1. RAPID PROTOTYPING
• The key concept is RAPID - generally this is an all-in-one-step production of a part geometry.
• Parts are used for,
- prototypes to allow fast review of part shape, simple assembly, aesthetics, manufacturability, etc.
- low volume production - very small numbers of parts can be made using this technology.
• General advantages,
- reduce prototype/production times from months to weeks or days
- a physical model is easier to “sell” to customers and management
- physical models are easier to check for errors. Graphical methods often result in cluttered views
- avoids the high cost of prototype tooling, and allows (more) design iterations
- prototypes costs can be lower than production types
• General disadvantages,
- very expensive capital costs
- tolerances are generally >.005”
- primary materials are specialized, and other steps are required to produce metal parts
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