3D Printing FAQ

We put together this FAQ to provide some basic background on 3D printing. For more detailed manufacturing information, please consult our 5-Minute Buyer’s Guide or Manufacturing page.

What is additive manufacturing/3D printing/rapid prototyping?

Additive manufacturing, 3D printing and rapid prototyping are different terms for a relatively new form of manufacturing.This process operates by cutting 3D CAD data into slices and building those slices, layer by layer, until the object is complete. This unique process does away with many of the design constraints of traditional manufacturing processes and can be extremely cost-effective for small, medium and large batch sizes.

What kind of materials does 3D printing use?

Composites, plastics and metals are all available for 3D printing, with new materials arriving monthly. At RapidMade, we keep you updated on the best materials available; see our 3D Printed Materials page for an overview of our current selection. 

Why should I use additive manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing provides rapid turn-around times and the opportunity to create formerly impossible geometry. Moreover, it uses less raw material and is generally less expensive than traditional manufacturing technologies. To read about the benefits of one of our most advanced 3D printing technologies, check out our page about the HP Multi Jet Fusion printer.

Why should I use RapidMade instead of an online service bureau?

RapidMade takes the time to understand your project and optimize the benefits of 3D manufacturing. Our engineers examine all the details of your project to make sure that we find the best solution for your needs. Our in-depth knowledge of design guidelines and pitfalls can help you get the best results every time, without time-consuming and expensive missteps. Click here to learn more about RapidMade.

What do I need to start a project with RapidMade?

To get started, simply fill out our Get a Quote form. Our team will review your design and get back to you within 24 hours with a quote and any other details about your production.

To learn more about our manufacturing service, check out our 5-Minute Buyer’s Guide.

What if I don't have any CAD files? How do I create a product without a design?

RapidMade offers a full suite of engineering and design services. We can work with anything from a napkin drawing to complete SolidWorks files.

If you're looking to modify a current part or product, we can also use 3D scanning technology to digitize a physical object and recreate it in CAD software. This allows us to precisely replicate parts or products, or use an existing product as a base for customization.

I don't know how to apply this to my business, should I still contact RapidMade?

Absolutely! We're happy to answer any questions you may have. Tell us more about your business or project and let our expert team see if our manufacturing services might be right for you.