Rapid Prototyping: Current And Future Uses In The Construction Industry

Rapid prototyping has been around for over thirty years now, but it is just beginning to breach into the realm of the construction industry. Many have yet to even consider the multitude of advantages that this form of prototyping has to offer, such as increasing efficiency and gaining a competitive edge.

In a nutshell, rapid prototyping allows a company to take their concept from the computer screen to real life application in fast succession. It allows for quick changes in the troubleshooting phase, and remains more cost efficient than other manufacturing methods.

In the realm of construction, what used to take weeks in developing a new innovation, this prototyping process only takes a few days. Here’s what CNC machining services from 3ERP and other companies are doing, and will do, for this labor-intensive industry.

Crunching the Numbers

The main advantage of speed is a reduced cost. Time is money, and time spent paying a team of in-house designers is a lot of money. Even if you could find cheaper labor at $50 an hour, a team of five would cost you $250 per hour. That’s aside from the cost of materials, space for them to work, and allowing for trial and error.

In a single day, labor alone turns into a $2,000 expense. That adds up to $10,000 per five day work week and $40,000 every month. Supposing it only takes three months to accomplish your design goals and see your part through to completion, you’ve just spent a whopping $120,000 in development.

Cutting that time down with rapid prototyping to a mere few days stands to save you over one-hundred grand in production costs. Time is also saved on testing prototypes through greater depth that would otherwise be near impossible, saving you months to years of time.

Current Implications

Companies using rapid prototyping have a sharp competitive edge in the industry. Their ability to create more effective and operable prototypes allows them to craft a finished product that can’t be beat. The time saved also allows them test thoroughly, creating things like safer bridges and supports.

Problem solving is as simple as creating a new apparatus. Instead of shelling out funds above budget for new equipment, those with a rapid prototyping machine can simply create their own. Community development is made easier through 3D models, monitoring your research and development is made possible by cloud computing compatibility, and everything from windows to doors can be crafted at half the cost.

Future Uses

As technology expands, so do the possibilities of what rapid prototyping can do in the construction industry. Based on current implication, build that originally took six months and $600,000 are now being reduced to half the cost and time. With a now 30-year standing, this form of machining can only improve from here.

More materials are readily used in a rapid prototyping machine every year, which could lead to even more savings and increased overhead by cutting out the outsourcing necessary to complete a project.

As technology makes its way into physical sectors like construction, expanding the abilities of prototyping machines becomes more and more a reality. There may come a day when automated machines are able to be quickly crafted and implemented, or that attachments which expand their uses could save valuable resources on the job while making builds safer.

Jumping on Board

Companies are quickly looking into the current and future uses of rapid prototyping. Jumping on board comes with the benefit of saving transitional cost later. It makes more sense to purchase a current model and upgrade as time goes on than to front the cost of a future, more expensive machine.