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Recent developments of rapid prototyping and manufaturing (RP&M) technology are discussed. To facilitate application of RP&M technology as an enabling technology in product development and manufacturing, our center has done a series of pojects covering RP theory (modern shaping science), new RP processes and equipment, rapid tooling technology and rapid product development systems. With the STEP protocol and product modeling technology, RP&M technology can be integrated into CIMS to form a new subsystem, the free form manufacturing subsystem. The subsystem architecture is investigated in this paper.