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Rapid prototyping (RP) is a field in manufacturing involving techniques/devices that produce prototype parts directly from computer-aided design models in a fraction of the time. This article discusses the principles of RP and three major commercial processes, based on their layer creation method. These include selective cure layered processes, extrusion/droplet deposition processes, and sheet form fabricators. The article provides information on the three classes of RP, namely, voxel sequential volume addition, periphery cutting, and area sequential volume addition. It presents equations that represent build times for each of the three classes.

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