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What is rapid prototyping?

Rapid prototyping (RP) is a term encompassing a variety of processes used to fabricate models and prototype parts for products using CAD data from computer models. RP most commonly refers to a set of processes that utilize 3D CAD data to create three-dimensional prototype parts, but the term can also refer to automated processes that utilize 2D CAD data to create prototype parts from sheet materials. CAD software programs facilitate the RP process. Some RP processes are subtractive, whereby a design is cut from a sheet or block of material to create the desired part, and others are additive, whereby the part is built ...

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