Some recent developments and experiences with Rapid Manufacturing by indirect means
Rapid Manufacturing is defined as the use of a Computer Aided Design (CAD) based automated additive manufacturing process to construct parts that are used directly as finished products and components. While material and cost constraints still remain as the main limitations, some of the rapid prototyping technologies have overcome these shortcomings, and gradually progressed towards making rapid manufacturing a reality. Alternatively, rapid manufacturing was also made possible by the use of one of the additive manufacturing processes in expediting certain stages of some traditional processing methods. While literature presents ample examples of successful implementation of both methods, the present paper focuses on the indirect means of achieving rapid manufacturing. A critical review of some of the latest developments will be presented, followed by an evaluation of some of the recent experimental investigations carried out as part of the research activities at the Centre for Rapid Product Development, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand
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