2 Processing of RP PartsFIGURE The computational steps involved in producing a stereolithography file. (a) Three-dimensional description of the part. (b) The part is divided into slices. (Only 1 in 10 is shown.) (c) Support material is planned. (d) A set of tool directions is determined for manufacturing each slice. Shown is the extruder path at section A-A from (c), for a fused-deposition modeling operation.
3 Rapid Prototyping Processes TABLE Characteristics of rapid-prototyping processes.
4 RP MaterialsTABLE Mechanical properties of selected materials for rapid prototyping.
5 Stereolithography and FDM FIGURE Schematic illustration of the stereolithography process. Source: Courtesy of 3D Systems.FIGURE (a) Schematic illustration of the fused-deposition modeling process. (b) The FDM Vantage X rapid prototyping machine. Source: Courtesy of Stratasys, Inc.
6 Support StructuresFIGURE (a) A part with a protruding section that requires support material. (b) Common support structures used in rapid-prototyping machines. Source: After P.F. Jacobs.
7 Selective Laser Sintering FIGURE Schematic illustration of the selective-laser-sintering process. Source: After C. Deckard and P.F. McClure.
8 Three-Dimensional Printing FIGURE Schematic illustration of the three-dimensional-printing process. Source: After E. Sachs and M. Cima.FIGURE (a) Examples of parts produced through three-dimensional printing. Full color parts also are possible, and the colors can be blended throughout the volume. Source: Courtesy ZCorp, Inc.
9 3D Printing of Metal Parts FIGURE The three-dimensional printing process: (a) part build; (b) sintering, and (c) infiltration steps to produce metal parts. Source: Courtesy of the ProMetal Division of Ex One Corporation.
10 Sprayed Metal Tooling Process FIGURE Production of tooling for injection molding by the sprayed-metal tooling process. (a) A pattern and base plate are prepared through a rapid-prototyping operation; (b) a zinc-aluminum alloy is sprayed onto the pattern (See Section 4.5.1); (c) the coated base plate and pattern assembly is placed in a flask and back-filled with aluminum-impregnated epoxy; (d) after curing, the base plate is removed from the finished mold; and (e) a second mold half suitable for injection molding is prepared.
11 Example: RP Injection Manifold FIGURE Rapid prototyped model of an injection-manifold design, produced through stereolithography. Source: 3D Systems.