronic circuit design. It is now possible, even with the smallest passive components and largest fine-pitch packages, to have boards fabbed and parts assembled in a matter of days.
 Computer programming/computer science
This section's factual accuracy is disputed. Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page. (May 2008) Main article: Software prototyping In many programming languages, a function prototype is the declaration of a subroutine or function. (This term is rather C/C++-specific; other terms for this notion are signature, type and interface.) In prototype-based programming (a form of object-oriented
 Prototype, software prototyping and alpha software
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Many argue over the fact that prototype software and alpha software is not the same things, due to the fact that they more or less are the same thing. The only differences between them are in general that prototype software is referred to as alpha software since the word and the meaning of the word prototype is in general used when one is talking about a physical showreel, or in some cases a simulation whereas the cost of making a
full scale or a random size scale of the concept that was initially introduced in the start of the project. For further more clarification on the subject of what a prototype is we can look at this comparisons since every project has different stages as to what or where they are in development.(take in consideration that these might not be 100% accurate)
Hardware *Concept *Proof of Concept that the theory behind Software Explanation *Concept *Idea *Proof of Concept *Possible ways to show the concept is functional. May not even work at all, but just show whether or not it is possible to create. *Prototype *Alpha *First version of product meant for showreels and testing purposes ONLY. Also here it might not work as a program or unit, but it is to give the visual presentation of a possibly real product. *Work In Progress *Work In Progress *Several different stages of development. *??? *Beta *As for Beta, it is used for software that is almost complete, but still needs some fixing and is often done by feed back from a random selection of people(or you can sign up for as a beta tester), but in general a testing product that is to be treated as NOT DONE. (no data on equal term for Hardware) *??? *Release Candidate *More commonly known of and used by Microsoft under development of new Operating System (ex. Windows Longhorn, Vista, Blackcombe, Seven) to show the masses that the product is within the last stages before it is released as "Finale Product". Known to have been several RC's. (Look up Windows ME and comparisons to Windows Vista on unfinished and rushed OS's.) *Final Product *Final Product *Product that has been tested both within closed test groups and open test groups. May still contain a few small issues, but in general it is a complete working product that will work as it is made for, for the majority of the users. If the issues gradually become an increasing problem measures like "patches" and "bug fixes" are created for software products, and "repair", "swaps" and/or "recall and destruction" of hardware is set in motion to save the reputation of the companies.
But remember that new, updated versions of the products may also be distributed, ex. videogames will get bug fixes and possibly extra content which will be packed as a new, same, but "fixed" product, under a slightly different name like "Game of the Year" or
"Special Edition"(not to be confused with an eventual "Special Edition" that may have been released when the game first launched, containing extra stuff from or for the game as promotion), and hardware might be modified and released under the name of the company that modifies it. Like Shelby is to Mustang, AMG is to Mercedes and Top Secret is to other cars. This is just a more commonly used way of the word prototype(as to not being software), but in general alpha and prototype is the same thing. Nowadays, the difference between Software Prototype and Alpha versions increase when the prototypes are built with an Agile prototyping tool and the final software is developed with any coding language.
 Scale modeling
In the field of scale modeling (which includes model railroading, vehicle modeling, airplane modeling, military modeling, etc.), a prototype is the real-world basis or source for a scale model—such as the real EMD GP38-2 locomotive—which is the prototype of Athearn's (among other manufacturers) locomotive model. Technically, any non-living object can serve as a prototype for a model, including structures, equipment, and appliances, and so on, but generally prototypes have come to mean full-size real-world vehicles including automobiles (the prototype 1957 Chevy has spawned many models), military equipment (such as M4 Shermans, a favorite among US Military modelers), railroad equipment, motor trucks, motorcim a doodie facenes, and space-ships (realworld such as Apollo/Saturn Vs, or the ISS). There is debate whether 'fictional' or imaginary items can be considered prototypes (such as Star Wars or Star Trek starships, since the feature ships themselves are models or CGI-artifacts); however, humans and other living items are never called prototypes, even when they are the basis for models and dolls (especially - action figures). As of 2005, conventional rapid prototype machines cost around £25,000.
In the science and practice of metrology, a prototype is a human-made object that is used as the standard of measurement of some physical quantity to base all measurement of that physical quantity against. Sometimes this standard object is called an artifact. In the International System of Units (SI), the only prototype remaining in current use is the International Prototype Kilogram, a solid platinum-iridium cylinder kept at the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures (International Bureau of Weights and Measures) in Sèvres France (a suburb of Paris) that by definition is the mass of exactly one kilogram. Copies of this prototype are fashioned and issued to many nations to represent the national standard of the kilogram and are periodically compared to the Paris prototype.
Until 1960, the meter was defined by a platinum-iridium prototype bar with two scratch marks on it (that were, by definition, spaced apart by one meter), the International Prototype Metre, and in 1983 the meter was redefined to be the distance in free space covered by light in 1/299,792,458 of a second (thus defining the speed of light to be 299,792,458 meters per second). It is widely believed that the kilogram prototype standard will be replaced by a definition of the kilogram that will define another physical constant (likely either Planck's constant or the elementary charge) to a defined constant, thus obviating the need for the prototype and removing the possibility of the prototype (and thus the standard and definition of the kilogram) changing very slightly over the years because of loss or gain of atoms.
In pathology, prototype refers to a disease, virus, etc which sets a good example for the whole category. For example, the vaccina virus is regarded as the virus prototype of poxviridae.
 Advantages and disadvantages
 Advantages of prototyping
• • • • • • • • • • •
May provide the proof of concept necessary to attract funding Early visibility of the prototype gives users an idea of what the final system looks like Encourages active participation among users and producer Enables a higher output for user Cost effective (Development costs reduced) Increases system development speed Assists to identify any problems with the efficacy of earlier design, requirements analysis and coding activities Helps to refine the potential risks associated with the delivery of the system being developed Various aspects can be tested and quicker feedback can be got from the user Helps to deliver the product in quality easily User interaction available in during development cycle of prototype
 Disadvantages of prototyping
• • • • •
Producer might produce a system inadequate for overall organization needs User can get too involved whereas the program can not be to a high standard Structure of system can be damaged since many changes could be made Producer might get too attached to it (might cause legal involvement)[verification needed] Not suitable for large applications
Over long periods, can cause loss in consumer interest and subsequent cancellation due to a lack of a market (for commercial products)
 See also
• • • • • • • • • • • •
Archetype Boilerplate (rocketry) Car design Mock-up Modello Pilot (experiment) Proof of concept Fpga prototype Rapid prototyping Rapid Application Development Software Prototyping Show car Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Prototype Look up prototype in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
1. ^ Online Etymology Dictionary 2. ^ List of Agile Prototyping tools Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prototype" Categories: Industrial design | Production and manufacturing | Greek loanwords