Building a high-fidelity prototype with all the detail of the final design

High Fidelity PrototypingIn the pre-digital industrial and product design era, prototyping was done by specialized artists who took schematics or sketches on paper and built physical versions out of materials from resin to clay and anything in between.

Additive manufacturing (3D printing) has upended prototyping by enabling iterative design processes. A 3D design can be simulated, iterated, and approved in prototyping software before a real-world object is made. The precise nature of digital design and 3D printing means designers or engineers can create a high-fidelity prototype with all the detail the final product is intended to have.

Different design stages call for different levels of detail, and there’s still very much a place for low-fidelity prototyping. It’s usually most relevant early on when the design process is focused on targeting and articulating overarching goals in user experience. High-fidelity prototype tools are valuable in later stages when designers and engineers are ironing out the finer details of functionality and product-application fit.

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