Rapid Prototyping Techniques
The term rapid prototyping (RP) refers to a class of technologies that can automatically construct physical models from Computer-Aided Design (CAD) data.
These “”three dimensional printers”” allow designers to quickly create tangible prototypes of their designs, rather than just two-dimensional pictures. Such models have numerous uses. They make excellent visual aids for communicating ideas with co-workers or customers. In addition, prototypes can be used for design testing.
For example, an aerospace engineer might mount a model airfoil in a wind tunnel to measure lift and drag forces. Designers have always utilized prototypes; RP allows them to be made faster and less expensively.
(Source: UCL - Production MÃ©canique et machines)