No matter how far advanced CAD technologies are, a physically tangible prototype remains indispensable in product development. It is the only way of arriving at a precise assessment of ergonomic and aesthetic aspects or technological innovation.
Polygon manufactures everything needed to support development in-house – from design models and functional models, also ergonomic models, through to prototypes identical to the downstream series products.
There are barely any restrictions on size and material when it comes to building prototypes. Everything is possible, from a toothbrush to a machine system:
Design models permit assessment of exterior form, capacity, proportions, surfaces and colours. For instance, they might come as models with uncoated surfaces, cut into shape using modelling foam or wood, used to assess capacity or proportions, or finished models for brochure or catalogue photos that are virtually indistinguishable from the finished series product.
Functional models are used to assess a certain operating principle or engineering idea. It is not always necessary for their form to be identical to the finished product. They could be mere mechanical models or models containing electronic components.
Ergonomic models are the interface between human beings and the product. They are used to check all relevant movement sequences and whether, for instance, wheelchair users can also operate the product or whether the input and output elements are positioned sensibly. The dimensions of handles, grips or switches can also be tested.
Prototypes are made from components largely identical to their series counterparts and possess all the properties of the future product. All technical components are installed, and the surfaces and colours are also identical to the series version, enabling a detailed assessment of the product as a whole. The final touches to series production can be added, based on the prototype.
We are firm believers in using state-of-the-art rapid prototyping. Stereolithography, CNC cutters, laser sintering or other laser technologies can be used to meet the specific requirements. We also use our own 3D printer – which operates based on the extrusion process FDM (fused deposition modelling) – to manufacture ABS plastic components quickly and flexibly. This is the finishing touch to the services offered in our modelling workshop.