CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2014 Edition
| Editors: The International Academy for Production Engineering, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart

Additive Manufacturing Technologies

Reference work entry



Rapid Prototyping is the construction of complex three-dimensional parts using additive manufacturing technology.

Theory and Application


Additive Manufacturing Technologies (AMT) are capable of building complex 3D objects by stacking up thin individual layers. By using this additive approach the degree of freedom regarding shape complexity is greatly enhanced compared to subtractive processes like turning or machining. AMT is largely used for manufacturing short-term prototypes (Rapid Prototyping), but it is also used for small-scale series production (Rapid Manufacturing) and tooling applications (Rapid Tooling). Besides applications in engineering, RP is becoming more and more popular in medical applications, where patient-specific geometries are required (e.g., orthopedics, dentistry, and hearing aids).

In order to achieve a good surface quality, thin layers are...

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Copyright information

© CIRP 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Material Science and TechnologyVienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria