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What requirements a prototype cannot meet?

When it comes to prototype, usually we use 3D printing or CNC machining to make it. A prototype making is an important step for verify the design, it can provide a proof of the feasibility for the part design, a physical sample for the mold design and injection molding. Most of designers would like to take this step before large amount investment/ before the project starts.

Customer passed a question regarding to chemical test of prototype.

“Hello, thanks for the information. As the material for the lens prototype we can use the PMMA or the Acrylic. Is it possible that we use it to do some chemical test? 
Jonathan Friedman”

“Hello Jonathan,
All the material for 3D printing are photosensitive resin, it is not the real PMMA or Acrylic. They are the photosensitive resin which simulate the surface effect of the different material, but the physical and chemical property are not same, so the 3D printing prototype cannot be used to do testing, they are only use to check the overall design, assembly.
Thank you.”

There is always a misunderstanding that mot of customer wanted to check a prototype before deciding an injection molder, this is not right because of no relevance in prototype and injection molding part, there are some requirement that a prototype cannot meet, this is not the same as injection molding part.

We would like that the prototype be higher quality than 3D printing, that finish and aesthetic meet the MT 11000 texture. Do you have capabilities of making it?

Thank you
Jonathan Friedman”

A better quality required is no problem, but a texture finish, a prototype cannot meet this requirement.

“Hello Jonathan,
Then having prototype by CNC machining is fine. Prototype can meet the material, color, outlook/ structure and function requirement, but it does not have the same strength/durability as injection molded part, and both 3D printing and CNC machined prototype cannot meet the finish/texture MT 11000. (There is no problem for injection molding) 

Thank you.”

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