RE: Can RP be a manufacturing technology?

From: Brent Stucker (
Date: Thu Jul 09 1998 - 19:08:07 EEST

I think that, in the future, RP will make great inroads in two main areas. The first
is, as you mentioned, using RP as a manufacturing technology. This is realistic
today only for very specialized, low-production parts with complex geometries
that cannot be produced (or are difficult to produce) using more traditional
techniques. However, as RP becomes cheaper, faster and more accurate I
think we will certainly see it adopted more-and-more as a manufacturing
technology. I currently know of one company whose products include very
complex 3-dimensional structures that, for the most part, can only be made
using RP techniques. If you contact me, I'll put you in touch with them.

I think that a meeting to explore this area would be interesting. Rather than
start a new RP conference/meeting, why don't you see if you can incorporate
sessions on this topic into one of the other popular conferences (such as
the SFF conference in Austin or the RP&M Conference sponsored by SME)

In case you are wondering, the second major growth area I see for RP is
to use it to make production tooling quickly.

Brent Stucker

Dr. Brent Stucker
Assistant Professor
University of Rhode Island
Dept. of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Gilbreth Hall, 2 East Alumni Ave.
Kingston, RI 02881
ph: (401)874-5187
fax: (401)874-5540

Sent: Thursday, July 09, 1998 11:09 AM
Subject: Can RP be a manufacturing technology?

I am currently researching a possible meeting to explore whether rapid
prototyping technologies can be used as actual production/manufacturing
technologies (kind of like in Toy Soldiers!). Do you know of anyone who is
currently utilizing RP in this way who might be willing to speak with me
about their experiences?

I'd also welcome anyone's opinion on the matter, in particular, whether or
not you think that there is/will be any inherent benefits in choosing RP
over other production methods. From what I've heard so far, there seems to
be a long way to go...

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