Rapid prototyping technology (also known as RP, technology), born in the late 1980s, is a high-tech manufacturing technology based on material accumulation. Rapid prototyping combines advanced technologies such as computer-aided design (CAD), auxiliary manufacturing (CAM), computer-aided control (CNC), precision servo drives, and new materials. According to the three-dimensional design model of the product formed on the computer, the layers are sliced to obtain the contour of each layer. The laser is used to selectively cut a layer of paper, or to cure a layer of liquid resin, or to sinter a layer of powdered material. Alternatively, a hot sprinkler may be used to rapidly coat a layer of plastic, or selectively spray a binder or the like onto the powder material to form cross-sectional profiles and gradually stack into a three-dimensional product.
Although rapid prototyping technology has not been around for a long time, its technology has become more and more widely used due to its huge benefits to the manufacturing industry. Rapid prototyping has developed stereolithography (SL), powder sintering (SLS), melt coagulation (FDM), thin layer manufacturing (LOM), three-dimensional printing (3DP), and forming methods such as layer-by-layer curing (SGC), depending on the molding materials and technology.