Has Pre-Production Exposed Your Prototype's Hidden Problems?

9th Oct 2023
by Sam Brown

Making Leap From Prototype To Production

Machined turned parts in crates

In the world of CNC machining, prototypes serve as invaluable stepping stones in the journey toward full-scale production.

 

They should offer a glimpse into the potential of a product, allowing engineers and manufacturers to fine-tune designs and functionalities.

 

However, moving a project from the prototype stage through to full-scale production isn’t always the easy final step you might imagine.

 

It can be a significant leap over a surprisingly wide gap.

 

Got Prototype Problems? Download Our Free Guide To Changing Suppliers

 

The prototype problem

Here’s a typical scenario, maybe it sounds familiar: your prototype is complete, and you feel like most of the hard work is behind you.

Machined component - from prototype

Now it’s just a matter of getting a machining company to churn out some pre-production examples or a first run. Just ‘press the button’ and everything will be fine.

There’s just one problem…everything isn’t fine.

Your pre-production/first batch components haven’t turned out as well as your optimistic prototype suggested they would.

You need to know what went wrong, and fast.

 

How did your prototype evolve?

Maybe you had to do a bit of filing and fettling to get your prototype to work.

Perhaps a few tweaks to ensure a perfect geometric fit.

Did you change your mind about the material grade along the way?

Have you correctly specified the tolerances? And what about the surface finish?

Things change but did you update your drawings to reflect those changes?

Technical-drawings-tolerances

If not, your unknowing machining company may have been working from outdated and inaccurate drawings.

Our experienced engineers get many calls and emails from frustrated design engineers who are in exactly this situation.

They need help to fix the problem quickly to avoid costly delays to their project.


Getting expert help 

Bottoming out a problematic prototype usually means asking fundamental questions about the product; what is it for, where will it be used, and why have particular materials been specified?

Perhaps you’re experiencing issues with the finishing, maybe it’s mating components not fitting together correctly, or something else.

Whatever issues you’re experiencing, you may need to bring in machining specialists to help you overcome your prototype-to-production hurdles. Here’s how…

3d modelling review

Download Your Free Guide To Changing CNC Machining Suppliers

Finding the right CNC machining company can be difficult and time-consuming. We’ve created this free download to help guide you through the process. It covers:

  • what to look for in your new CNC machining suppliers
  • traditional methods of sourcing suppliers – and why they don’t always work
  • key questions you should ask machining companies
  • why you should demand rigorous in-house inspections (and not just rely on certifications)
  • good practice in procurement (looking further ahead).

Click here to get Your Guide to Changing Suppliers

Get Penta Involved

Here at Penta Precision, we are passionate about becoming a trusted CNC machining partner, an extension of your team. We take pride in going above and beyond, with our proven validated processes:

  • We communicate well 
  • We take care at each stage
  • Our service is consistent.

If you’d like a no-obligation chat about your project, please give me and my team a call on 023 9266 8334.

Get expert help – get Penta involved