Everything You Always Wanted to Know About 3D Scanning – Rapid Prototyping

Rapid Prototyping Service Brisbane

From Digital to Physical – Rapid Prototyping and Milling

We discuss physical objects that realm into digital form. We came across a common application used for 3D scanning and modelling processes. We mainly focus on creating physical objects from digital data.

Important Terminology

  • Additive Manufacturing: The process makes a physical object 3D digital data that use layering materials called rapid prototyping and 3D printing.
  • Milling: It’s a subtractive process that helps to remove material and create a physical object directly from 3D digital data. It cuts away all existing solid material.


You may ask, why does one need a physical replication of my digital model? After all, we talk about turning your physical parts into various digital formats. But there are a few reasons to create new physical models for your data. Here are a few reasons:

  • Scaling: To make enlargements, reductions, or even exact size replicas. After a Digital Model is created, it comes with boundaries big or small to replicate your object or part.
  • Restoration: Our tech captures accurate 3D data that uses manufacturing to restore objects damaged by weather and other natural disasters. It uses historical monuments and artifacts or aged automotive parts.
  • Manufacturing Prototype: It uses a digital model and direct dimensions to create a physical prototype used for testing and manufacturing final pieces. It includes milling a foam sculpture with that bronze casting pattern to create a finished prototype. We talk about the best ways to create physical models.


Variety of additive manufacturing equipment manufacturers and processes on the market. Various machines read 3D data, typically in an STL file format. We discussed format in earlier editions where the software comes within the devices and generates the layering instructions. It directs the deposition of successive layers, adding material needed to build up the physical part. Essentially, it creates cross-sectional layers. The layers fused automatically to make the final shape. It comes with an exact physical replica of the 3D model. The manufacturing of an umbrella term covers a lot of processes.

One of the earliest and most common types of AM is called Stereolithography. SLA builds pieces that use laser and a vat of UV-curable liquid resin. Each thin layer of resin is solidified and secured to the layer below with every pass of the UV laser. SLA offers the best producing models, patterns, and various prototypes. SLA generally support structures that include building a part of the SLA process.

The process offers Selective Laser Sintering that utilises a wide variety of materials that cover metals, plastics and ceramics with post-processing as needed. SLS does not require support material while building since it is made within the raw material. SLS uses these materials in a powder format and, by fusing the powder, creates the layers needed to build the part. It is used for making final parts for mass-scale production isn’t necessary.

Stereolithography is mostly used for Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM). It is trademarked and marketed by Stratasys, which uses the additive platform to build the concept. Rather than raw liquid or powder, FDM uses thermoplastic materials applied through a heated nozzle placed in a single thermoplastic bead at a time. These beads fuse using harden as cooled. The plastics used in FDM are known for strength and high heat resistance and are suitable for product testing.

2D printing is the concept of 3D Inkjet Printing. The rapid prototyping technique uses 3D printing for powder base material to print in multiple colours. Rather than sintering the powder, an inkjet releases an adhesive colouring that allows layers to be built with colours. The final model is not generally, as strong as the other techniques. It’s cheaper and faster, and the coloured prints allow a good representation of the last concepts.

The primary advantage of additive fabrication is that it creates a relatively inexpensive feature. We offer a small part price to complexity ratio. However, the overall volume comes within a single build using limited AM for larger parts that recommend milling.


Milling comes with a subtractive manufacturing technique. It’s used to create metal production tools, parts, and moulds for virtually any industry, an engineer, or even an artist. Counts this as a well-tested valuable method. The advanced Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling machines use a 3D CAD file to create a physical reproduction of the digital model. Based on AM, CNC milling machines utilise a highly diverse range of materials, including:

  • Stones
  • Plastics
  • Woods
  • Waxes
  • Metals
  • Even Glasses


To wrap it, the field is constantly changing and growing. Adding immediate future technologies, we include desktop scanning and manufacturing. Contact Australian Design & Drafting Services in cased in case of any query.

What is rapid prototyping machining?

Rapid prototyping machining, also known as rapid prototyping or rapid tooling, is a process used to quickly fabricate physical prototypes or tooling molds directly from digital design data. Unlike traditional machining methods, which involve manual programming of CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines to fabricate parts, rapid prototyping machining utilizes automated processes to accelerate the prototyping and tooling production cycle.
Here’s an overview of how rapid prototyping machining works:
Digital Design: The process begins with the creation of a digital 3D model using computer-aided design (CAD) software. This digital model serves as the blueprint for the physical prototype or tooling mold.
CAM Programming: Once the digital design is finalized, CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) software is used to generate toolpaths and instructions for the CNC machines. These instructions specify the precise movements and operations required to fabricate the desired geometry from raw materials.
Material Selection: Depending on the specific requirements of the prototype or tooling mold, various materials can be used in rapid prototyping machining, including metals, plastics, composites, and ceramics. The choice of material is based on factors such as strength, durability, heat resistance, and surface finish.
CNC Machining: The CAM-generated toolpaths are transferred to CNC machines, which automatically control the cutting tools to remove material from the raw stock according to the design specifications. CNC machining processes used in rapid prototyping include milling, turning, drilling, and grinding, among others.
Post-Processing: After the machining process is complete, the fabricated prototype or tooling mold may undergo post-processing steps such as surface finishing, polishing, or assembly. These steps are performed to enhance the appearance, functionality, or performance of the final product.
Validation and Testing: The fabricated prototype is then subjected to validation and testing to evaluate its form, fit, and function. This may involve physical testing, functional testing, or visual inspection to ensure that the prototype meets the design requirements and performance criteria.
Iterative Design: If revisions or modifications are needed based on the test results, the digital design can be updated accordingly, and the rapid prototyping machining process can be repeated to fabricate new prototypes or tooling molds. This iterative design process allows for quick refinement and optimization of the design before final production.

What is the difference between CNC and rapid prototyping?

CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machining and rapid prototyping are both manufacturing processes used to produce physical parts or prototypes from digital designs, but they differ in several key aspects:
Process Principle:
CNC Machining: CNC machining involves subtractive manufacturing, where material is removed from a solid block or stock to create the desired geometry. This is achieved by precisely controlling the movements of cutting tools using computer-controlled machinery.
Rapid Prototyping: Rapid prototyping encompasses a range of additive manufacturing techniques, where parts are built layer by layer from digital designs. This additive process adds material to create the final part, often without the need for traditional tooling or molds.
Material Usage:
CNC Machining: CNC machining can work with a wide range of materials, including metals, plastics, composites, and ceramics. It is particularly well-suited for producing parts from solid blocks of material, offering high strength and durability.
Rapid Prototyping: Rapid prototyping typically uses various additive manufacturing materials such as thermoplastics, photopolymers, metals, and ceramics. While the material selection may be more limited compared to CNC machining, rapid prototyping offers greater design freedom and the ability to create complex geometries with minimal material waste.
Speed and Lead Time:
CNC Machining: CNC machining can produce parts relatively quickly, especially for simple geometries or small production runs. However, the setup time and machining process may take longer compared to rapid prototyping, particularly for complex or intricate designs.
Rapid Prototyping: Rapid prototyping excels in producing parts quickly, particularly for iterative design processes and low-volume production. Additive manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing can rapidly build parts layer by layer, often within hours or days, depending on the size and complexity of the part.

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