- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 09 Jan 2018
To help develop this article, click 'Edit this article' above.
An additive process – rapid prototyping uses materials such as adhesives and photopolymers – by joining particles and layers of raw materials together to create the desired shape. It differs from more traditional processes, which typically compress and subtract rather than add.
First, a virtual 3D model must be created using CAD software. This digital rendering is a simulation of the final product. The design is then converted so that the prototype can be printed as efficiently and accurately as possible – allowing the printer to interpret the design in a language it understands. Checks are needed throughout the process to ensure no mistakes are made during printing.
There are a number of benefits of rapid prototyping:
- Short turnarounds.
- Accuracy ensured before the final product is constructed.
- High-quality product.
- It can produce small parts and cavities.
- It allows issues to be corrected at the beginning of the process rather than carrying them into the final product.
- It 'eco-friendly' as generates less waste.
See also additive manufacturing.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Whole-life costs consider all costs associated with the life of a building, from inception to disposal. Find out more here.
Reports emerge of injuries caused by Apple employees colliding with the campus' glazed walls.
The winners of NIC's ideas competition on transforming the Cambridge to Oxford arc discuss their concept.
Create new habitats and improve air quality and wellbeing.
New report provides 12 key actions which could close the structural talent gap in the construction industry.
These can be used to find out whether a proposed development is likely to be approved. Read more here.
Studying a built environment degree? Check out our helpful student resources section.
New BRE research paper explores how blockchain technology can benefit the built environment industry.
Timber is a natural carbon sink, but it must not end up in landfill at the end of its useful life.
BSRIA has collaborated with the Department of Health on research into air permeability in isolation rooms.