What is Rapid Manufacturing?
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About Rapid Manufacturing
Rapid Manufacturing is an additive fabrication technique for manufacturing solid objects by the sequential delivery of energy and/or material to specified points in space to produce that part. Current practice is to control the manufacturing process by computer using a mathematical model created with the aid of a computer. Rapid Manufacturing done in parallel batch production can provide a large advantage in speed and cost compared to alternative manufacturing techniques such as plastic injection molding or die casting. Rapid Manufacturing may involve custom parts, replacement parts, short run production, or series production. (When the part is used in the development process only, the appropriate term is Rapid Prototyping.)
Rapid Manufacturing for large products with layer-based manufacturing from metals, plastics, or composite materials is well known for several industrial applications in the military (MPH-Optomec) and aerospace (Boeing) sectors. Small products and microsystem applications are known in medical (Siemens) as well as consumer electronics, diagnostics and sensor technologies (microTEC). Batch production of very small parts by rapid manufacturing techniques like RMPD offer cost and time advantages. Increasingly, rapid manufacturing is being applied to automotive, motor sports, jewelry, dentistry, orthodontics, medicine and collectibles.About Additive Manufacturing
Additive Manufacturing is the process of making a product by adding layers in a relatively efficient way, such that there is little waste or reduction of materials. Two examples are inkjet printing and aerosol jet printing of electronic circuits. In comparison to photolithography where the manufacturer must remove much of the material that is deposited to create a given layer of the product, inkjet and aerosol jet printing only use material where it is needed with little or no waste.