Talk:Rapid prototyping

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Request before editing[edit]

Hi to all. I'd like to know if i can add a link to a public forum where rapid prototyping is discussed. It's a company forum open to public. Thanks. I hope this is the right place to ask for. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 06:51, October 28, 2006 (UTC)

Look at WP:EL for the rules on external links. Forums are listed under the "links normally to be avoided." I think rules are somewhat flexible, but you need to think about whether you're benefiting wikipedia's article or the site. --GargoyleMT 13:54, 28 October 2006 (UTC)

Removed in article comment[edit]

Dear i have removed your comment "Subtractive method is NOT a form of rapid prototyping. But it IS a manufacturing process.Hence there aren't 2 main methods of rapid prototyping!". Such opinions, while not totally wrong should never be done by vandalizing the articol. Use the discussion page please. ALoopingIcon 12:31, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

Removed in External Links[edit]

ALoopingIcon, you removed an external link I placed there. When I placed that link there, it was the only link on that topic (materials used in Rapid Prototyping) and it was in line with the other links, and not a repeat of any other information in the main article. You also had no talk that this was planned, and you also left other, newer, links repeating the information of mine. I believe you were out of line. Ninahale 19:40, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

That link covered only the materials used by the FDM and Eden (Objet) machines that RedEye (Stratasys) offers prototypes from. Stereolithography materials and Selective Laser Sintering materials are missing, and they are very popular technologies in the US. Few companies involved in rapid prototyping are represented here, but their machines and materials might belong best on their company pages. --GargoyleMT 16:07, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Rapid prototyping (computing)[edit]

This section needs to be added. Perhaps we need a disambiguation page for "rapid prototyping" - not sure how this should be structured. Jpaulm 15:23, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

Some historical perspective: Use of the term "rapid prototyping" with respect to computing was first used in the 1966-70 time frame to describe our approach at United Aircraft (Pratt & Whitney) to develop dynamic computer models of jet engines. We modeled (in Fortran II) all component classes of engines (e.g., compressors, turbines, burner, fans, fan ducts, & afterburners) and created the capability to selectively combine the component models to create a virtual prototype of any type of engine. Classes of engine control components (e.g., sensors, actuators, & processors) were similarly modeled and combined to prototype control subsystems. When we started this effort the models were implemented via punch cards that were selected using component tags in columns 73-80 that could be sorted by card readers. We had everything in one integrated card file (several boxes) and would create the integrated engine and control model by selecting the cards based on input of the desired tags. When the first magnetic storage media (the first was a barrel-sized drum) were introduced we were able to store each component model as a compiled library file and built the desired engine-control integrated model the same way we do today. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:33, 12 May 2010 (UTC)


I demand pictures of rapid prototyped objects. Internet community, do my bidding! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:25, August 27, 2006

Removed content[edit]

I removed "Due to the high degree of flexibility and adaptability required by many rapid prototyping techniques, these applications typically require the use of robots or similar mechanisms." from the article. While the machines are automated, they (SLA, SLS, Objet) don't have anything that I'd consider a robot (or similar mechanisms) in them. --GargoyleMT 18:18, 6 September 2006 (UTC)


Should GARPA be mentioned in a seperate section? I do not think so. --Jurriaan van Hengel 13:53, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I hadn't heard of it before reading this article, so it may not be well known in the USA. --GargoyleMT 23:09, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Merging with Solid freeform fabrication[edit]

The list of techniques within the solid freeform fabrication are the same things that would be considered rapid prototyping. The rapid prototyping article has more text about the subject so doesn't it not seems reasonable to merge them? Not sure which title the merged article would take though. I think rapid prototyping is perhaps more widely used as a term, although solid freeform fabrication is perhaps more descriptive. What are other people's thoughts on any of this? - CharlesC 13:40, 6 January 2007 (UTC)

I believe that "solid freeform fabrication" (akin to "additive fabrication", or a couple others) is an artificial term created to more easily classify the various technologies that are used for prototyping. I think few end-users, service providers, or machine manufacturers use (or perhaps are even aware of) the term "solid freeform fabrication." That said, I think the rapid prototyping article might feel fairly cluttered if these technology overviews were put back in it. I don't think either article should be moved or merged... But I'm open for discussing it (obviously, since I'm writing this). --GargoyleMT 17:29, 6 January 2007 (UTC)
I think the rapid prototyping article is small enough to contain info from both and not be a 'large' article by any means, but I also think that 'Solid freeform fabrication' is perhaps a better umbrella term in the long run because it covers any additive fabrication technique, whether used for prototyping or manufacture, although as you say it is not widely used currently. The merge was only a suggestion and I have to say I don't feel particularly strongly about it either way. - CharlesC 00:27, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm glad that you think perhaps there's a place for technology descriptions in the article again. I am, however, against the use of "solid freeform fabrication" as the umbrella term that is used. "Rapid prototyping", though seemingly vague, is a much more popular term. I'm unsure about the origins of solid freeform fabrication, but I do believe it originates in academia. The term is practically unused by the popular manufacturers of the machines [1] [2] [3] and perhaps by those providing the service (but there's no easy way to construct a google search to check). It's true that eventually the rapid manufacturing and rapid prototyping articles may cover the same material, but we can merge them if that time comes... --GargoyleMT 13:30, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
It's been a couple of weeks since the last comment on the rapid prototyping page about the merge with solid freeform fabrication. Have you come to a conclusion about your proposed merge? --GargoyleMT 17:20, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
No I'm afraid I haven't really. I was perhaps expecting some others to comment too - I didn't really want to propose something and action it without getting a few other opinions. If no-one seems particularly bothered I'll remove the notices and these comments can remain for others to add to in future. -- CharlesC 21:01, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I believe that the information contained in the solid freeform fabrication page would fit nicely within the rapid prototyping page. I agree with GargoyleMT that the title should be rapid prototyping as this is the more commonly used (although less descriptive) term. Perhaps a section discussing the fact that the terms associated with RP are not yet standardized would be in order.. Catradar 05:07, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

I'd agree with a merge and would suggest a merge with Additive manufacturing (see below) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:51, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

Removed linkspamming[edit]

I have removed several corporate links from "External Links" which I felt did not conform to WP:EL. Feel free to revert or partially revert if you honestly feel I was in error. TheBendster (talk) 18 May 2007, 17:22 (UTC)

Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication[edit]

I would like to propose adding Electron Beam Freeform Fabrication to the list of rapid prototyping technologies. It's a new technology from the Johnson Space Center and NASA's Langley Research facility. Here is some more information about it:

  • Patent
  • Company with the License for the technology

The main advantage of the technology as far as I can tell is that it can create solid steel parts from a number of different metal alloys that other methods such as lasers cannot because of the reflective properties of the materials. Also, the machine can be manufactured to weight around 100 pounds, and they have plans to install and use them in space stations or space shuttles. The other main idea is that it is not limited to "prototyping," because the parts are solid and strong enough to be used in real applications, so it becomes more of an onsite rapid manufacturing method as opposed to just prototyping.

Would this technology be a good candidate for the chart on this page? I'm not completely sure about all the differences between this and Electron Beam Melting, but I do know that there are significant differences. Anyways, I just wanted to start a discussion with any interested parties. I'm in a class at school where I have to investigate this technology and evaluate how it can be commercialized or licensed to public companies. thanks for the help,

-dave 15:51, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Merge with Additive Manufacturing ?[edit]

Does anyone agree that rapid prototyping is a subdivision of additive manufacturing? Rapid prototyping is additive manufacturing of a small number of parts and Rapid manufacturing is additive manufacturing of larger batches of parts Maybee the two pages could be merged? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:46, 18 May 2008 (UTC)

My opinion is that the term rapid prototyping has a long and varied history, and should NOT be limited as a subdivision of AM. Rather it should be a top-tier term used to gather all processes and techniques used to design, construct, and test manufactured objects rapidly.
AM should be AM- push the Rapid Prototyping up.--n3vln (talk) 20:10, 1 June 2011 (UTC)
I'd lean toward keeping them as separate articles. AM to me is a larger umbrella. It's hard to say unequivocally that RP is a subset of AM; I view it that way, but another person could argue to group them as separate based on the prototyping-vs-production distinction. Of course, it is conceivable that that distinction is evolving ever closer to meaninglessness as technology advances. (In theory the same additive processes can make one copy or a million.) In which case, RP and AM start to look like "all the same thing". It's late and these thoughts are only half-baked, but FWIW, I'd lean toward "no merge, just extensive cross-linking wherever needed". — ¾-10 04:47, 2 June 2011 (UTC)
Asking whether rapid prototyping should be a subdivision of additive manufacturing is the wrong question. First decide whether they should be merged, then decide which name they should be merged under. Is it even true that rapid prototyping is a subset of additive manufacturing? Is there no rapid prototyping that uses a subtractive process? --Guy Macon (talk) 06:21, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Yes, indeed there is—but that doesn't resolve the taxonomical questions for the Wikipedia coverage, because people don't call it by the collocational name "rapid prototyping". Consider CAD/CAM postprocessed into CNC 5-axis contouring. That solution stack, a subtractive one, is today, in reality, a way to make prototypes that is rapid. (One of various quick ways to make prototypes, some subtractive, some additive.) But engineers and machinists don't call it "rapid prototyping", because that set phrase already is established by earlier convention to refer specifically to a certain range of additive manufacturing technologies. Which was named in the 1980s when some of today's types of AM didn't exist yet, and CAD/CAM postprocessed into CNC 5-axis contouring was not yet an easy, quick, commonplace activity, which is why subtractive prototyping was strictly a toolroom affair, old-school toolroom style, back then. Part of the problem with resolving any of these questions about taxonomy and thus article titles is that natural language is not tied to underlying reality by a blow-by-blow correspondence of attributes to words. This is why retronymy is such a huge part of natural language in the era of rapid technological change. And the fact that retronymy (and in many areas of natural language, the lack of it) is so frustrating when one analyzes it just highlights the limitations of natural language. If technology advanced rapidly enough, English as she is spoken today would be inadequate to assign a thoroughly logical nomenclatural taxonomy to it (simply because there'd be no mechanism to enforce that everyone get onto the same page with the naming). Which, incidentally, is already happening. Which is why Wikipedia won't be able to truly solve this article merging and naming puzzle—it can only manage to limit its messiness. — ¾-10 01:08, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Merge with 3D printing?[edit]

Does anyone have an opinion concerning whether this and 3D printing should be merged? If so, under which name? --Guy Macon (talk) 06:15, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

There are slight differences, but the two terms are used interchangeably in some circles. Rapid prototyping is the traditional term used in manufacturing and machining communities. 3d printing is a new term meant to be more descriptive of the process, rather than the use. Considering this article is a stub, it probably should be merged into 3d printing. --ssd (talk) 15:43, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

Is it even true that rapid prototyping is a subset of additive manufacturing? Is there no rapid prototyping that uses a subtractive process? Guy Macon 06:21, 22 March 2012 I think the answer to first is yes.The subtractive process was[is] very accurate, but to get a fast[rapid]-prototype a new tech was embraced.They saw it as a viable[lo-res] tech while they believed it had possibilities... leaving aside talk about subtractive hybrids. This page was a few paragraphs so I figured I put up some history.There is no history section on the reprap ad page, I mean 3d Printing page.The history section is often the first place I go when looking into a subject and often the place where the best insights are.IMO. I like the back water page that is a little more calm than the Printer page.Also is not subtractive still "higher spec" manufacturing? Of course additive can do stuff no other can, but its roots are from the rapid aspect.Just sayin — Preceding unsigned comment added by Autodidaktos (talkcontribs) 22:25, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

Well, as I said, 3d printing is descriptive of the process, while rapid prototyping is descriptive of the intent. I see no particular reason why additive or subtractive shows speed or resolution. The intent of rapid prototyping is to produce an initial piece that maybe only partially functional or may be used to make molds to produce the final piece. 3d printing usually produces the final part directly though a process that is typically additive, but could be subtractive or a combination of additive and subtractive I suppose. --ssd (talk) 01:34, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

prototyping boards[edit]

The prototyping article mentions that people often build a first "rapid prototype" of electronic devices on breadboard or stripboard or perfboard or wire-wrap board, non-electronic devices with a brassboard, with a link to this rapid prototyping article.

Is there some other article that describes such prototyping? Or does one need to be created? Or should this "rapid prototyping" article have a section describing such prototyping using such boards? --DavidCary (talk) 01:10, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Article is too narrow in scope[edit]

This article appears too narrow in scope. CAD/CAM is just one, albeit important, area. Rapid prototyping occurs in many fields, for instance, electronic circuits, genetic circuits (synthetic biology) and of course software. Perhaps the article should reflect the generality rather than focus on CAD/CAM. pgr94 (talk) 13:38, 12 August 2015 (UTC)