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Is Rapid CNC Prototyping Right for You?

May 08, 2023

Rapid CNC Prototyping, Explained

Companies in various industries use rapid CNC prototyping to test a part concept. Through multiple tests, they’re able to determine the part’s functionality and chances of failure before investing in a large run.

When is rapid CNC prototyping necessary? Typically, it’s the best option when you must quickly create large volumes of prototypes with strong structural integrity and outstanding mechanical properties. Let’s dive into the specifics of the process.

The Step-by-Step Rapid CNC Prototyping Process

Design Ideation

During this stage, product designers or engineers work to create the best blueprint for the part. They’ll optimize the design for testing, manufacturing, and assembly while ensuring proper dimensioning and positioning of features. Designers will come up with multiple options during this stage; the most efficient designs will go into the next production stage.

3D File Generation

The machine used to create your part relies on a 3D file — like a CAD design — to know how to direct the cutting tool during production. After you approve the designs created in the first stage, the designer will convert them into 3D files, which define all dimensions, features, and other specifications for the part.

Sequencing and Programming

In this step, engineers choose the sequence of the cutting operation. Once approved, they then select the best manufacturing process, which can include milling, turning, Swiss turning, or another method. From there, the engineer programs the sequence into the CNC machine. They’ll input the travel time and distance of the tool, feed rate, cutting depth, and other important information.


The fourth step in the rapid CNC prototyping process is to produce the component. The manufacturing professional mounts the workpiece on the machine. Then, the computer runs through its sequence, developing the finished prototype.


No matter the industry, CNC-produced parts must be tested to ensure accuracy and functionality. Once the prototype is created, it goes into testing to determine its defects, durability, and overall performance. After the prototype is validated through testing, you’ll be able to produce a large amount for commercial use.

What Happens if the Prototype Fails?

Your prototype could fail for several reasons. Perhaps the design needs to be tweaked to account for an unforeseen issue, or the component is not the best fit for the application. If your prototype fails, you’ll go back to the design phase and modify it until it’s perfect.

Work with Cameron Manufacturing & Design for Your Rapid CNC Prototyping Needs

When you need rapid CNC prototyping services, turn to Cameron Manufacturing & Design. For 40 years, we have been providing quality manufacturing services to companies all over the United States. With two robust locations and ISO 9001 and 14001 certifications, we ensure your project gets turned around quickly.

Our capabilities don’t just include rapid CNC prototyping. Our employee-owned company has hundreds of skilled personnel ready to deliver custom machining, metal finishing, welding and fabrication, engineering design, and equipment installation services to your organization. Backed by decades of experience and multiple certifications, we deliver a quality product, every time.

Since our inception, the backbone of Cameron Manufacturing & Design has been quality workmanship, on-time delivery, and a desire for unmatchable customer service. With these values, we’ve been able to adapt to a challenging and ever-changing industry and continue our business expansion.

Let’s Build Something Great Together

When you’re ready to explore rapid CNC prototyping services, we’ll be here to help. Reach out to our team today.

Trust the CMD Team With Your Next Project

Our highly-skilled team across multiple areas of expertise will deliver a finished product that meets or exceeds your expectations.