Want to learn about 3d rapid prototyping, come here!


Rapid prototyping is a very useful tool that helps designer to evaluate the product in the earlier stages, in fact,  the physical models are made during all stages of product development (conception stage, geometry modelling, design optimisation, manufacturing and assembly design) wereas, the traditional prototyping process comes in the end stage of product development after all arrangements concerning product conception, variant choice and design analyses.

What are the main technologies that allow to have rapid prototyps?  how the model is produced? and where to rapid prototyping is applied?

Technologies of prototype fabrication

Number of techniques for automatic fabrication of physical objects (parts, assemblies, prototypes) basing directly on data from 3D CAD systems for instance Autocad and Maya from Autodesk, Corelcad and so on, or other data sources containing 3D geometry as example geometric reverse engineering technologies.

Here’s the operations flow  diagram for model building in Rapid Prototyping system:


The model is produced layer after layer, where the layer are formed by horizontal crosssections of computer model

Standard Triangulated Language (STL) (Stereo Lithography files)

File format for data transfer from CAD to Rapid Prototyping Model surface in STL file is approximated by means of triangles. Object description consists of planar triangles vertex coordinates and normal vector index that shows outside direction of model


Representation of solid by planar triangles and normal vectors
• Other CAD system elements (points, lines, layers, attributes, model topology) are ignored by data export to STL file
• Reproduction accuracy must be specified during file export command
• Direct data export by the most of CAD system and acceptance as a standard by all RP systems
• Data redundancy and the part topology information
• Efficient computer procedures for solid cross-section determination

Examples of Rapid Prototyping Technologies

– Stereolithography (SLA)

– Selected Laser Sinterink

– Laminated Object Manufacturing

– Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

– Ballistic Particle Manufacturing (BPM)

– 3D Printing


Cycle of model fabrication by 3D printing


Here bellow some application of Rapid Prototyping models:
Visualisation and verification of spatial forms
Iterative design optimisation
Marketing tests of potential customers preferences
Tool for communication and designers collaboration
Testing of parts fitting and functional tests
Models for preparing foundry forms
Producing tools for manufacturing small series of plastics parts


Examples of RP parts




Comparison of chosen RP systems

According the the cost and quality comparison between the differents RP systems, the 3D printing is the best. ( read more about by clicking here)


Rapid Prototyping Advantages

• Increase visualization capability during the early phases of design
• Fabrication of complex designs and geometries
• Time savings – we can fabricate parts prototypes in one or two days
• Cost savings – comparatively with standard technologies
• Detecting design errors before the manufacture of tooling
• Models for fast tooling creation to manufacture series of physical

Discover 3D design



• Gebhardt Andreas: Rapid Prototyping, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich
• Venuvinod Patri K. , Ma Weiyin: Rapid prototyping: laser-based and
other technologies, Springer, 2004
• Kamrani Ali K., Nasr Emad Abouel: Rapid prototyping: theory and
practice, Birkhäuser, 2006
Internet resources

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