This article reviews various rapid prototyping (RP) processes, such as stereolithography, powder sintering, hot melt extrusion, sheet lamination, solid ground curing, and three-dimensional printing. It discusses various material prototypes produced by RP technology. The list of materials includes particulate and fiber-reinforced polymer, ceramic-matrix composites, and metal-matrix composites. The article provides information on freeform-fabrication techniques for composite part lay-up.
In materials selection, a decision matrix method is any formalized procedure by which materials are ranked prior to a selection decision. This article describes the advantages and limitations of decision matrix methods, as well as the steps involved, with examples. The methods include the Pugh method, the Dominic method, and the Pahl and Beitz method. The article discusses the three important concepts in decision making, namely, alternatives (candidate materials), criteria (objectives), and weighting factors.