With 3D CAD, parts can be made from various materials with either additive 3D printing, or more traditional, subtraction, machining processes. GerberDesign has helped produce prototpes for getting an idea of size, testing function, getting consumer feedback and gaining the confidence of investors.
The EPIC-ID wristband is a good example of the various techniques that can be used. First prototypes were made of 3D printed high resolution plastic. The plastic parts gave a good idea of function and size, however proved too fragile. 3D printed stainless steel parts were made with a new updated design. The wristband could not be made of a durable enough from 3D printable material. The wristbands were made by pouring silicone into a 3D printed plastic mold. For production the stainless steel parts were made with the Metal Injection Molding process, to get fine detail on parts as small as 1/2 mm thick. See more at EPIC-ID.com .
Wheelpant for Waco scaled replica by Specialty Aero. 3D used to make mold for carbon fiber parts.
Wingtip for Pitts aircraft. 3D used to make mold for carbon fiber parts.