The other week, I happened across a design engineer who had `discovered’ a new rapid prototyping process during a visit to a seminar in the north of England. Although we had covered the process two years earlier in Design Engineering, I wasn’t surprised to hear that this particular design engineer was totally unfamiliar with it.
After all, design engineers, like you, are busy folks, and often there’s barely enough time in the day to do the job you are given, let alone research new technologies that might be of importance to the companies you work for.
Over the past two years, rapid prototyping has become an important weapon in the designers armoury. In the right hands, it can be used to seriously cut down development time and to save money. And there are some very different types of equipment out there that it really does pay to be aware of.
`Surfing’ the Web recently, I came across a number of companies – more than I had imagined, in fact – that are currently engaged in producing equipment and materials for rapid prototyping. To help you, the designer, find them, I’ve put all the links up on the Design Engineering Web site. You can visit all the companies by simply going to the DE site at www.designengineering.co.uk, entering the Hotlinks section of the site and clicking on the button marked – you guessed it – rapid prototyping!
Later this year, in November, we’ll be following up this effort with a special report on rapid prototyping that will aim to compare and contrast the RP technologies that are available as well as some examples of their use.
In the meantime, I hope that the links on our Web site will prove useful. Now, there can be no excuse for missing out on rapid prototyping technologies.