Prototype Levels & Their Descriptions
Models and Prototypes
During the development process, models and prototypes may be required to evaluate design, engineering, and manufacturing concepts. These developmental aids range from the very simple concept models to extremely complex working prototypes, and may be accomplished with or without associated tooling, depending on the application.
Used for styling and/or ergonomic evaluations. Styling Models are frequently generated in conjunction with the product definition portion of the program. They may or may not incorporate mechanical components. Typically styling models are made with clay, wood, plastic, or rapid prototyping to ‘represent’ a concept.
These models are normally developed in support of product design and development to test and evaluate the fit and function. Typically these prototypes are made via rapid prototyping or fabrication.
Usually produced at the end of product design, in advance of production manufacturing. These prototypes represent the finished product in both appearance and operation. Demonstration models are often generated via rapid prototyping then a secondary prototyping process, such as molding from rubber molds or foundry castings from a rapid pattern.
Process Validation Models
Process Validation Models are initiated during product design and process engineering tasks to validate the viability of product design, as related to manufacturing processes. Typically tooling is needed that is relevant to the production process in order to validate the final manufacturing process and how it relates to the product's design.
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