Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing

Rapid Designs is a leader in additive manufacturing, producing finished parts for directly from digital data such as 3D CAD drawings. Using new advanced materials and leading technologies such as selective laser sintering, Rapid Designs is able to use additive manufacturing to produce fully functional parts the meet the demands of applications in the aerospace, defense, and medical industries.

Additive Manufacturing Evolving from Rapid Prototyping

The technologies that have been used for many years to do rapid prototyping are now being more widely used for creating parts that are used directly in the final product. Making finished parts directly from digital input is a breakthrough technological advancement. Prototypes created using additive fabrication processes such as selective laser sintering and stereolithography have been and are still used in the product design and development process to check form, fit and function to varying degrees. But until recently, the prototyping materials allowed for the creation of prototypes that were good enough for testing but were not fully suited for final use. With the latest advanced materials and used with additive manufacturing in general and selective laser sintering (SLS) in particular, final production parts can be produced that are fully functional. Rapid Designs is ideally positioned as an additive manufacturing leader based on:

  • Deep experience with SLS
  • Strategic partnerships with materials manufacturers to assist in the development of better additive manufacturing materials
  • Start-to-finish product development expertise
  • Domain experience with the leading industries using additive manufacturing: aerospace, defense and medical

Additive Manufacturing Terminology Note

Currently there is debate among providers in the additive manufacturing industry and variation in the terminology used by customers and providers to describe these technologies and processes. Additive manufacturing is one popular term. Others include:

The use of the term “additive” refers to the process of adding material and building the product layer by layer in processes such as selective laser sintering and stereolithography. This is in contrast to “subtractive” methods such as cutting, lathing, turning, milling and machining, where material is removed to create the part or protoype. Additive fabrication is more often used to refer to the process itself, while additive manufacturing carries the connotation that additive fabrication technologies are utilized to manufacture finished parts that are used in the final products, not just as prototypes.

Contact Rapid Designs for Additive Manufacturing

To discuss your Additive Manufacturing / Additive Fabrication needs or to request a quotation, please contact us.