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Application Of Rapid Prototyping For Engineering Design Projects

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Design in Manufacturing

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.220.1 - 11.220.11



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Paper Authors


Jorge Rodriguez Western Michigan University

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Jorge Rodriguez is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and a Research Associate of the Human Performance Institute at Western Michigan University. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Wisconsin-Madison and his M.B.A. from Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ. Dr. Rodriguez teaches courses in Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing, Mechanical Design, Biomechanics and Finite Element Analysis. His research is in the field of computers in engineering, particularly in machine design, systems modeling, and biomechanics.

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Mitchel Keil Western Michigan University

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Dr. Keil is an associate professor in the Industrial and Manufacturing Department at Western Michigan University. He received his Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI&SU), his MS from Florida Atlantic University, and his BSME from VPI&SU. His areas of expertise are mechanisms, computer graphics, CAD/CAM/CAE, and vibrations. He is a registered professional engineer in the State of Florida. He has had industrial work experience at Litton Poly-Scientific, Motorola, and Bethlehem Steel Corp.

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Alamgir Choudhury Western Michigan University

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Alamgir A. Choudhury is an assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. He earned his MS and PhD from NMSU(Las Cruces) and BS in mechanical engineering from BUET (Dhaka). His interest includes computer applications in curriculum, MCAE, mechanics, fluid power and instrumentation & process control. He is also a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio and affiliated with ASME, ASEE, SME and TAP.

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Sam Ramrattan Western Michigan University

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Sam Ramrattan is a professor of IME department at Western Michigan University. He has BS in manufacturing engineering, MS in management technology and PhD in industrial technology. His areas of research and publications are metal casting, plastic process, materials and manufacturing process improvement. He is a professionally active member of TAP, SME, SPE, AFS and Key Professor of Foundry Education Foundation.

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Pavel Ikonomov Western Michigan University

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Dr. Ikonomov is an assistant professor in the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at Western Michigan University. He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Hokkaido University, Japan; his M. Eng. from Muroran Institute of Technology, Muroran, Japan and M. Sc. from Technical University of Varna, Bulgaria. His research is in the field of Virtual Reality simulation, Nanotechnology, CAM, Tolerance modeling and inspection.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Utilization of rapid prototyping equipment in senior design projects

Abstract: The use and application of Rapid Prototyping methods has been considered as an useful, but not necessary, step in the design process of new and improved products. Rapid Prototyping (RP) is an optional technology that has changed greatly from the early RP equipment and technology to the currently available option on materials, technology and machines. In certain cases in industry the utilization of RP technologies and equipment is of great benefit. Rapid Prototyping not only allows the people involved to visualize the concepts and/or alternatives being presented, but in some cases it gives them a better and more complete set of parameters that can be utilized to transfer ideas from the conceptual stage to the analysis/improvement stage in the design process. Nowadays the latest RP technologies can be used during the development of engineering projects. From the academic point of view, these projects are with the participation of students and, typically, with local industry. Thus resulting in a situation that benefits all the parties involved. The paper presents a couple of projects where the use of RP was beneficial for design visualization and verification. Initial and final designs for each case are presented, with explanation on the modifications performed and the value added by the use of RP.


The techniques of Rapid Prototyping (RP) began few decades ago when fragile, dimensionally inexact "touch and feel" models were produced to aid in the 3-D representation of drawings. Today, the science of RP has advanced to the point where exceptionally accurate, durable and functional parts can be fabricated with a variety of materials using a number of prototyping methods (Beaudin, R., et. al, 2000). Those RP models, produced mainly from non-metals, have been useful in validating a component for form and fit; and lately there has been a generation of techniques that is producing functional and metallic parts.

Rapid Prototyping refers to “several processes that create physical models directly from a CAD database” (Sriram, 2002). Components produced by RP machines are usually composed of different materials than the final product versions, and hence do not share many of the desired properties. They are, however, able to provide the designer with an idea of physical, ergonomic, and other properties of a particular component before it is send for production. There currently exist four accepted methods of Rapid Prototyping: a) Stereolithography (SLA) b) Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) c) Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) d) 3D Printing.

Rodriguez, J., & Keil, M., & Choudhury, A., & Ramrattan, S., & Ikonomov, P. (2006, June), Application Of Rapid Prototyping For Engineering Design Projects Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1312

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