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Are Prototypes Good for the Budget?

Tim Plunkett (Managing Director of Formation Engineering Services Ltd, a Rapid Prototyping bureau specializing in the production of Stereolithography (SLA) resin models. Mr Plunkett can be contacted at Formation Engineering Services Ltd, Unit A3, Spinnaker House, Hempsted, Gloucestershire, GL2 6JA, UK. Tel: 0452 380 336; Fax: 0452 380 497.)

World Class Design to Manufacture

ISSN: 1352-3074

Article publication date: 1 August 1994



As concurrent engineering helps to reduce project lead times, tools are also required to control risk. Centres on a case study of a telephone, ultimately for British Telecom that was developed during 1993. Stereolithography and rapid prototyping were accessed via Formation Engineering on a bureau basis to provide a dramatic reduction in the product development cycle while simultaneously reducing risk. The justification for prototyping being sustainable on time, risk or financial grounds. It is, however, usually the economics debate that rages for longest as the justification of prototypes is frequently sought within the design phase and not the project as a whole. Incorporating loss of profits due to delayed sales will introduce at least an order of magnitude difference, making the real decision a “no brainer”.



Plunkett, T. (1994), "Are Prototypes Good for the Budget?", World Class Design to Manufacture, Vol. 1 No. 4, pp. 21-23.




Copyright © 1994, MCB UP Limited