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3D Modeling & CAD for Motorsport: Step 4 - Prototyping

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Step 4 - Prototyping


00:00 - We've now modelled our design and developed it in our CAD software, possibly even using some analysis tools to identify areas that could be improved.
00:09 The manufacturing process to take our design from a CAD model to a real physical part probably isn't going to be cheap and that goes for low volume runs of machined parts and high volume parts that justify specific tooling.
00:23 Creating a prototype is the ideal way to prove our design and potentially do some physical testing that wasn't possible in CAD before spending the time and money to manufacture the final part.
00:36 For a sheet metal part, this may be as simple as printing out a 1:1 scale template on paper then gluing this to come cardboard and cutting around the outline, we can also make any bends or holes at this point.
00:49 Although we won't be able to use the prototype as structurally intended to support anything, it's still a good way to check that it'll fit in the mounting location and not present any unintended contact.
01:01 Fabricated parts on the other hand, often result in the prototype being the final part if it functions as intended.
01:07 However for parts that are going to be fabricated using relatively expensive materials like titanium, it can be worth creating a simple mock up from a cheaper material like steel first.
01:18 Generally with this work, we can just take a few measurements from our CAD model, or make a basic technical drawing for reference when fabricating the prototype.
01:28 Rapid prototyping techniques like 3D printing are ideal for creating prototypes of designs that are going to be made from machining billet aluminium on a lathe or a mill.
01:39 3D printing parts like spacers and brackets gives us the ability to physically test prototypes.
01:46 They generally won't be as strong as the finished product so we aren't going to learn much by stress testing them but for things like checking clearances, there's a lot of information that can be gained.
01:56 Having our designs modelled in CAD is a powerful tool for visualising and interacting with components and assemblies to understand how they'll work before they're produced.
02:07 Sometimes though, there's no alternative to having a physical prototype part in our hands for testing and just to give a peace of mind before investing in an expensive manufacturing process.

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