Mechanical and electronic prototyping

The prototyping phase consists in validating all of the functionalities defined in the product specifications. The mechanical and electronic prototypes are functional elements made jointly by the mechanical and electronic engineering services to present a unique prototype to our customers.

3D prototyping, or rapid prototyping, has three major advantages: a short time-frame, a low cost and the possibility to achieve geometrical complexity.

Rapid prototyping to gain industrial designing time

The purpose of rapid prototyping is to quickly make parts or products to reduce product development time. It means that prototypes can be made without having to use expensive tools and it does away with their production time. Lastly, machines which work by adding material are able to make extremely complex shapes.

3D printing tools at PDCi

The mechanical engineering services of PDCi Altyor Group were among the very first design offices in France to buy 3D printers. The in-house prototyping strategy offers PDCi customers total confidentiality of their projects and enables PDCi to be extremely reactive.

From the moment the first 3D printer (Objet 30, with 28-micron precision) was purchased in 2011, the teams used it immediately and fully in their projects. With this process, we can present to our customers a prototype of the product with a finish and appearance identical to the final product.

3D prints can be made from the start of industrial design to analyse and remove any risks as the project advances, thus helping to optimise the industrial design phase. Each element of industrial design can be tested without waiting for the major prototyping steps. This therefore secures the industrial design choices. PDCi can also explore different concepts of the product during the industrial design phase in order to choose the most suitable solution.

In 2014, a Makerbot Z18 machine joined the PDCi machines. It is used to obtain large parts thanks to its large capacity and has very good mechanical properties and allows for quick responsiveness. It is very useful for testing an object's mechanical elements, excluding aesthetics, or for making parts internally.

Engineers and technicians in the mechanical engineering department of PDCi are always on the look-out for new 3D printing possibilities and assiduously carry out technical monitoring to always meet their customers' expectations optimally.

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