Fast Freeform Fabrication Methods and Processes

  • Wanlong Wang
  • Henry W. Stoll
  • James G. Conley
Part of the Mechanical Engineering Series book series (MES)


Fast freeform fabrication, also called rapid prototyping, is the automatic manufacturing techniques using slicing and additive processes. The first techniques for fast freeform fabrication became available in the late 1980s and were used to produce models and prototype parts. With the fast freeform fabrication method, the machine reads in data from a CAD drawing, slicing the CAD model into a thin, virtual, horizontal cross-sections and lays down successive layers of liquid, powder, or sheet material, and in this way builds up the model from a series of cross sections. These layers, which correspond to the virtual cross section from the CAD model, are joined together or fused automatically to create the final shape. Figure 3.1 shows the principles of this slicing and additive manufacturing technology. The primary advantage to this slicing and additive fabrication is its ability to create almost any shape or geometric feature.


Selective Laser Sinter Sand Casting Triangular Facet Machine Setup Selective Laser Sinter Process 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag US 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wanlong Wang
    • 1
  • Henry W. Stoll
    • 2
  • James G. Conley
    • 3
  1. 1.Wang Consulting InternationalBurlingameUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical EngineeringNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  3. 3.Kellogg School of Management and McCormick School of EngineeringNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA

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