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Rapid Prototyping & Tooling - State of the Industry - Germany

Rapid Prototyping & Tooling - Aktueller Stand der Industrie - Deutschland
 
: Koch, K.U.; Gebhardt, A.

Wohlers, T.T.:
Wohlers Report 2000 : Rapid Prototyping & Tooling State of the Industry. Annual Worldwide Progress Report
Fort Collins, Colo.: Wohlers Associates, 2000
pp.110
English
Book Article
Fraunhofer IPA ()
Formenbau; Rapid Prototyping; Rapid Tooling; product development; Produktentwicklung; Prototyp; Werkzeugbau

Abstract
Volltext: In Germany, RP has become an important tool for new product development. An estimated 478 machines were in operation throughout Germany at the end of last year. Today, most engineers in Germany have the basic knowledge to decide which process they should use. RP is being used for plastic prototypes and patterns for metal castings, as well as for tooling and tooling inserts. German companies work also with various types of layer milling techniques. For example, the Zimmermann Company introduced a layer orientated milling machine to produce molds with an extremely high depth to width ratio. For many years, Zimmermann has been known for its model shop milling machines. The service bureau community in Germany is growing fast and changing in structure. Currently, there are about 20 professional service bureaus with 20 or more employees and four or more RP machines. These professional SBs offer the entire process chain, including vacuum casting and injection molding. They serve their customers with prototype parts that are close to or identical to production quality. Meanwhile, a trend toward rapid manufacturing of small to medium size batch production is underway. The Fraunhofer Society is the link between basic research and industry. The latest research results from different areas are picked up and brought to industrial application within the 47 institutes of the Fraunhofer Society. Rapid product development is a major focus within the Fraunhofer Society. The range of activities includes the development and optimization of a product's design, material and process innovations, and simulation technologies. These activities are supported by national and international research projects in which the Fraunhofer Institutes cooperate with industrial and academic partners all over the world. The Fraunhofer Society is involved in an extensive array of rapid prototyping and rapid tooling activities. In the field of selective laser sintering. for example, work is done on a technique that will allow the sintering of pure steel powder, tungsten carbide-cobalt hard metal, silicon carbide, and zirconium silicate. New rapid prototyping technologies developed by Fraunhofer researchers include Multiphase Jet Solidification (MJS) and Controlled Metal Buildup (CMB) technology. CMB is based on laser deposition welding. In the medical area. MJS is used to build up implants from resorbable materials. The efficient use of rapid prototyping and tooling technologies has to be supported by new and efficient collaboration and communication technologies like tele-engineering and Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). The optimal rapid product development process is the motivation for the activities of the Fraunhofer Society. The EuroMold trade fair, held in Frankfurt each year, has developed into one of the world's most important RP and tooling shows. EuroMold '99 in December included a well attended rapid tooling conference titled "Rapid Tooling's Strategic Benefits and Risks." The Global Alliance of Rapid Prototyping Associations (GARPA) participated in the successful conference.

: http://publica.fraunhofer.de/documents/N-1211.html