As 3D printing becomes more accessible and affordable, more companies are turning to 3D printing for prototypes early in the concept design stage as a cost-effective way to identify issues virtual prototypes might miss with products you hold or wear such as steering wheels, cellphones, or in TheAlloy’s case, headphones.
The design process has been trending toward 3D design tools for some time with the rise of3D modelingin CAD. It offers many benefits to design teams, the most noticeable being time saved.
When you consider the number of handheld products requiring tactile feedback, which continue to grow exponentially since the advent of touchscreen environments, it only makes sense that product developers need to know how a product feels before it goes to market. What better way to do that than with a 3D printed model? It's more cost effective than creating a working prototype, and it offers physical feedback you can’t get from a virtual simulation.
Paul Brown, Siemens’ NX product marketing director, commented on this very topic in the Design News articleEarly Concepting: The Design Before the Design. Read the full article to learn more about the future of product design with 3D printing!