Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing

Manufacturing community is facing two important challenging tasks:

·Substantial reduction of product development time

·Improvement on flexibility for manufacturing small batch size product and a variety of types of products. Computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD and CAM) have significantly improved the traditional production design and manufacturing. However, there are a number of obstacles in true integration of computer-aided design with computer-aided manufacturing for rapid development of new products. Although substantial re-search has been done in the past for computer-aided design and manufacturing integration, such as feature recognition, CNC programming and process planning, the gap between CAD and CAM remains unfilled in the following aspects:

·Rapid creation of 3D models and prototypes

·Cost-effective production of patterns and moulds with complex surfaces 

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