MultiPurpose The Independent Resource for all Users of Rapid Prototyping, Rapid Manufacturing, & 3D Printing

5 times When RP Trumps Conventional Machining

1. For parts that require challenging part fixturing or a number of different set-ups in the mill or lathe.

2. For creating parts that have complex geometries, or impossible to machine features.

3. Trendy customer-driven product customization - known as mass customization - that means that every product is unique.

4. When the CAD model from Bangalore hits your in-box at 4:00 pm, just as your machinist is packing up for the night.  Lights out RP is the only solution for producing a model by the next morning's design review.

5. Low risk form, fit, or function testing for new products.  Examples:

Form: A cell phone manufacturer uses a RP model to generate customer feedback on the look and fell of the next generation of handset.

Fit: For a new L.L. Bean backpack, what is the optimized slip gap for a newfangled plastic clip?

Function: An aerospace engineer creates a scale model of an airfoil and uses it to measure lift and drag forces in a wind tunnel.
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