Rapid Manufacturing is a new area of manufacturing developed from a family of techlogies kwn as Rapid Prototyping. These processes have already had the effect of both improving products and reducing their development time; this in turn resulted in the development of the techlogy of Rapid Tooling, which implemented Rapid Prototyping techniques to improve its own processes. Rapid Manufacturing has developed as the next stage, in which the need for tooling is eliminated. It has been shown that it is ecomically feasible to use existing commercial Rapid Prototyping systems to manufacture series parts in quantities of up to 20,000 and customised parts in quantities of hundreds of thousands. This form of manufacturing can be incredibly cost-effective and the process is far more flexible than conventional manufacturing. Rapid Manufacturing: An Industrial Revolution for the Digital Age addresses the academic fundamentals of Rapid Manufacturing as well as focuses on case studies and applications across a wide range of industry sectors. As a techlogy that allows manufacturers to create products without tools, it enables previously impossible geometries to be made. This book is abundant with images depicting the fantastic array of products that are w being commercially manufactured using these techlogies. It includes contributions from leading researchers working at the forefront of industry. It features detailed illustrations throughout. Rapid Manufacturing: An Industrial Revolution for the Digital Age is a groundbreaking text that provides excellent coverage of this fast emerging industry. It will interest manufacturing industry practitioners in research and development, product design and materials science, as well as having a theoretical appeal to researchers and post-graduate students in manufacturing engineering, product design, CAD/CAM and CIFM.
Neil Hopkinson is a lecturer in the Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at Loughborough University, UK. Having obtained his PhD in Rapid Tooling in 1999, Neil began to look into the economic viability of Rapid Manufacturing. Inspired by the findings of this research Neil began to investigate lowcost, high-speed Rapid Manufacturing processes while also focusing his research on material properties in powder-based layer manufacturing processes. To date Neil has secured over GBP1 million of research funding and published over 40 journal/conference papers; he was also an invited visiting lecturer at the University of Queensland in Australia. Phill Dickens is Professor of Manufacturing Technology and Director of the Innovative Manufacturing and Construction Research Centre at Loughborough University, UK. He is also Associate Dean of Research for the Engineering Faculty. Phill started work in the area of Rapid Prototyping in 1990, working on processes such as 3D Welding and using copper coated SL models as electrodes for EDM. The research work has changed emphasis since then from Rapid Prototyping to Rapid Tooling and is now concentrating on Rapid Manufacturing. Richard Hague is a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Rapid Manufacturing Research Group at Loughborough University, UK. He has been involved with Rapid Prototyping and Rapid Manufacturing (RM) research since 1993, and is now Principal Investigator on several large EPSRC, DTI and EU funded research projects. He was also instrumental in setting up and managing the successful Rapid Manufacturing Consortium that now operates from Loughborough. Richard has many academic publications in the area of Rapid Manufacturing and is referee to several international academic journals and conferences. He also holds a patent that was gained as part of his PhD studies which is licensed to the predominant manufacturer of Rapid Prototyping equipment (3D Systems Inc.).