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Rapid manufacturing: New applications for polymeric prototypes by metallic coating

: Leonhard, W.; Bonhoff, N.

Meyer, R. ; Fraunhofer-Allianz Rapid Prototyping:
Euro-uRapid 2002 : High-Tech Solutions and Concepts. Proceedings. International User's Conference on Rapid Prototyping & Rapid Tooling & Rapid Manufacturing. Frankfurt/Main, December 2-3, 2002
Stuttgart: Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, 2002
ISBN: 3-8167-6227-1
ISBN: 978-3-8167-6227-0
International User´s Conference on Rapid Prototyping & Rapid Tooling & Rapid Manufacturing (u-Rapid) <2002, Frankfurt/Main>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPA ()
rapid manufacturing; Rapid Prototyping; Beschichtung mit Metall; polymer

Various forms of prototypes nowadays are an important tool within the process of product development. They act as a benchmark for the quality of a technical solution. They also give an impression of the appearance of a product and it's producibility.
A variety of processes already exists that provide the opportunity to produce polymeric protoypes in a fast and simple way by means of rapid prototyping (RP) processes (e.g. laser sintering, stereo lithography, injection moulding from prototype tools). Especially the two former processes are used primarily to represent the geometry of serial parts. Advanced demands in many cases cannot be met by RP materials. This affects functional and decorative characteristics of the RP materials as well as the topography of the resulting surfaces. The latter one usually can equal the properties of serial parts only after heavy finishing. The decorative and functional aspects of metal parts in particular are not adequately representable by polymeric prototypes. A possible solution for this difficulty is to apply metallic coatings to the polymeric RP materials.