Rapid prototyping is used to turn designs and ideas into tangible objects. The term rapid prototyping is normally associated with additive manufacturing and 3D printing.
Low-cost conceptual models that help to verify the design, ergonomics and functioning of elements that cannot always be assessed using a CAD drawing or 3D simulation.
For this application, the parts need to be as similar as possible to the end-use part. The dimensions and functional features of the material used in the prototype need to be similar enough to those of the end-use part as to draw conclusions and redesign based on the test results.
The possibility of producing surface finishes that are almost identical to those of the end-use parts means you can create models to present at trade fairs, to clients or as samples. This goes towards boosting marketing activities before final production of the product.