Rapid Prototyping Technology

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Rapid Prototyping Technology is a group of manufacturing processes that enable the direct physical realization of 3D computer models. This technology converts the 3D computer data provided by a dedicated file format directly to a physical model, layer by layer with a high degree of accuracy. This technology is fast developing and is more than competitive to traditional model building techniques considering time and degree of detail. The paper gives an overview on existing major RP techniques and their applications in engineering fields.

The past decade has witnessed the emergence of new manufacturing technologies that build parts on a layer-by-layer basis. Using these technologies, manufacturing time for parts of virtually any complexity is reduced considerably. In other words, it is rapid.

Rapid Prototyping Technologies and Rapid Manufacturing offer great potential for producing models and unique parts for manufacturing industry. Thus, the reliability of products can be increased; investment of time and money is less risky. Not everything that is thinkable today is already workable or available at a reasonable price, but this technology is fast evolving and the better the challenges, the better for this developing process.

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