Concept models allow designers to test ideas at a very preliminary stage so as to focus on the most productive avenues. Such models can be used to test ergonomics or aesthetics, communicate ideas, spur collaboration and further design branches. They are particularly useful in focus groups and marketing to evaluate potential market success.
With FDM 3D printing, a selection of materials and finishing processes offer designers a range of end-product look and feel options such as smooth surfaces, rigidity or flexibility and different colours. 3D printed models can be manufactured as discrete components and sub-assemblies, and assembled or bonded into models larger than the build envelope restrictions.