Functional prototyping before mass production are helpful to compress your time and cost in bringing new products to market, perfectly matching your design and accurately representing your end-product's form, fit and function.

Createproto focus on building excellent functional prototypes - no matter how challenging your project is, we always have a solution for you.

Test Your Design for Form Fit & Function

What Is Functional Prototype?

As your design progresses, you'll need to get working prototypes quickly with internal features for component form fit check and functional tests, which help evaluate design, materials, strength, tolerances, assembly, working mechanisms, and manufacturability.

Functional prototypes can help prove and perfect your design in rigorous testing scenarios. With prototypes made of engineering-grade materials in a range of alternative technologies, you can reveal how your product performs before market production.

In fact, building functional or working prototypes is indispensable and should be considered as a necessary phase during the New Product Introduction (NPI) process. It is often viewed as an “Insurance Policy” before committing to expensive mass production runs.

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The Functional Prototypes That Match Final Products

  • Using the same material as the final product, realistically simulate the mechanical function, chemical resistance, thermal properties of the end use product.
  • Creating a more complex prototype of working mechanisms to check form and fit, and ensuring that all parts fit within an assembly.
  • Creating high-precision functional prototypes to measure, compare, or check design errors, dimensional differences and tolerances acceptable.
  • Functional optical prototypes support photometric development engineering testing, including optical transmission, refractive index and transmittance, etc.
  • Using add-inserts, live hinges, or overmolds to mimic the functionality of the product and combining these simulations into a functional prototype that runs like a final product.
  • Building functional prototypes is also a great way to quickly test the surface finish, texture and feel of different materials on your final product.

Reap the Rewards from a Functional Prototype

Prior to mass production, it is important to create functional prototypes to ensure that your design meets your expectations, manufacturability and industry standards.

  • Test design iterations and correct your product’s performance.
  • Refine and perfect your product so you can move to full production with confidence.
  • Communicate ideas to stakeholders quickly; prove the value of a concept to potential investors and customers.
  • Let any issues to be discovered and corrected well before committing to costly production tooling.
  • Ensure the feasibility of project manufacturing; make your product go to market faster at affordable price.
  • Keep your intellectual property in house.
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Utilizing the Right Prototyping Technology to Simulate Production

With All Our Power to Ensure the Success of Your Project

CreateProto utilizes a wide range of technologies and materials combined with traditional process to create accurate and detailed functional prototypes. At CreateProto, we offer a range of product development solutions to help designers, engineers and manufacturers develop and evaluate new products quickly, economically and at low risk.

With advanced rapid prototyping technology, we can turn your design into reality in just a few days. You'll get professional advice that best suits your needs, whether it is in testing form, fit and function prototypes, or just as a starting point for any of our downstream manufacturing services. This will help to get superior performance data in your functional tests and bring certification confidence.

As a specialized prototype manufacturer, CreateProto has focused on prototyping production for a long time and gets great reputation on the functional parts. We can provide you with satisfying prototypes manufactured with most suitable way no matter for CNC machining, vacuum casting or rapid tooling in aluminum molds.

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CNC Machining

CNC machining is typically used to manufacturing functional prototypes and production parts, necessary for products development and engineering. It is a process of "reductive manufacturing", adopting programmable and automated machine tools to manufacture a piece of metal or plastic by removing material with milling, turning or grinding controlled by a computer. This traditional method produces superior strength and surface finish than any other prototyping technologies.

CNC machining offers a wide range of engineering-grade material selection, allowing the working prototype to have the desired material properties while also ensuring optimal dimensional tolerances. So, this is the best way to test the prototype of form fit and function.

Urethane Vacuum Casting

Vacuum casting is typically used for the functional prototypes production with small series (10 to 50 copies). Generally, molds are made from silicone rubber and use a CNC or SLA part as a master pattern. These molds duplicate details and textures and give consistent finishes from one part to the next.

A range of polyurethanes with different physical properties enables the prototypes in functional testing under different conditions including mechanical load, thermal load and other reliability tests. You can also get production-like results including colors, finishes, textures and soft feel. It is faster in creating custom and complex small batch production parts than with traditional molds and injection molding, and it will improve your efficiency in developing.

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Rapid Tooling in Aluminum Molds

Rapid aluminum tooling is a fast and cost-effective method of plastic molding; it can not only manufacture hundreds of functional test prototypes close to the final product, but also provide on-demand production of end-use parts for low-volume manufacturing.

Rapid injection molding provides a better choice for those clients needing low volume test parts. At the same time, it will be able to bridge the gap between prototype and production, get your functional and form-fit tests done quicker, allow you to show potential consumers a definitive finished product, and let any issues to be discovered and corrected well before them transferred to manufacturing.

Rapid tooling is often far more cost effective than a production mold due to faster in building and shorter cycle time, so iterative design changes are usually less expensive.