What Does Rapid Prototyping Mean?

by norwegianprototypes

Some refer to rapid prototyping as fast fabrication. Which is pretty much what it is all about. Understanding it may be difficult for some, but it can be explained in simple terms.

Prototype manufacturing is a broad topic. Just like many other things, the best way to explain it is to pick out the terms one by one. When that is done, it becomes easier to understand.

Any design that matches the expected finished product, even if it is by a very little difference, it is usually referred to as a high-fidelity prototype.

When a design does not meet the specification requirements of the proposed finished product, it is usually referred to as a low fidelity prototype.

In low-fidelity prototypes, there is always a marked difference between the newly designed prototype and the expected finished product.

Rapid prototyping requires the use of 3D computer-aided design (CAD), engaging in the fast fabrication of parts of the expected finished product.

What Does Rapid Prototyping Mean?

During the creation of this physical part, the producers make use of the process commonly known as 3D printing or additive manufacturing.

Rapid prototyping is the fast fabrication of physical parts of a prototype. This process is carried out without any expensive toolset and is done from the computer solid model.

Rapid prototyping has become a trend in the 3D world. This is only because of the sudden need to reproduce some challenging designs.

There have been serious upgrades in the development and sophistication of d rapid prototyping since the cold war.

This is mostly a result of the needed advancement of space and defense tools. During this period, there has also been a distinct improvement in rapid prototyping types.

Rapid Prototyping Working Principle

Rapid prototyping makes use of various technologies when it is used to carry out manufacturing processes.

While this is the case, the most utilized manufacturing process is additive manufacturing. This manufacturing process is achieved by layering.

Other technologies are also used in rapid prototyping (RP). These include casting, moulding, high-speed machining as well as extruding.

In cases where additive manufacturing is not used, other convenient methods of rapid prototyping are used.

These convenient rapid manufacturing processes used for prototype creation are subtractive processes and compressive processes.

Subtractive Process

In this rapid prototyping process, there is a block of material that is carved by grinding, milling, or turning to achieve the desired shape.

Compressive Process

In this process, the material is either in a liquid form or semi-liquid form. Compressive sintering, moulding, or casting is used to force the material into shape, then left to solidify.

Application Of Rapid Prototyping

The people who make the product designs use rapid manufacturing to represent the parts of the prototype.

The purpose of the representation is to aid visualization of the product, to show off the design and plan of manufacturing processes involved for mass production.

Before now, rapid prototyping was mainly for creating types and small models in the automotive industry.

That is no longer the case since the application now has a wider range, gaining popularity in big industries as aerospace and the medical sector.


Rapid prototyping is now in the big books of modeling and 3D designs, based on recent statistics, it is almost certainly going to get bigger as it gains more popularity.

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