What Is Rapid Prototyping?

What Is Rapid Prototyping?
Rapid prototyping is a technology that takes a three-dimensional computer model and builds a three-dimensional part by building layers upon layers of material. Its speed and low cost allow design teams to confirm their new designs early and frequently in the process.

Step 1
Start with a 3-dimensional computer model. Typically, they are created in 3D CAD products like Solid Works, Rhino, Pro/E, Mechanical Desktop, etc.

Step 2
An STL file is exported from 3D CAD. Typically done as a “File Save As…”. Xpress3D CAD Add-ins perform this step automatically.

Step 3
The STL file is then translated into hundreds (or even thousands) of cross-sectional data points.

Step 4
Starting with the bottom slice, the prototyping machine builds each slice upon the previous, until all the slices are built and the prototype is complete.

Step 5
Final Prototype.

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