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Flexible Automation and Integrated Manufacturing 1999

ISBN 打印: 978-1-56700-133-4

A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF MAKING PROTOTYPES: NC MACHINING VS RAPID PROTOTYPING

Abstract

The need to produce prototypes of designed objects is a critical link in developing new products. The geometrical information and functionality of prototypes visualize the design intention and substantiate product plans. As a result, prototypes facilitate communication throughout a design circle, shortening the lead-time to market. This paper presents results obtained from a study where both numerically controlled machining and rapid prototyping are used to make a mold prototype for producing tactile graphics to be used as learning aides for blind children. A comparative investigation is conducted to identify the pros and cons of using the two methods to produce the mold prototype in terms of quality, cost and production efficiency. A new methodology is suggested for integrating NC machining and rapid prototyping for mass production, thus opening a new direction for the production of tactile learning aids.
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