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Create Your Own Prototypes For Almost Nothing

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Action Mike

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Cool, great tips. I love the idea of 3D printing and want to try it out. Another idea if you are short on cash is look for a co-opt or some club in your area that might have a lot of this equipment setup and you just provide the file or use their equipment to design and make a prototype.

My area has a "hacker" lounge with a ton of this stuff that you can use for almost nothing.
 

nitrousflame

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I would tend to consider myself an engineer at heart, so I enjoyed your write-up and know I would also love spending the time to learn the various CAD and rendering software available, and eventually end up making my own prints via buying and setting up my own 3D printer.

HOWEVER...

I also know that unless I had a running track record of churning new products via a similar method, I'm likely better off hiring out that whole process and focusing on the actual business side of things. Let me explain with an example of a product that I ended up not following through with.

I found a 3D printed miniature barbell and weight set on etsy that was selling for $25 and the print quality/resolution was not great, so I thought it'd be cool to add value to the concept by designing my own version but with the intention of turning it into a realistic and finished product by using machined and injection molded parts.

I initially started out by trying to learn a CAD program and then importing the model into Blender to get a photo-realistic render so that I could make a quick test site and run some traffic to it to see if it converted before actually making any product. After all, isn't this why we want to make prototypes in the first place?

I quickly realized that I was spending much too much time on learning the ins and outs of the various software programs, so I decided to hire it out. I went on fiverr and hired a designer. Two days and $20 later I had a full on CAD model with a few photo-realistic renders of my product idea.

jwlwqqO.png

mr3VLzp.png


I was able to get a sale for the item based on those photos alone, so I decided to take it a step further and test out the physical dimensions before sending off any RFQs to potential manufacturers, so naturally I wanted to get some 3D prints. I ended up using Shapeways - 3D Printing Service and Marketplace to get my 3D printed sample. They have tons of options for print material, color, resolution, finish, etc. -- much more than I would have had at my disposal if I was using my own 3D printer. Anyway, about a week and $50 later and I had my prototype.

GSyFfax.jpg


In the end, I spent ~$70 and got great photos and a 3D printed prototype comprised of both plastic and metal all for less expense in both time and money than it would have been doing it myself. Instead, I used the time I saved to learn about setting up shopify and ad campaigns.

Again, your mileage may vary, and of course if you end up doing lots of products it might end up being cheaper to get your own setup eventually, but I'd argue that if you're just starting off that it's actually better, faster and cheaper to hire it out at first.
 
G

Guest92dX

Guest
Does 3D printing work for chemical products or products that need to be assembled.

For example, could I 3D print a microwave?

Also, how about jewelry with findings.

Can I 3D print a soft drink?

Let's say I want to make a natural drink. Can I print that? I've heard you can 3D print food.

Making manufactured drinks isn't as simple as mixing ingredients, which is why I'm asking if I can create mini manufacturing setups for this stuff.

Are there any economies of scale on food devices?

The whole industry is so new and there's not a ton of good information out there without knowing how to read technical documents.
 

evlttwin

It's A Long Way To The Top....
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Feb 13, 2013
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Does 3D printing work for chemical products or products that need to be assembled.

For example, could I 3D print a microwave?

Also, how about jewelry with findings.

Can I 3D print a soft drink?

Let's say I want to make a natural drink. Can I print that? I've heard you can 3D print food.

Making manufactured drinks isn't as simple as mixing ingredients, which is why I'm asking if I can create mini manufacturing setups for this stuff.

Are there any economies of scale on food devices?

The whole industry is so new and there's not a ton of good information out there without knowing how to read technical documents.

3D Printing microwaves, soft drinks, and food is not economically feasible. We already have MUCH easier ways of manufacturing these types of products for a much cheaper cost.

I think my original post was meant as more of a "lean startup" type of product development. 3D food is way beyond my scope of understanding. :)
 

Marigold

Bronze Contributor
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Nov 15, 2018
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Glasgow & Malaga
I would tend to consider myself an engineer at heart, so I enjoyed your write-up and know I would also love spending the time to learn the various CAD and rendering software available, and eventually end up making my own prints via buying and setting up my own 3D printer.

HOWEVER...

I also know that unless I had a running track record of churning new products via a similar method, I'm likely better off hiring out that whole process and focusing on the actual business side of things. Let me explain with an example of a product that I ended up not following through with.

I found a 3D printed miniature barbell and weight set on etsy that was selling for $25 and the print quality/resolution was not great, so I thought it'd be cool to add value to the concept by designing my own version but with the intention of turning it into a realistic and finished product by using machined and injection molded parts.

I initially started out by trying to learn a CAD program and then importing the model into Blender to get a photo-realistic render so that I could make a quick test site and run some traffic to it to see if it converted before actually making any product. After all, isn't this why we want to make prototypes in the first place?

I quickly realized that I was spending much too much time on learning the ins and outs of the various software programs, so I decided to hire it out. I went on fiverr and hired a designer. Two days and $20 later I had a full on CAD model with a few photo-realistic renders of my product idea.

jwlwqqO.png

mr3VLzp.png


I was able to get a sale for the item based on those photos alone, so I decided to take it a step further and test out the physical dimensions before sending off any RFQs to potential manufacturers, so naturally I wanted to get some 3D prints. I ended up using Shapeways - 3D Printing Service and Marketplace to get my 3D printed sample. They have tons of options for print material, color, resolution, finish, etc. -- much more than I would have had at my disposal if I was using my own 3D printer. Anyway, about a week and $50 later and I had my prototype.

GSyFfax.jpg


In the end, I spent ~$70 and got great photos and a 3D printed prototype comprised of both plastic and metal all for less expense in both time and money than it would have been doing it myself. Instead, I used the time I saved to learn about setting up shopify and ad campaigns.

Again, your mileage may vary, and of course if you end up doing lots of products it might end up being cheaper to get your own setup eventually, but I'd argue that if you're just starting off that it's actually better, faster and cheaper to hire it out at first.

Those are fantastic. Can I ask if you remember the Fiverr name of the guy/girl who produced them?
 

nitrousflame

Silver Contributor
FASTLANE INSIDER
Read Millionaire Fastlane
I've Read UNSCRIPTED
Speedway Pass
Aug 7, 2012
390
737
296
35
Minneapolis, MN
Those are fantastic. Can I ask if you remember the Fiverr name of the guy/girl who produced them?

My apologies for the delayed reply, I was traveling all last week. Anyway, I sent you a PM with the fiverr username of the designer that I used. Hope it helps.
 

Fastlane Liam

Silver Contributor
Read Millionaire Fastlane
Speedway Pass
Feb 10, 2018
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United Kingdom
I would tend to consider myself an engineer at heart, so I enjoyed your write-up and know I would also love spending the time to learn the various CAD and rendering software available, and eventually end up making my own prints via buying and setting up my own 3D printer.

HOWEVER...

I also know that unless I had a running track record of churning new products via a similar method, I'm likely better off hiring out that whole process and focusing on the actual business side of things. Let me explain with an example of a product that I ended up not following through with.

I found a 3D printed miniature barbell and weight set on etsy that was selling for $25 and the print quality/resolution was not great, so I thought it'd be cool to add value to the concept by designing my own version but with the intention of turning it into a realistic and finished product by using machined and injection molded parts.

I initially started out by trying to learn a CAD program and then importing the model into Blender to get a photo-realistic render so that I could make a quick test site and run some traffic to it to see if it converted before actually making any product. After all, isn't this why we want to make prototypes in the first place?

I quickly realized that I was spending much too much time on learning the ins and outs of the various software programs, so I decided to hire it out. I went on fiverr and hired a designer. Two days and $20 later I had a full on CAD model with a few photo-realistic renders of my product idea.

jwlwqqO.png

mr3VLzp.png


I was able to get a sale for the item based on those photos alone, so I decided to take it a step further and test out the physical dimensions before sending off any RFQs to potential manufacturers, so naturally I wanted to get some 3D prints. I ended up using Shapeways - 3D Printing Service and Marketplace to get my 3D printed sample. They have tons of options for print material, color, resolution, finish, etc. -- much more than I would have had at my disposal if I was using my own 3D printer. Anyway, about a week and $50 later and I had my prototype.

GSyFfax.jpg


In the end, I spent ~$70 and got great photos and a 3D printed prototype comprised of both plastic and metal all for less expense in both time and money than it would have been doing it myself. Instead, I used the time I saved to learn about setting up shopify and ad campaigns.

Again, your mileage may vary, and of course if you end up doing lots of products it might end up being cheaper to get your own setup eventually, but I'd argue that if you're just starting off that it's actually better, faster and cheaper to hire it out at first.
This is such a smart idea, nice
 

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