- Information about technological processes
and working systems . Everybody can contribute with documentation,
that must be sended to firstname.lastname@example.org
accompanied with the name of the source, and if possible the link
of the site one where there is the possibility of a deepening.
- Rapid prototyping is the most common name
given to a host of related technologies that are used to fabricate
physical objects directly from CAD data sources. These methods
are unique in that they add and bond materials in layers to form
objects. Such systems are also known by the general names freeform
fabrication (FFF), solid freeform fabrication (SFF) and layered
manufacturing. Today's additive technologies offer advantages
in many applications compared to classical subtractive fabrication
methods such as milling or turning:
- Objects can be formed with any geometric
complexity or intricacy without the need for elaborate machine
setup or final assembly;
Rapid prototyping systems reduce the construction of complex objects
to a manageable, straightforward, and relatively fast process.
This has resulted in their wide use by engineers as a way to reduce
time to market in manufacturing, to better understand and communicate
product designs, and to make rapid tooling to manufacture those
products. Surgeons, architects, artists and individuals from many
other disciplines also routinely use the technology.
- Rapid prototyping isn't a solution
to every part fabrication problem. After all, CNC technology is
economical, widely understood and available, offers wide material
selection and excellent accuracy. However, if the requirement
involves producing a part or object of even moderately complex
geometry, and doing so quickly - RP has the advantage. It's very
easy to look at extreme cases and make a determination of which
technology route to pursue, CNC or RP. For many other less extreme
cases the selection crossover line is hazy, moves all the time,
and depends on a number of variably-weighted, case-dependent factors.
While the accuracy of rapid prototyping isn't generally as good
as CNC, it's adequate today for a wide range of exacting applications.
- The materials used in rapid prototyping
are limited and dependent on the method chosen. However, the range
and properties available are growing quickly. Numerous plastics,
ceramics, metals ranging from stainless steel to titanium, and
wood-like paper are available. At any rate, numerous secondary
processes are available to convert patterns made in a rapid prototyping
process to final materials or tools.
- More information: http://home.att.net/~castleisland/rp_int.htm