Overviews the current data exchange formats in use today in rapid prototyping (RP), and explores their role in connection with data preparation. Tries to explain the interplay between data exchange formats, application programs, and final functionality which these programs should deliver to a user of RP technology. RP is closely related to the effective use of CAD and related systems, and can demonstrate how geometric models can be transferred from one system to another, and how they are converted from one representation to another. Argues that the functionality that can be implemented and offered to a user in CAD‐related systems is closely related to how geometric models are represented. Since data exchange formats are the vehicles used to represent geometric models for data transfer purposes, they are important building blocks for the effective use of RP technologies. Overviews data exchange formats used in RP applications and discusses their role in developing useful software tools for RP applications.
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