A process that avoids creating conventional tooling thereby limiting investment expense while new parts or products are tested for feasibility of manufacture.
Comments: This is a very exciting area for improvements in manufacturing generally. Some Rapid Prototyping software and devices are maturing to the point where it is starting to become possible in the near future that we will be telling computers to “make a basketball” or “make a fuel injection system.” Pardon the reference to Star Trek, but some of the equipment we have seen begins to resemble the “Replicator” technology that sits on most countertops (much like a microwave), in the crew quarters on the Starship Enterprise.
Don’t be surprised if Rapid Prototyping quickly evolves into Rapid Creation. The face of many industries will be changing significantly as this technology develops.