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3d Printing & Rapid Prototyping: Are They The Same?

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By Author: eliyana desuza
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For example, both rapid prototyping (RP) and 3D printing technologies build models layer by layer from STL data. But there are still some differences.

● Rapid prototype services Auburn is the technical term for this kind of additive manufacturing process.

● 3D printing is the colloquial term for the same so that many people can grasp this technology easily.

● A not so accurate yet commonly perceived difference between Rapid Prototyping and 3D printing is that Rapid Prototyping is industrial level and 3D printing is consumer-level additive manufacturing technology.

● 3D printing is a manufacturing process like milling and turning.
Its also known as additive manufacturing because you are adding successive layers of material instead of removing material like milling and turning. Just be aware that is not the same process for creating a 3D model for 3D printing as for milling or turning.

● Rapid prototype services Auburn is a method to quickly create a scale model of a part or finished product, using computer-aided design (CAD) software. The manufacturing of the part is mainly done with 3D printing or additive layer manufacturing technology.

● The drawback of 3D printers is that these printers are less accurate. Also, the material choices are highly limited at the moment. But going forward, this is bound to change.

Please note that the difference stated above is generally perceived differently. In actual terms, both rapid prototyping and 3D printing mean the same. In fact, rapid prototyping is the actual term and 3D printing is the most commonly used term.

Key benefits of using rapid prototyping with 3D printing


With a 3D printer, you can obtain a full-scale model in days, while it would take weeks to provide a 3D version of your file with traditional methods. This allows your team to do more revisions in less time and reach the production phase faster. Rapid prototyping helps you discover design mistakes in the earliest stages of development.


3D printing enables the creation of models to visualize your concepts which you can use as functional prototypes to be able to make cost-efficient real-world predictions. Traditional prototyping methods mean high production costs for manual work or the use of expensive machines to produce your models. BigRep 3D printers allow you to test and evaluate your ideas and create mock-ups at a fraction of the costs of traditional methods.


Having a physical model can communicate concepts, no virtual visualization or 2d image can match. With post-processing, your object can look like the final product and even mimic texture and weight. Present your ideas in a form your customers and collaborators can easily understand and relate to so you get the feedback you need to adapt and improve your design with 3d printing services auburn CA.

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