Rapid Prototyping (RP) is also known as
Layered Manufacturing, Solid Freeform Fabrication,
Toolless Model Making
etc. Basically all these terms refer to creation of three-dimensional
objects directly from CAD files.
conventional or NC/CNC machining, the model is
created by adding material layer after layer instead of cutting
it away from a solid block. Therefore,
generation of complex shapes do not pose any problem at all.
However, what is obtained from the machine is a model – not usually an end-user item,
which means that the new technology is used for prototyping,
not actual production.
These prototype parts can be used for Design Verification,
Form-Fit-Functionality Testing and finally as patterns for further
downstream applications like
Sand Casting, Vacuum Casting, Spin Casting, Investment Casting, etc.