Fast Prototyping

Companies are always looking for ways to streamline the product development process. For instance, in the past, it often took five years for an automaker to take an idea into a new car on the showroom floor. Market needs may have changed in that time. A faster competitor might beat you to the market while you are doing your market analysis. In fact, you may not have a few years to wait for the income stream from this new product. Some companies, therefore, are turning to fast prototyping as a solution to this innovation dilemma.

A few years back, I worked with a group of Asian military personnel facing an interesting problem. The time it took to test the hydraulics of their Chinook helicopters was 3.5 hours, far too long for ...

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