What is Rapid Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping refers to physical objects that are automatically constructed with the aid of additive manufacturing technology. In its earlier days, was applied to production of models and prototype parts. But nowadays, with the advancement in technology, rapid prototyping is used widely for many applications that include manufacturing production-quality parts. The manufacturing of these quality parts however, are very small in numbers. Apart from industrial applications, it is also used in sculpting. The application of rapid prototyping in sculpting is to generate fine arts exhibitions.
Rapid prototyping as mentioned earlier, involves the use of additive manufacturing technology, which actually takes the virtual designs from computer aided design (CAD) or animation modeling software (AMS). These designs are further transformed into thin, virtual, horizontal cross sections, and then the process of creating successive layers continues till the model is complete. On completion of the model, one may find that the virtual model is almost same as the physical model. Over here, a process called WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) takes place, wherein the final product is same as the image created. Once the layers which correspond to the virtual cross section from CAD are formed, they are either joined or fused automatically to yield the final shape. Additive fabrication has the benefit of creating any shape or geometric feature.
Working of Rapid Prototyping Machines
CAD software and the rapid prototyping machine are connected with a data interface that is called the STL file format. This STL file format enables the approximation of a shape