Prototyping is used in engineering to test the functionality of a part or device. A prototype is an original type, form, or instance of something serving as a typical example, basis, or standard for other things of the same category.

The most common use of the word prototype is a functional, although experimental, version of a non-military machine (e.g., automobiles, domestic appliances, consumer electronics) whose designers would like to have built by mass production means, as opposed to a mockup, which is an inert representation of a machine's appearance, often made of some non-durable substance.

For those working on more complicated appropriate technology prototyping facilities are sometimes necessary for the more complex components if they are not already available commercially. The following fabrication laboratories might be useful for demonstrating open source technology.

RepRap 3D printers are an extremely inexpensive way to do prototyping for many projects - as the RepRap community has now developed open-source metal 3d printers there are few limitations remaining to use the technology to do most rapid prototyping work.

SSBX Fab Lab[edit | edit source]

Sustainable South Bronx has a Fab lab which can be used to do some 2D work with a laser cutter AND a shopbot (CNC router for a 4'x8' plywood).

Ponoko[edit | edit source]

Commercially Ponoko allows you to upload EPS files and will give you a quote for laser cutting several different materials. Ponoko beleives that the post-industrial revolution is changing the way products are created, traded and distributed. Now everyone can engage in the manufacturing process through their PCs - bringing personal manufacturing of individualized products to the masses. Ponoko is basically an online space for a community of creators and consumers to use a global network of digital manufacturing hardware to co-create, make and trade individualized product ideas on demand.

Pages in category "Prototyping"[edit | edit source]

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Authors Joshua M. Pearce
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Translations Chinese
Related 1 subpages, 4 pages link here
Impact 194 page views
Created March 31, 2008 by Joshua M. Pearce
Modified April 18, 2023 by Pedro Kracht
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