Rapid prototyping is a process wherein a working model or prototype is developed for the purpose of testing the various product features like design, ideas, features, functionality, performance and output. This process of development of working model is quite quick. The user can give an early feedback regarding the prototype. Rapid prototyping is, generally, a significant and essential part of the system designing process and it is believed to decrease the project cost and risk.
The prototype that is developed by the process of rapid prototyping is based on the performance of earlier designs. Hence, it is possible to correct the defects or problems in the design by taking corrective measures. The product can be produced if the prototype meets the requirements of all designing objectives after sufficient refinement. There are many advantages of rapid prototyping.
Rapid Prototyping -Advantages in brief: Rapid prototyping has manifold advantages. It can provide with concept proof that would be required for attracting funds. The prototype gives the user a fair idea about the final look of the product. Rapid prototyping can enhance the early visibility. It is easier to find the design flaws in the early developmental stages. Active participation among the users and producer is encouraged by rapid prototyping. As the development costs are reduced, rapid prototyping proves to be cost effective. The user can get a higher output.
The deficiencies in the earlier prototypes can be detected and rectified in time. The speed of system development is increased. It is possible to get immediate feedback from the user. There is better communication between the user and designer as the requirement sand expectations are expressed in the beginning itself. High quality product is easily delivered by way of rapid prototyping. Rapid prototyping enables development time and costs. There are many innovative ways in which rapid prototyping can be used.
Despite all these benefits, there are many people who believe that there are many disadvantages of rapid prototyping.
Disadvantages of Rapid Prototyping: Some people are of the opinion that rapid prototyping is not effective because, in actual, it fails in replication of the real product or system. It could so happen that some important developmental steps could be omitted to get a quick and cheap working model. This can be one of the greatest disadvantages of rapid prototyping. Another disadvantage of rapid prototyping is one in which many problems are overlooked resulting in endless rectifications and revisions. One more disadvantage of rapid prototyping is that it may not be suitable for large sized applications.
The user may have very high expectations about the prototype's performance and the designer is unable to deliver these. The system could be left unfinished due to various reasons or the system may be implemented before it is completely ready. The producer may produce an inadequate system that is unable to meet the overall demands of the organization. Too much involvement of the user might hamper the optimization of the program. The producer may be too attached to the program of rapid prototyping, thus it may lead to legal involvement.
The cost reduction benefit of rapid prototyping also seems to be debatable, as sufficient details regarding the calculation basis and assumptions are not substantial.
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