Prototyping is the lynchpin that links product development and commercialization. It’s always a heart-stopping moment when the physical prototype of a product is seen and touched for the first time.
Outsourcing a prototype shop can help ensure that the best of the best is selected for an assignment. As a Kansas City, Missouri-based company, R2FACT has built a wide network of prototyping service providers across Missouri and Kansas, benefitting our KCMO and Metro customers with high quality, cost-effective prototypes – functional samples honed true to the spirit of the finished product.
Much thought and legwork goes into building a comprehensive database of prototypers. There are all the prototype processes to consider: CNC lathe and machining, laser and water jet, sheet metal and tube forming, and of course the most well-known: 3D printing, also called rapid prototyping. These rapid methods include SLA, SLS, FDM and cast urethane to name just a few. The many factors that affect prototyper shop selection include availability, lead-time and price, references, examples of prior work, and site visits. R2FACT has literally assembled a mini-library on each of the nearly 200 shops in metro Kansas City, Missouri for our working database.
Ultimately, R2FACT takes responsibility for QC’ing the part(s) to verify that our CAD design is precise and assembling the prototype into a seamless whole if it arrives in separate pieces. At times this process can be quite complex. For an elegant pet bed for cats and small dogs, no less than 5 parts had to be assembled: blow-molded plastic, bent steel powder-coated tubing, micro suede fabric cover, steel wired waterproof framework, and foam pad. The R2FACT team put it all together into an irresistibly stylish consumer product.
Knowing which shops to work with to meet budget and schedule as well as their true expertise and capabilities leads to delivery of the high quality working prototype we place in our customers’ hands. The “wow” factor of the physical sample is the necessary razzle-dazzle realization of a convincing conceptual idea.