Special Issue on Rapid Prototyping
Koichi Morishige, Masahiro Anzai, and Hiroyuki Narahara
Layered manufacturing is the generic name for a processing method used to obtain an actual model by calculating cross-sectional shapes from 3D CAD data and stacking these shapes. Because it can realize any shape without needing skills for devising a processing method and fabricating fixtures, layered machining is expected to realize 3D printing that enables even inexperienced or amateur operators to obtain actual 3D shapes. Since the model such as injection molding can be fabricated without using dies and molds, layered manufacturing is now called rapid prototyping (RP). Since ever manufacturing of high-strength materials has become available, RP applications have been deployed in areas from models for more confirmation of shape to functional models attached to prototypes such as engines and used for test runs. In addition, the new concepts called rapid manufacturing (RM) and rapid tooling (RT), which are used in the manufacture of low-volume products and production equipment, have been proposed and implemented. This special issue focuses on RP technology. Among its many interesting papers are those that focus on new fabrication techniques, material development for RP, CAD/CAM systems for RP, new RP systems, and applications for RP. We are certain that you will find this issue both interesting and informative. We thank the authors for their generous cooperation and the editing staff for its many contributions.