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Rapid Prototyping Do you need engineering models, part samples or production molds in a few hours or days, rather than

weeks? Rapid prototyping methodologies are the solution

Rapid Prototyping Methods:

3DP: 3-Dimensional Printing DSPC: Direct Shell Production Casting FDM: Fused Deposition Modeling LOM: Laminated Object Molding MJM: Multi Jet Modeling SLA: StereoLithography SLS: Selective Laser Sintering Spin-Casting

What is 3DP?

Term: Three dimensional printing (3DP)

Definition: Three dimensional printing is a quick, low cost rapid prototyping process used for concept modeling. The system applies a thin layer of powder on a chamber surface. The ink-jet style spray head deposits a liquid adhesive onto the powder in a 2-D pattern, bonding the layer to form the object. Materials are starch or plaster based which a fragile when handled. The process yields a slightly rough textured surface with lower accuracy than other popular RP systems.

Example of Process:


Term: Direct Shell Production Casting (DSPC)

Definition: The three-dimensional printing process was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and has been licenced to Soligen Technologies for metal casting. Molds to cast almost any metal can be produced in just days. The system creates ceramic shells directly from 3-D CAD designs and no tooling or patterns are required. The process works via a printhead moving over a fine layer of alumina powder, depositing a liquid binder layer-by-layer to define a cross section of the mold. The process is repeated until the entire mold is printed. This is then fired, resulting in a rigid ceramic mold. The process is for quickly producing castings with complex geometries. Soligen Technologies, Inc.

Example of Process:

What is FDM?

Term: Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

Definition: FDM is a rapid prototyping process used to produce functional ABS thermoplastic models directly from CAD data. The system utilizes a CNC controlled extruder-head which squeezes a fine filament of melted thermoplastic through a nozzle. The nozzle deposits the heated plastic layer-by-layer to form the desired shape. The liquid material hardens immediately on contact in the cooler environment.

Example of Process: Stratasys, Inc.

What is LOM?

Term: Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM)

Definition: A rapid prototyping technique to create low cost 3-D models from CAD data. The system utilizes a laser to cut layers of a glue-backed paper material which are bonded together during the process to form the solid model. The models are created layer-by-layer and have the look of wood before they are sealed with protective lacquer. Although, LOM is not as accurate as SLA or SLS methods, the models can be large. The process is commonly used for creating large sand casting patterns.

Example of Process: Helisys, Inc.

What is 3DP?
Term: Multi Jet Modeling (MJM) Definition: Multi Jet Modeling, also known as Thermojet, is a quick rapid prototyping process used for concept modeling. The system generates wax-like plastics models which are less accurate than stereolithography. The machine uses a wide area head with multiple spray nozzels. These jetting heads spray tiny droplets of melted liquid material which cool and harden on impact to form the solid object. The process is commonly used for creating casting patterns for jewelry industry and other precision casting applications

Example of Process:

Solidscape, Inc.

What is SLA?

Term: StereoLithography (SLA)

Definition: StereoLithography is one of the most common rapid prototyping (RP) systems. The system utilizes a computer controlled UV laser beam to harden a photocurable liquid resin to produce 3-D copies of CAD models. The SLA computer utilizes an (.STL) file format output from professional solid modeling software programs.

Example of Process: 3D Systems

Term: Spin Casting


Spin Casting The process uses patterns or models produced on Rapid Prototyping systems such as Stereolithography to generate high-strength metal parts equivalent to those produced by pressure die casting in just a few hours. Small patterns or originals are layed out on a disc of uncured silicone to create casting cavities. When cured, this rubber mold is spun in a centrifuge while low temperature metals such as zinc, pewter, tin or lead are poured into the center of the mold. Silicone rubber molds can be cycled as many as 50-60 times per hour, for hundreds of cycles. Therefore, a 20 cavity mold can produce 1000 components per hour if small-to-medium production runs are needed. Resulting parts have excellent detail and representative surface finish of the master pattern. Production parts typically achieve tolerances in the .005 to .008 inch range. Investment Cast Wax Patterns, and Thermoset Plastic Injection Molded Parts can also be produced quickly using this duplication method.

Example of Process:

TexCast Industries