Published 14th November 2017 | Articles, Latest News, Product Design

From Concept to Prototype Part 2

In our last article we looked at taking a brief through the concept phase to a CAD design ready for prototyping. Here is what happens when we send the concept to prototyping.


Prototype Phase

We sent Jack Lowe, our Product Designer, over to Prototype Projects to document what happens next.

We knew the purpose of the prototypes. To provide a scale model for the client to assess the size and feel of the inhaler. It was not a model to assess inhalation, but how the user interacts with it, how it feels etc.

The model is not going to be stressed or loaded, so it was decided that the model was going to be an unfinished stereolithography (SLA) model.


STL file

The Prototype Projects team starts importing the STL file from Cambridge Design Technology. The parts are arranged onto the build platform, and positions and orientations are optimised for the best build.

concept to prototyping

Once finished, the build configuration is sent to the printer. In this case a 3D Systems Viper ST.


Layer by layer

The next bit is a waiting game where the build, layer by layer is cured by a UV laser and sinks into the vat of resin.

resin vat


The results

We left the parts overnight and Jack went back the following morning to see the results.

plastic prototype parts

The parts were then taken off the machine and the support material (scaffolding) is removed by hand.

The parts are washed in an alcohol tank to wash away the excess resin and then cured in a UV light cabinet to ensure that the resin is fully hardened

prototype curing and washing

Once washed and cured each parts undergoes inspection and final cleanup and bagged ready for delivery.


Meeting the design brief requirements

The parts came back to Cambridge Design Technology, for assembly and checking that the design acts as was intended. It is our job to ensure that the action and form of the models meet the requirements of the design brief.

Coupled with the concept renderings we can now present the output to our client. We have the material to now show the client the size form of a physical model and the photorealistic renderings.

finished prototype parts prototype inhalers


Turning your ideas into reality

If you have a concept, Cambridge Design Technology can take your ideas and very quickly turn them into reality. Models for demonstration or testing can be created and with supporting imagery in digital form, media for exhibitions, literature, websites, newsletters etc.

We can keep the process simple and broken down into a set of smaller steps and like watching a 3D printer build a prototype, you can observe Cambridge Design Technology convert your ideas from sketches to physical objects in your hands or studio level photography on your screens.


For more information about Cambridge Design Technology and how we can work with you on your next product design project, please call Jon Plumb now on 01223 662300 or email

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