Our biggest design tool is
SolidWorks. It allows us to build dimensionally accurate computer models. Not
only are we able to model individual parts, but we can assemble multiple parts
to show how they will move, check for interferences,
and give clients
good idea of what to expect. Images taken from SolidWorks
models are great for proposals and preliminary reports. SolidWorks also has
add-ons that allow for more in depth design features such as stress analysis,
motion, and CNC code generation.
Prototyping and testing
Prototyping is the process of creating a model usually as a preliminary step to mass production. It is a single step in the iterative design process. RAPIDLab has several prototyping methods including, 3D printing, manual machining, and CNC machining. 3D printing is a method of prototyping that builds a part up layer by layer into its final shape, while machining is the method of removing material from stock material until the final shape is achieved. Once prototypes have been created, testing can be done to check their dimensional accuracy and functionality.