product development landscape has evolved tremendously over
the last 20 years.
designs have become much more complex in both their shape
and functionality, while the need of reducing time-to-market
evolution of CAD Solid Modeling and computer technologies
have brought forth a new way to produce prototypes know as
Rapid Prototyping (RP).
it once took many weeks and lots of money to produce a prototype
of a design, with RP it is now commonplace to produce the
same prototype in a matter of hours for a fraction of the
evolution of RP has afforded companies the ability to verify
and change designs more often while spending less time and
money doing so. The end result is a product that:
Works the first time
Costs less to design and manufacture
Takes less time to design and manufacture
Meets customer demands
Gets to the market faster
How It Works
are a number RP technologies on the market, all work under
the same fundamental principals.
Solid Modeled CAD data, in a specific file format (STL), is
processed and oriented in an optimal build position.
The data is then sent to the RP machine where it is numerically
sliced into thin layers.
The RP machine then fabricates each 2-dimensional cross section
and bonds it to the previous layer. A complete prototype is
therefore built by stacking layer upon layer until the prototype
Uses for RP Models
Models produced by Rapid Prototyping can go far beyond
engineering form, fit and functional models.
RP models can be used as:
Patterns for other tooling and manufacturing process.
Focus group models for sales analysis
Marketing models to create literature and ad campaigns,
Quoting Models - Sent to the manufacturer in addition to CAD
data to help reduce tooling costs