Current Status Of Rapid Prototyping Technology
The United States is the world’s most important producer of RP equipment, and its RP development level and trends basically represent the world’s RP development level and trend.
1.Stereoscopic light modeling
3D Systems’ SLA27000 model has a scanning speed of 9.52m/s and a layer thickness of up to 0.025mm. AUTOSTRADE (Japan) has developed an RP system using a wavelength laser of about 680 nm as a light source and a visible light resin for this wavelength. Providing photocurable resins include Ciba Corporation of Switzerland, Asahi Denki Corporation of Japan, and Dupont Corporation of the United States.
2. Layered entity manufacturing
Helisys has developed a variety of forming materials for LOM processes that can be used to make molded parts made from sheet metal. The company is also working with Dayton University to develop a LOM process based on ceramic composites. The University of Dundee in Scotland cuts steel sheets using CO2 lasers and uses solder or adhesive to make the shape. Japan’s Kira PLT2A4 forming machine uses super-hard tool cutting and selective bonding to make molded parts. Swinburn University of Technology in Australia has developed metal-plastic composites for the LOM process.
3. Selective laser sintering
DTM has introduced a series of Sinterstation forming and various forming materials. Among them, Somos materials have rubber properties, heat resistance and chemical resistance. These materials are used to manufacture flexible parts such as serpentine tubes and gaskets on automobiles. EOS has developed the PA3200GF nylon powder material, which has high precision and surface roughness.
4. Fused deposition manufacturing
Stratasys has introduced the FDM series of forming machines that can be formed simultaneously using two nozzles for fast production. The company’s Genisys-based thermoplastics form and develop water-soluble support materials that solve the problem of difficult to remove support materials in complex and small holes.
The RP software mainly has CAD model data processing and forming machine control functions, which have a great influence on the precision of the formed parts and the performance of the system. Almost every commercial RP system has its own RP software. Therefore, the RP software on the market is diverse.