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Three-dimensional rapid prototyping technologies and key development areas

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1 Author(s)
Chua Chee Kai ; Nanyang Technol. Univ., Singapore

Since the 1970s, the prototyping of physical models used in the engineering world has passed through three distinct phases. In the third phase, a series of different revolutionary methodologies-collectively called the 3D rapid prototyping methodologies-is capable of producing a physical prototype from the computer model in a very short turnround time and without the fuss required by NC programming systems. This article covers the benefits rapid prototyping methodologies offer in contrast to conventional methods of prototyping. There are currently no less than five such commercialised methods: stereolithography apparatus, solid ground curing, selective laser sintering, laminated object manufacturing and fused deposition modelling. The working mechanism of each method as well as a comparison between the various methods is discussed. The article also looks at efforts to improve the performance and functionality of the mechanism and experiments with new materials for the prototype.<>

Published in:

Computing & Control Engineering Journal  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 4 )

Date of Publication:

Aug. 1994

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