Choosing the best plastic prototyping service is essential but not easy. With lots of different companies offering lots of different services it can be difficult to source the right company for your rapid plastic prototyping project.

We report on what you need to look out for to choose the best plastic prototyping service.

When choosing the best plastic prototyping service experience matters.

Experience of delivering on successful prototyping projects is very important when choosing your preferred partner. Many organisations can ‘talk the talk’ but experience of actually delivering results is essential. And remember, there are many different types of prototypes so check to ensure the company has delivered on the type of prototype you are looking to produce. Creating exact functioning prototypes for testing requires a different skill set than creating facsimiles for market research or product development purposes.

Talk to your supplier about successful projects completed, read relevant case studies and ask for testimonials

For the best plastic prototyping service go direct

Many organisations offering prototyping services are factors – they will receive your project and then source a manufacturer, negotiate the cost and delivery etc. This is not in itself a problem but usually going direct will help reduce costs and shorten timescales – but more importantly allow for a greater understanding of the brief: talking directly will allow a skilled manufacture to offer value-engineered solutions, not simply delivering to brief.

Another advantage of going ‘direct to manufacturer’ is the likelihood that they can offer a range of manufacturing processes to deliver the final product. Whilst prototyping has traditionally been seen as using so-called 3D printing development in manufacturing processes such as CNC routing and laser profiling has meant that there a usually a number of options to achieve the end result. Going direct will open up these possibilities – and the related benefits.

Find out if you are dealing direct or with a factor or agent for your project.

Designing the best plastic prototyping service

Value added services are also important in choosing a partner. Using their design experience to finesse your design or even turn an idea or concept into a working design can help deliver a better prototype. Understanding the nature of different plastics and manufacturing processes will help deliver a more effective, more cost-effective and more sustainable prototype. Inhouse finishing services will ensure the successful completion of the project.

See if your partner offers design and other value-added services

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