Computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) has become a significant factor in the design and manufacturing process. Three-dimensional (3-D) modeling gives a full and complete CAD/CAM representation. Three-dimensional CAD systems consist of wireframe, surface, and solid modeling systems. Their 3-D capability is necessary to thoroughly describe all but the simplest of mechanical parts and provide multi-axis computer numerical control of machine tools. Rapid prototyping uses modern technology to produce a physical prototype from a CAD file in a matter of hours instead of days or weeks. The evolution of rapid prototyping technology has made it possible to create different methods/techniques.
By Gary Conner
By George N Bullen FSME