Rapid Prototyping Processes and Operations
20.3 Virtual prototyping and how it differs from additive methods
Virtual prototyping refers to a technique in the product development process that involves the use of computer-aided engineering (CAE), computer-automated design (CAutoD) and computer-aided design (CAD) software. The software helps in validating a design before one goes ahead to make a visible prototype (kishorebondada, 525). We can achieve this by creating three-dimensional models and combining them to form assemblies. The software can go ahead to simulate the operation of the machine or any object under design.
Additive methods, on the other hand, are layered rapid prototyping operations that include laminated object and electron-beam manufacturing, selective laser sintering, three-dimensional printing, ballistic particle manufacturing, fused deposition modeling, poly jet modeling, and stereo lithography. The fundamental distinction between virtual prototyping and additive methods is that the latter has provisions for layering unlike the former.
20.6 Why photopolymers are essential for Stereolithography
Stereolithography is a type of additive manufacturing approach that is useful in creating patterns, prototypes, models, and production elements in a layer-by-layer fashion. The act involves photo-polymerization. This process involves the use of light to cause chains of molecules to link together and yield a polymer. Since photopolymers have little durability and strength, they are suitable and perhaps essential for use in modeling in Stereolithography (Stampﬂ et al,. 2-3). Since Stereolithography is concerned with complex shapes, the use of flexible photopolymers becomes instrumental.
20.9 The cleaning and finishing operations in rapid prototyping processes
A finished model/ prototype need a few manual operations by a skilled expert. It has to undergo sanding, polishing, and painting. The procedures are intended to remove the excess adhering material and to improve the prototype’s aesthetic appearance. After the finishing operations, the model goes through testing and verification by engineers who would make any adjustment in the solid-modeling stage.
J Stampﬂ et al. "Photopolymers with tunable mechanical properties processed by laser-based high-resolution stereolithography." (2008): 2-3. Web. <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229175995_Photopolymers_with_tunable_mechanical_properties_processed_by_laser-based_high-resolution_stereolithography>.
kishorebondada78. Manufacturing Engineering and Technology. Kalpakjian 11, 2014. Web. <http://www.scribd.com/doc/204240685/kalpakjian-11>.