Integrated Product Design Using Rapid Prototyping Technology and Rapid Tooling in Concurrent Engineering Approach
Advancement and acceptance of Concurrent Engineering to speed up and improve product development process requires a systematic approach to the integrated, simultaneous design of products and their related processes, including manufacture and support  and Rapid Prototyping  is the one versatile tool that meet this requirement. Rapid Prototyping involves virtual prototyping and provides physical models as an end product. Traditionally initial industrial design concepts are shown as renderings or drawings, that show the look and feel of the product. The construction of mock up is followed after selection of a particular concept and these looks exactly like final product in true form, colour, texture etc. but without working internal components. With the advancement of CAD, 2 types of prototyping are in use in product design for modeling and simulating products performances. (a) Virtual prototyping using Analytical models (b) Physical prototyping making physical models These choices are influenced by variety of reasons. Physical prototypes are used for Communication purpose, Demonstration purpose, Scheduling /milestones, Feasibility study, Parametric modeling and Architectural interfacing. The above uses lead to a number of benefits such as insights into manufacturability and assemblability, accelerating of parallel activities and flexible product choices. In this paper, we are concerned from the point of view of an industrial designer for Integrated Product Development using concurrent engineering approach. Thus this paper highlights the benefits of Rapid Prototyping over conventional prototyping methods.
Xing Ai, Jianfeng Li and Chuanzhen Huang
A.K. Das, "Integrated Product Design Using Rapid Prototyping Technology and Rapid Tooling in Concurrent Engineering Approach", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 471-472, pp. 672-676, 2004