Technological Trends of Rapid Tooling by Layer Laminate Manufacturing
Institute of Insustrial Science, University of Tokyo, 7-22-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106, Japan
One of the greatest problems in the rush to develop new products lies in the shortening of the development lead time. Therefore, solutions are sought, particularly in rapid prototype manufacturing and rapid preparation for mass production. Most mechanical parts are manufactured using the forming process. The production of the dies and molds used for producing these formed parts poses a bottleneck in the development of new products. As technological innovation advances rapidly for the manufacture of dies and molds, more rapid die and mold manufacturing methods are being sought, and such demands urge the development of new technologies. Rapid tooling, utilizing R/P models, can result in the rapid manufacturing of prototypes, and dies and molds. This paper reviews this rapid tool manufacturing based on layer laminate manufacturing which is attracting a lot of attention.