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Rapid prototyping - new manufacturing tools for improving design and prototype cycle

: Klocke, F.; Nöken, S.; Wirtz, H.

Krause, F.-L.; Jansen, H.:
Life Cycle Modelling for Innovative Products and Processes. Proceedings : PROCLAMAT '95
London: Chapman and Hall, 1996
ISBN: 0-412-75590-4
IFIP WG 5.3. international conference on life-cycle modelling for innovative products and processes <9, 1995, Berlin>
Fraunhofer IPT ()

Companies are increasingly forced to transform their technical innovations into fully developed products radidly. In addition to strategic approaches in order to reduce the time of product development (concurrent engineering), rapid prototyping has become a very effective means to speed up and improve product design and process planning. The introduction of CAD/CAM technologies offers the possibility to produce models and sample directly on the basis of CAD data, not in weeks or months as with conventional prototyping methods, but in only a matter of hours. Combined with rapid prototyping methods, subsequent techniques, particularly conventional casting methods, plastic vacuum casting and metal spray tooling hold potential for the rapid manufacturing of plastic prototypes in greater quantities or of metal prototypes. According to different demands resulting from the envisaged application of the prototypes, possibilities and limits of commercially available rapid prototyping techniques will be pointed out. The use of prototypes in product development and the conditions under which rapid prototyping technologies can lead to rapid product development will be presented. The Fraunhofer Rapid Prototyping Network, an alliance of seven Fraunhofer Institutes aiming at the technical, informational and organizational improvement of rapid prototyping will be introduced.