Software for the Interactive Configuration of RP Based Process Chains

Dreher, Stefan
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In product development, time is one of the most critical factors. By introducing Rapid Prototyping methods, development time can be reduced dramatically. But the required characteristics of the generated prototypes become more and more complex. As a result, a great variety of Rapid Prototyping devices and services have emerged on the market. The product developer may be highly satisfied with the wide range of new potentials, tools and methods but who will give an orientation about the most suitable process chain to fulfill his demands? To solve the problem, a new software is being developed at the Fraunhofer Institute IPK in Berlin, the iViP-RPSelector. In a first step, the software tracks a record of the demands to the prototype. These values can be inserted manually, but there is an interface as well connecting the RPSelector to CAD and PDM systems to obtain the design parameters without user interaction. The RPSelector then calculates a completer RP based process chain, which may comprise a layer wise creation, some post processing, a copying process and several finishing processes.