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Prototyping is the process of testing out new idea by creating an introductory model from which other models are created or copied, and it is one of the most common uses for breadboards. If someone is not sure how a circuit will work under a given set of parameters, it is best to build a prototype and test it out.
The main idea of Rapid Prototyping is to build an actual circuit to a theoretical design to verify that it works, and to provide a physical platform for debugging it if it does not. Multiple techniques are use to perform prototype like bread board. The construction of PCB prototype is base on current requirements and gives function of actual circuit.
For college and university students PCB prototypes are best place to start learning electronics and circuits. The PCB prototype is usually not complete circuits and many of the details are not available in the prototype. The goal is to provide a circuit with overall functionality.
Rapid Prototyping is also known as Desktop prototyping takes advantage of computer technology to turn designs into three dimensional objects. It is a process by which a computer program, CAD (computer aided design), creates 3-D preliminary designs before finalizing a final product. This is very fast and sample circuits comes in working condition in hours and can be debugged easily.
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Rapid Prototyping & its Types
Rapid prototyping has quicker turnaround time than any other type of prototyping. It offers product designers a more expeditious way to create, calculate and recalibrate samples of a product. Moreover, Rapid prototyping has more precise calculations. Calculations that used to measure by hand and instruments, are now measure with the accuracy and efficiency of computer-aided design. So which make it less likely that final prototypes will be flawed.
There are different types of rapid prototyping techniques, most common are that use metals, thermoplastics, and photopolymers to gradually build the prototype, layer by layer, from beginning to end. Selective laser sintering (SLS) is one of the most popular rapid prototyping techniques that utilize a high-power carbon dioxide laser to fuse plastic, ceramic, or glass powder into the finished model. The laser runs in a pattern that exactly mimics a CAD model stored in the machine’s computer controller. It changes the powder into a solid body as it goes. Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) is a similar process that uses metal powders.
Stereo lithography is another perfect technique that uses an ultraviolet (UV) laser. The laser moves through a tank of photopolymer resin formulated to cure, or harden, when exposed to UV light. As the laser traces the shape stored in the CAD file, the resin solidifies, progressively building up the prototype model.
One of the recent development in rapid prototype is three-dimensional (3D) printing process, which involves a inkjet-type printer. The printer lays successive layers of powdered resin and binders down to progressively build the desired shape.
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