Update of M. Gurr, R. Mülhaupt, 8.04 - Rapid Prototyping, Polymer Science: A Comprehensive Reference, Volume 8, 2012, Pages 77-99
State-of-the-art rapid prototyping (RP) technologies are reviewed. Basic principles, possibilities and limitations, and fields of application are discussed for the most influential layered manufacturing processes. A strong emphasis is set on discussion of recent materials development for RP technologies based on photopolymerization, extrusion, powder solidification, and laminated object modeling. The role of composite and nanocomposite materials in freeform fabrication of advanced polymeric materials, ceramics, and metals is highlighted and interpreted with regards to their potential for establishing RP in novel fields of application in functional prototyping, rapid tooling, and rapid manufacturing.