unclear expressions

From: Terry T. Wohlers (twohlers@compuserve.com)
Date: Wed Oct 29 1997 - 15:49:43 EET

Christian Werdinius wrote:

> * Rapid Prototyping
> * Free Form Fabrication
> * 3D printing
> * rapid tooling
> * CAM
> * and probably some more...
> Are there any clear definations ?

The following are the definitions that I use:

Rapid prototyping (RP). A layer-by-layer additive process that joins
together liquid, powder, or sheet materials to form plastic, wood, ceramic,
or metal objects.

Free-Form Fabrication. Another (perhaps more descriptive) name for RP.

3D printing. Low-cost variation of RP thatís faster, easier to use, less
expensive, and office friendly.

Rapid tooling. Digitally-driven tooling, which includes CNC machined
tools. An industry-wide definition of RT has not yet developed (not that
one ever will) and some might argue that RT consists only of tooling that's
driven by RP-type processes.

CAM. Computer-aided manufacturing. Usually refers to software that drives
CNC machines.

Hope this helps!

Terry Wohlers
Wohlers Associates, Inc.

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