Product Prototyping & Production

Creating a tangible product using prototyping can support product analysis and testing, marketing and investment and create proof of concept before production.

We can make prototypes and models in a range of materials using Additive Manufacturing (3D printing), including polymers and metals.

Product prototyping & production with 3M BIC

Prototyping is a critical part of the product design and development process. An effective prototype will enable you to verify that your product will meet the expectations established during your initial planning phases, highlight any unforeseen issues and demonstrate the value of future production.

At 3M BIC, we use cutting edge additive manufacturing technology to ensure your prototype is produced quickly and to the highest standard. You’ll get a quality prototype that reflects the nature of the final product, allowing for simple analysis and improvement.

Discover how to create a product prototype here.

Product prototyping

Product prototyping is part of an iterative development process, used to create a working example or scale model of a new product in order to consider options for improvement, fit or for gauging customer response.

Below are the types of product prototyping we can produce at the 3M BIC:

  • Proof of concept components
  • Working/functional parts
  • Visualising and marketing models
  • Low-cost demonstration models

Evaluating prototypes is an important part of the product development stage as it allows businesses to conduct in situ/on-site testing, functional viability assessment, material wear or non-destructive testing (NDT). Find out more about our Product Analysis capabilities.

Product prototyping in different materials

We can make product prototypes and models using Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing) in a range of materials, depending on the purpose of the product and budget.

Our materials include the following:

  • Metal for high strength and non-corrosive applications
  • Durable Polymer for rapid/working prototypes
  • Resin Polymer base for high surface quality and visual
Learn about different materials for 3D printing here.

Additive manufacturing / 3D printing

Additive manufacturing (AM) is the industrial name for 3D printing, where an object is manufactured by successively adding layers and fusing them together to form a solid 3D object.

Used in conjunction with Computer-Aided Design (CAD) technology, additive manufacturing can be used to create parts, components, and prototypes in a range of materials including polymer plastics, resins, metals and even some mixed materials.  

The possibilities of additive manufacturing are endless and continue to evolve.

Our additive manufacturing (3D printing) capabilities include:

  • Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)
  • Selective Laser Melting (SLM)
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  • Material Jetting

Explore our additive manufacturing/ 3D printing capabilities and how they can be used here.

Product Prototyping & Production FAQS

The cost of additive manufacturing/ 3D printing depends on several factors:

  • AM process used
  • Material used
  • Volume of part
  • Post processing requirements

We will always work with you to ensure we are competitively priced to deliver your specification.

We offer free consultations to help you determine if your part is suitable for 3D printing. If you are able to send an STL (or similar) CAD file, we can also let you know if the part can be 3D printed. If the part isn’t suitable for printing, we can advise on how it can be redesigned or modified to print more readily.

Our product designer will be able to help you take your idea through the design process to create a digital drawing using Computer Aided Design (CAD), and if required turn it into a model, prototype or finished product.

We can give bespoke advice about the best process for your part, and the most suitable material to deliver your specification.

Apart from Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) all our additive manufacturing (3D printing) technologies require the part to be supported during the building process. Where and how the part is supported will depend on the intended use of the final part and the process itself. Supports will need to be removed in the post processing phase, and may leave some evidence on the finished object, like sprues in casting or injection moulding.

Book a Tour

Come and join the 3M BIC Team to explore our pioneering technology, high-spec meeting rooms and an array of office space.

You will get the chance to explore our high-spec meeting spaces that are fully equipped with the latest AV Technology, State of the art labs and our available office space.