Directly driven by CAD model, based on principle of discrete-superposition, rapid prototyping technology is the generic terms of rapid manufacturing 3-dimensional physical entities with any complex shape. One of its main development trends is direct rapid manufacturing for metal parts. Up to now, there are many methods utilizing laser beam containing selective laser melting, selective laser sintering and laser engineered net shaping. Research and development of these means for direct rapid metal manufacturing are presented in this paper. Digital direct rapid manufacturing for metal parts represents development direction of advanced manufacturing technology.