Additive manufacturing (AM) can be defined as a layer upon layer manufacturing process of objects directly from three-dimensional (3D) computer aided design models. This technology is rapidly improving new product design, development and manufacturing capability. The technology provides a very important advantage where designers are now able to analyse their products more efficiently and quicker during the design process to enable products to be fit for the purpose of its production. This research intends to explore the potential of AM technology for use in the manufacture of fully-functional end-use parts (a process known as rapid manufacturing (RM)) and validate the AM technology production capabilities via experimental analysis. In this study, plastic clips for gripping cotton textile are considered. First, a 3D model of the clips was modelled using SolidWorks 3D parametric solid modelling software and manufactured using the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) AM technology. Two sets of the product samples were built. One set conformed to the dimensions of the original clips, while the other set was improved through design modifications. Subsequent physical tests were conducted for both designs to obtain data relating to the maximum strength (load bearing capacity) of these FDM components. In addition, the data reported the capability of FDM technology and its fit for the intended manufacturing purposes, and the successfully conducted design modifications and improvements. This work contributes to further research into the development of RM design rules, specifically in design analysis and validation of AM as a viable route for producing direct-use functional parts.