Rapid Prototyping, Principles and Applications

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 28 September 2010



(2010), "Rapid Prototyping, Principles and Applications", Assembly Automation, Vol. 30 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/aa.2010.03330dae.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Rapid Prototyping, Principles and Applications

Rapid Prototyping, Principles and Applications

Article Type: Book review From: Assembly Automation, Volume 30, Issue 4

C.K. Chua, K.F. Leong and C.S. Lim,World Scientific,Singapore,2010,$96.00,540 pp.,ISBN: 978-981-277-897-0,www.worldscibooks.com/engineering/6665.html,

The third edition of Rapid Prototyping Principles and Applications by Chua, Leong, and Lim provides a good overview of rapid prototyping (RP). The book begins with a brief history of the development of RP, and then clearly describes the RP process chain, and how RP integrates into the traditional manufacturing paradigm.

A comprehensive description of many of the RP technologies is provided, appropriately classified as liquid, solid, and powder based. Each description clearly indicates their major strengths and weaknesses, and gives useful examples of their application. The method of operation of each process is very clearly and thoroughly described and illustrated. Unfortunately, the book does fail to highlight the latest system developments, including some of the revolutionary developments, such as the Connex system from Objet Geometries. The publication is also slightly lacking in that information critical to making informed decisions on the use of RP is not readily available. There are a wide range of technologies available to the RP user, with an equally large array of materials, and the availability of real material property data and actual (or relative) cost information would be very useful in making technical and economic decisions when using RP.

A very useful description of the common STL file structure is provided, giving insight into the nature of “good” and “bad” files, which is so often omitted in such publications. An insight into the developing data formats is also given. An omission, that most users would find most useful, is a dedicated description of the most commonly used software for STL file checking, repair, generation, and build set-up.

Most usefully, a chapter is devoted to the description and illustration of many of the applications of RP, including the deployment of RP models in rapid tooling for the manufacture of functional parts in low, medium, and high volumes. The post-treatment of RP parts is briefly described, although some of the latest developments in this area are omitted.

This book serves as a very useful introduction to RP, providing a comprehensive description of the commonly used RP technologies. It will be extremely useful to students at all levels of education, but particularly at bachelor and masters level. It will also serve well as a reference for engineers new to RP who are considering using the technologies in their business, providing them with knowledge of the technologies available to them, the applications which they can support, and how they can integrate into their business to meet their needs.

Greg GibbonsRapid Prototyping & Manufacturing, WMG, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

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