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RAPID PROTOTYPING - THE 3D PRINTER
V. Ryan © 2006
Rapid Prototyping is very common in the design and
manufacturing industry as a way of quickly producing realistic models of
products being designed or developed. In the recent past 3D software
such as pro/DESKTOP® and AutoCAD® has made it possible to design a
product on the computer. The design can then be viewed at a variety of
angles, it can be revolved or disassembled on the computer screen, all
without the need to make an expensive model from clay or other modelling
materials. Today, thanks to rapid prototyping machines, an accurate 3D
model can be manufactured and handled.
Diagram ‘A’ shows a simplified diagram of a Z310 3D printer from Z-Corporation with its top/lid in position. The machine will only work when the lid is closed. Diagram ‘B’ shows the same machine with a section cut away so that the main parts can be seen. The machine is manufacturing a detailed scaled model of a prototype sports car. It completes this task by adding a layer of powered and resin to the model car at every pass of the print head.
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