Automotive industry is undergoing rapid changes in the recent past. The older methods of automotive design are slowly moving out of the market. 

Automotive giants like FORD and General Motors are investing heavily on redesigning their vehicles and creating automotive prototypes for each design. Automotive prototyping can help companies win the economic pressures are driving companies to fight out the competition and survive in the market. 

Why should companies invest in an Automotive Prototype?

Most business researches have come to a conclusion that investing in creating prototypes first largely impacts the final outcome and contribute much in to the innovation of automotive companies. Making sound decisions about which automotive design concept to choose from is the most difficult challenge when it comes to the automotive industry wherein innovative concepts are introduced every now and then. 

The R&D team of every automotive company will be a pack of highly qualified engineers and they will keep rolling out innovative automotive design concept every week. Higher management needs to make proper decisions by analyzing the ROI and for a well designed automotive prototyping is necessary. Below are three main reasons why companies must invest in automotive prototypes before even attempting to develop the end product.

1. enables team to investigate various Automotive designs
of course, when it’s an automotive giant there is going to be several opinions and thoughts coming into plate. Unless each design concept is tied to a complete descriptive physical prototype, it’s going to be very difficult to decide on which one to go for.

2. helps to create proper budget and hence procure the required funds for the development

securing funds require presenting the proof of concept to the higher management and showcasing the ROI [return on investment]. If there is a functional automotive prototype in hand all these things can be well-presented and negotiated. 

3. provides detailed character sketch of components for negotiation with the component vendors.

Bigger automotive giants generally procure the internal components from other vendors.  If there is a complete automotive prototype in hand, this process can be done a lot faster.

Types of Automotive prototypes for metallic components
In the initial phases it’s a rapid prototyping method which is used to understand the functionality and usability limits. Once the first and second level decisions are made regarding which automotive design to adopt, then the more detailed prototyping methods are used for detailed analysis. The 3 most modern methods of rapid metal prototyping for automotive are discussed.

1. 3D Printing
This is an ultra modern technology and is also called additive printing since the methods works by printing one layer of metal on top of the previous and thereby creating a 3D metallic model of the automotive part. Each layer is only a 100 microns thick and so the prototype will be precise enough.

2. Sand Casting
Here is sand cast is created using sand. This is the simplest and most cost effective as it doesn’t involve any sophisticated machinery. Only difficulty is that that molding sand has to be made out of a specific constituency of sand types to get the desired results.

3. Investment Casting
This is another type of metal foundry process. The technique used is wax patterns. In earlier days people always preferred wax patterns since they are easy to make. Once the wax pattern is made the exteriors are cased in ceramic which takes shape as it sets. Once the ceramic is set and solidified, the ceramic mould is then heated to flow out the wax. Molten metal is then poured in to the ceramic cast to prepare the metal automotive prototype.