Rapid Prototyping Technology for Reduction in Fabrication Time for New Products
One of the major aspects in the time required to bring new products to market is the time required to fabricate functioning prototypes. Rapid prototyping (RP) could shorten the time between design and manufacturing for products like mechanical parts by lowering investment in tooling. RP can be used for examining the design aspects of functional/non-functional parts like fit or assembly. This technology relates to article construction by defining it in three dimensions and then constructing the article using layers generated from a computer generated rendition of the article. This novel technology consists of software, special paper, and ink jet printable adhesive that allows 3D physical prototypes to be produced on a standard ink jet printer. The apparatus in this technology renders an object into a series of layers so that a physical article of the object can be constructed based on the layers.
This technology provides an inexpensive method to produce 3D physical prototypes and is of interest to all existing users of rapid prototyping. The traditional commercial prototyping systems usually require the use of high-priced materials. Prohibitive costs have limited the proliferation of RP applications to well-financed users. Due to its significantly lower cost, this novel technology can be used in new markets including businesses, school, and private consumers.
Stage of Development
A provisional patent has been filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. It is available for developmental research support/licensing under either exclusive or non-exclusive terms.
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