Special Issue on Rapid Prototying
Hiroyuki Narahara and Koichi Morishige
Department of Mechanical Information Science and Technology, Kyushu Institute of Technology
680-4 Kawazu, Iizuka-shi, Fuku- oka 820-8502, Japan||Department of Mechanical Engineering and Intelligent Systems, The University of Electro-Communications
1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu, Tokyo 182-8585, Japan
Rapid prototying (RP) technology applies a simple principle, layered fabrication, and enables complex three-dimensional parts to be fabricated without using molds. This composite technology merges material development, basic hardware construction, and software control technology. Depending on how these elements are combined, RP is used in a wide range of applications, enabling mold-free fabrication and the manufacturing of the molds themselves. Studies on RP using metals were conducted to improve mold performance. This special issue focuses on (1) the development of new fabrication technologies, (2) material development for manufacturing high-performance
parts, and (3) the application of RP to mold building. Research on layered fabrication now extends to artificial bone, such as biological prostheses, microparts, and high-performance metal parts and molds. Such studies provide numerous approaches to fabrication that cannot be found in conventional methods. We thank the authors for contributing their intriguing papers to this special issue on rapid prototyping.