These terms are thrown around pretty interchangeably in the 3D prototyping world. Not by the technicians of course, but when a client isn’t positive about how our process works, they sometimes, by no fault of their own, mistake one for the other. We’re here to set the record straight.
Rapid prototyping is the correct terminology for what we do. The phrase “three-dimensional” in our 3D Prototyping label merely highlights the fact that our prototypes are real working models and that they exist in the third dimension. The phrase “Rapid Prototyping” is the broad but technical term for the creation of a model or prototype utilizing an additive process such as SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) and Computer Aided Designs (CAD) .
SLA (also known as Stereolithography) is a form of rapid prototyping that uses its own process and materials in order to create your prototype. Stereolithography is a process the utilizes resin materials, so you’ll find that this isn’t a technique that will give you a prototype that’s as durable or as functional as the products produced by 3D Prototype and SLS nylon parts.
3D Printing is another common misnomer for Rapid Prototyping. 3D printing services are a new and similar technology to 3D prototyping, but like SLA, it’s merely a specific type of Rapid Prototyping that utilizes a specific technology to create a model. By learning the various names and common misconceptions behind Rapid Prototyping, you can make it far easier to understand exactly what you need, as well as the type of Rapid Prototyping that will best serve you.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]