Back to basics

Date: Fri Feb 27 1998 - 12:29:27 EET

> The term ``rapid prototyping" or RP refers to a group of new
> technologies which build models or prototypes layer by layer
> from 3-D CAD model files or from reverse engineering data
> without using conventional tools or fixtures.

Terry Wohlers and Dr. Ian Gibson ccontributed:

That's good. How's the the following?

Rapid prototyping (RP), in the broadest sense, is any *fast* method of
prototyping. Over the past several years, however, many have accepted RP as
a layer-by-layer additive process driven by computer model data that joins
together liquid, powder, or sheet materials to create free-form plastic,
wood, ceramic, or metal objects.

Terry Wohlers

There is no mention of the speed of the processes in your definition. Else,
why would it be 'Rapid' Prototyping?


Thank you Terry and Ian Gibson.

                                 The term fast is again a relative
term. Initially people thought of "RP" as something "really fast" and
they were disappointed. I think "RP" is fast only for complex
geometries and intricate shapes, otherwise the model making
multiaxis machines are much faster. Any suggestion how to add the
speed into the definition.

        I agree Terry, that any fast method of prototyping should be
included in the broad definition of "RP". But for me the question is,
again the same: Is the "RP" really fast?

        Sunscribers, any other addition?


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