Rapid Prototype: A Review

Vishal K. Sapkal, Punam A. Bhamare, Arif K. Mansuri

Abstract


Rapid Prototyping (RP) techniques are methods thatallow designers to produce physical prototypes quickly. It consists ofvarious manufacturing processes by which a solid physical model ofpart is made directly from 3D CAD model data without any specialtooling. The first commercial RP process was brought on the marketin 1987. Nowadays, more than 30 different processes with highaccuracy and a large choice of materials exist. A CAD technique toallow “Automatic” creation of a physical model orprototype from a3-D model leads to concurrent engineering. In the RP process the 3DCAD data is sliced into thin cross sectional planes by a computer.The cross sections are sent from the computer to the RP machinewhich builds the part layer by layer. Itis bonded to a starting baseand additional layers are bonded on the top of the first shapedaccording to their respective cross sectional planes. The advantagesof RP is Possibility of manufacturing parts which are impossible tobe produced conventionally in a single process, it can be fullyatomized also reduce lead time, and no supervision is required. Alsoit has High Resolution and No geometric limitations. This paperprovides an overview of RP technology in brief and emphasizes ontheir ability to shorten the product design and development process.Classification of RP processes and details of few importantprocesses is given. The description of various stages of datapreparation and model building has been presented. An attempt hasbeen made to include some important factors to be considered beforestarting part deposition for proper utilization of potentials of RPprocesses.

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