Functional Prototyping using 3D printing, fabrication and “off the shelf” parts is usually the best for building and developing real life functioning prototypes. Don’t underestimate the importance of a “Functional Prototype”. Don’t try to cut corners by skipping the functional prototype stage and moving forward without having shown yourself and others how your product functions. As they say; a picture is worth a thousand words and a functional physical prototype will help convey your seriousness and professionalism about your new product or invention.
Now that we can easily 3D Print complex components, you can avail additively manufactured functional prototypes.
These models simulate the look and function of production parts before you invest in mass production tooling. By doing so, one can save days, weeks and even months rather than wait for a machine shop to fabricate a functional prototype via more conventional methods.