Rapid Prototyping and Engineering Applications: A Toolbox for Prototype Development

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 31 July 2009



Dotchev, K. (2009), "Rapid Prototyping and Engineering Applications: A Toolbox for Prototype Development", Assembly Automation, Vol. 29 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/aa.2009.03329cae.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Rapid Prototyping and Engineering Applications: A Toolbox for Prototype Development

Article Type: Book review From: Assembly Automation, Volume 29, Issue 3

Frank Liou,CRC Press,26 September 2007,$125.96,568 pp.,ISBN: 9780849334092,www.crcpress.com/product/isbn/

Rapid Prototyping and Engineering Applications: A Toolbox for Prototype Development is essential reading and reference for anyone working in product development, rapid prototyping and design-related areas, from senior and postgraduate students to engineering professionals.

The book provides excellent coverage not only of rapid prototyping, but also of several related to rapid prototyping and product design areas such as: design and product definition, planning and management, modelling and virtual prototyping, computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing, material selection, optimisation, process capabilities, and others.

Globalisation of the product development, competition, and continued demands for high quality, cost efficient, and customised products are forcing companies and engineers to look constantly for new ways to improve their business processes. Rapid prototyping and virtual prototyping have revolutionalized the product design process and are considered key technologies not only for a successful product launch but also for a dramatic cost savings and time-to-market reduction. However, for a really successful application these advanced technologies should be considered in the context of a wide range of tools for design and prototype development, and this book is dealing exactly with these issues.

Most of the available books in the area of rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing focus mainly on description of the current rapid prototyping processes and corresponding applications. This book is very different from those and goes beyond rapid prototyping.

In particular, Chapter 1 provides an elegant overview of the modern product development and the role of the prototyping and product definition. Chapter 2 focuses on the product prototyping process, some basic methods, the use of paper prototyping, and outlines the importance of good planning and management. Chapter 3 gives a nice selection of examples to illustrate how the modelling, simulation, and virtual prototyping can be utilised in the product analysis and concept validation of a future product. Chapter 4 discusses guidelines for material selection as a critical and important stage in product design and prototyping. Chapter 5 provides a concise overview of current CAD/CAM technologies as a basis of the modern tools for digital manufacturing and rapid prototyping. The most popular and commercialised rapid prototyping technologies are nicely summarised in Chapter 6 and their specific advantages and drawbacks in fabrication of a physical part or model provided. Chapters 7 deals with all aspects of building a prototype of a whole engineering system, and focuses on the importance of accuracy and tolerance analysis. Chapter 8 describes how to use a modular structure or building blocks to prototype an automated system and shows many examples of mechatronic systems. Chapter 9 emphasises on the use of quality control tools such as design of experiments, orthogonal arrays and ANOVA in the prototype assessment. The last Chapter 10 delivers an overview of various optimisation techniques, another important toolbox not only in the prototype development but also in the product design process as well.

Rapid Prototyping and Engineering Applications: A Toolbox for Prototype Development maps out an array of effective rapid and virtual prototyping tools and techniques that are used in the modern product design and development by the most successful companies. With straightforward text, easy-to-follow illustrations, and extensive examples and case studies in each chapter, this book presents a palette of modern practices in prototyping and product development that engineers need to know in an inspirational and extremely accessible form.

Krassimir DotchevDepartment of Mechanical and Design Engineering, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK

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