The need to produce prototypes of designed objects is a critical link in developing new products. The geometrical information and functionality of prototypes visualize the design intention and substantiate product plans. As a result, prototypes facilitate communication throughout a design circle, shortening the lead-time to market. This paper presents results obtained from a study where both numerically controlled machining and rapid prototyping are used to make a mold prototype for producing tactile graphics to be used as learning aides for blind children. A comparative investigation is conducted to identify the pros and cons of using the two methods to produce the mold prototype in terms of quality, cost and production efficiency. A new methodology is suggested for integrating NC machining and rapid prototyping for mass production, thus opening a new direction for the production of tactile learning aids.