Digital fabrication refers to the process of designing and fabricating objects using computer-aided design (CAD) files. The process can be used to manufacture prototypes and small batches of parts using cheap materials, in-house, without wasting time and resources on the final product.

With rapid prototyping, product developers can test a new product’s design, usability, and feasibility. It is an essential step that helps companies understand customer needs, the state of the market, and other factors that may affect the success or failure of a product.

In addition to reducing the need for warehouses and inventory, digital fabrication facilitates the production of small quantities, which allows companies to save money. Using outside vendors is no longer necessary and will save companies time and money.

These factors are what motivate the usage of digital fabrication in fields like engineering, industry, robotics, and art, among others. There are more options than ever to speed up product development, have more flexibility throughout the design phase, and save money as more businesses move to digital fabrication for product development.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three (3) Popular Digital Fabrication Techniques

It is only recently that digital fabrication technologies have started to see wider adoption due to cheaper, more user-friendly machines and software, as well as an increase in demand for these technologies. The three most popular digital fabrication techniques are 3D printing, laser cutting, and CNC (computer numerical control) milling.

Use Case for Digital Fabrication

In the eBook found below, Accelerating Product Development with 3D Printing and Cloud-Native CAD, three companies share how they can achieve quicker prototyping processes and agile workflow with the integration of digital fabrication methods.

Sam Holland of Informal, an engineering collective, has implemented digital fabrication techniques into his design workflow. Using inexpensive plastic printing in the earlier stages speeds up the prototyping process considerably compared to traditional manufacturing methods.

“If I have an error in an injection-moulded plastic part, it can take between three weeks and a month and a half to fix the issue in the moulds,” Holland said. “But if I have 3D-printed parts before that and assemble them, I can catch the problem within a day or two. So every issue you find with the 3D prints could theoretically save you a month later on.” Holland adds that making quick 3D prints of his projects also helps him rethink his CAD models in the earliest stages.

Digital Fabrication and CAD

Product development, which had once been a long and tedious process, is now becoming more streamlined than ever. With digital fabrication practices, companies can now begin the product development process in-house instead of outsourcing it to other companies. The combination of cloud-native CAD and 3D printing is already enabling amazing innovations and speed-to-market for forward-thinking product companies.

Download your free copy today to explore “Accelerating Product Development with 3D Printing and Cloud-Native CAD – Additive-First” and “Cloud-First” strategies for transforming your organization!