Additive manufacturing is getting attention for its ability to accelerate the product development process.
The most common types of rapid prototyping methods are additive technologies, meaning that the model is built by adding material layer by layer. By contrast, subtractive prototyping methods create a model by removing material, typically by means of standard machining methods such as milling, grinding and drilling.
A rapid prototype originates with a computer model. Typically, this model is fabricated using computer-aided design (CAD). In some cases, where the final product will be custom-made for the patient, the computer model is created from the patient’s CT scan. A prototyping machine reads the computer data and slices it into different layers. The machine then builds the prototype by adding material layer by layer.
Get a list of the most common rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing method from European Medical Device Technology, where Camilla Andersson also discusses important application areas, including advantages for orthopaedic implants.