3D prototypes realization: services, technologies, materials, sectors

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3d prototypes realization: services

Creating a 3D prototype means translating into matter what until a few moments before was written only in digital form through a 3D design software.

What is a 3d prototype for?

A 3D prototype can be useful to a designer to touch his own idea or to a mechanical designer or technician to perform tests on the component or assembly he needs.

Building on our twenty years of experience, we have structured ourselves to respond to both of these worlds even if the B2B sector (primarily driven by the manufacturing industry) remains the main user of our rapid prototyping services.

working 3d printing prototype

Our services associated with the need to create 3D prototypes are different and follow a chronological order:

  • Check the suitability of the 3D file sent by the customer
  • Signaling and modification suggestions based on the required technology
  • Technical advice on technologies and materials.

How we work to guarantee the quality of the service

The activity of our technical sales office always starts with checking the suitability of the 3D file sent by the customer to verify that it meets all the minimum printability requirements:

  • wall thickness,
  • height of details,
  • internal cavities that cannot always be managed.

Based on this verification, our technicians report anomalies and possible solutions, based on the technology requested by the customer.

In the event that he does not have certainties on the best technology to use for his project, our technicians investigate together with the client some aspects such as the tests to which the 3D prototype will undergo, the final purpose of the object, the finish that will have to to have.

The set of these answers allows us to identify the best solution for the 3D prototype in question.


The technologies available to us to make a 3D prototype are numerous and we could divide them into three categories:

  • Additive manufacturing
  • CNC machining
  • Vacuum casting with silicone mould replicas

Additive Manufacturing AM means the set of available technologies that make prototypes by layering material, where there was nothing the 3D prototype materializes layer by layer.

The advantage of this type of technology lies in the absolute (or almost) freedom in the geometries to be made, in the possibility of rapidly producing a variable quantity of prototypes with good geometric precision to be used in functional, mechanical, assembly tests or to create highly mockups aesthetics of a product.

Additive manufacturing technologies can produce plastic or metal prototypes, the first possibility includes:

  • Stereolithography SLA
  • Selective laser sintering SLS
  • Fused deposition modelling FDM
  • MultiJet Fusion di HP
  • Object 3D printing

To make metal prototypes with additive technologies we can instead resort to:

  • Direct metal laser sinterig DMLS
  • Selective Laser Melting SLM

The CNC mechanical processes instead work according to a diametrically opposite principle, in fact they create the prototype starting from a block full of material and remove the excess quantity to make the 3D prototype.

The advantage of this technology is that of having a component made of definitive plastic or metallic material which is and is necessary when the prototypes must pass resistance tests, certification or when their use is required directly in the field.

Finally, we also talk here about vacuum casting with replicas from a silicone mold because these represent a valid technology for creating 3D prototypes using a silicone printing equipment with a cavity inside obtained thanks to a 3D master. This cavity is filled inside vacuum machines and a 3D prototype in plastic material (two-component polyurethane) is obtained with higher performance than the AM prototypes.


It is possible to make 3D prototypes both in plastic and in metal, often also using definitive materials.

This is the case of CNC machining which allows to work both plastic (it is therefore possible to obtain 3D prototypes in ABS, POM, PA, Teflon etc) and metal (it is therefore possible to obtain 3D prototypes in steel, aluminum, brass, copper etc) and of FDM technology that uses plastic filaments to melt to produce the 3D prototype.

The other Additive Manufacturing technologies use plastic materials in a prototype version with interesting characteristics.

SLA stereolithography uses an epoxy resin which gives the prototype a smooth external finish and makes it particularly suitable for aesthetic purposes and surface finishes such as painting, vacuum metallization and screen printing.

There are also transparent resins to be polished or made opal according to the ultimate purpose of the 3D prototype.

SLS selective laser sintering and HP’s MultiJet Fusion technology also use PA powder with the addition of glass or aluminum fibers and are particularly suitable for functional and resistance tests while aesthetically maintaining a rough finish.

As anticipated, the FDM technology uses plastic filaments as well as 3D Object printing, the stratification in many cases is very evident and these 3D prototypes are particularly suitable for mechanical and resistance tests.

AM technologies for the realization of 3D metal prototypes using Titanium, Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Cobalt Chrome but also Bronze and Silver at the moment. These prototypes are almost ready for use but require shooting with CNC numerical control machines to achieve the precision or external roughness generally assigned to these prototypes.


3D Rapid Prototyping was born as a shoulder for the manufacturing industry, especially for the automotive sector, and in a short time it extended to the most varied fields.

All manufacturing sectors such as consumer electronics, lighting, security, medical, military and defense equipment benefit from this.

In any area where it is necessary to develop a product with houses or containers, rapid prototyping can prove to be an excellent ally.

In any area where it is necessary to develop a product with houses or containers, rapid prototyping can prove to be an excellent ally.

The first cases concern special evolutions of additive technologies that use biocompatible materials with little possibility of rejection successfully used for example at the Rizzoli Hospital in Bologna. The 3D reconstructions required by surgeons to better study the coordinates of the elements to be removed are useful to reduce the risks during the operation and determine a post-operative course for the patient.

Practical examples of 3d prototypes

More info about our services?

Do you want to receive more details about our services or the materials available to us? We will be happy to offer you all our support, you can write to us on info@coesum.com or contact us by phone on +39 871 250230.

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