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Rapid Prototyping Job Shops

THOMASNET.com CUSTOM QUOTES

Our Engineers Will Find You the Right

Rapid Prototyping Job Shops

CUSTOM QUOTES

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CUSTOM QUOTES makes it easy. And, it's FREE.

Tell us everything you can
about your project
A THOMASNET.com engineer will
assess your requirements
We'll identify up to
5 qualified job shops for you

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ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS | Tell us more about your project (optional)
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SUPPLIER PREFERENCES | Certification & Ownership (optional)
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Terms & Conditions
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Rapid Prototyping
ABOUT Rapid Prototyping
Technology: Rapid Prototyping Services are processes which create solid models of parts directly from 3D CAD software designs. The materials used are typically thermoplastic resins, photopolymers, or powered metals. These models are created by curing the material one layer at a time while stepping through the design until the finished part is completed. Typical technologies used in rapid prototyping are:

  • 3D Printing (3DP), or Binder Jetting
  • Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), or Material Extrusion
  • Stereolithography (SLA), or Vat Polymerization
  • Laminated Object Manufacturing (LOM), or Sheet Lamination
  • Direct Metal Deposition, or Directed Energy Deposition
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), or Powder Bed Fusion
  • Drop on Demand, or Material Jetting


  • The term Additive Manufacturing has become a popular synonym for rapid prototyping. The techniques are being used more and more to produce final parts, especially for one-of-a-kind pieces such as dental and surgical implants. Rapid prototyping can be used to make patterns for investment casting, which can also yield metal parts. Progress is being made in the direct additive manufacturing of metal parts for aircraft and the like.

    Advantages: Rapid prototyping services can produce models and functional parts very quickly without the cost of tooling, machining, etc. required by traditional prototype making.
  • Can produce parts with complex internal geometries
  • Better turn-around time than other prototyping methods
  • Fairly extensive materials choice, especially for plastics

    Limtations of Rapid Prototyping
  • Still mostly suited to prototyping rather than production level outputs
  • Functional metal parts are feasible though perhaps not as economical as other traditional manufacturing methods


  • Applications: Rapid prototyping is still an ideal way of producing life sized and scaled realistic models of potential products/designs.
  • Architectural models
  • Investment casting patterns
  • Medical implants
  • Jewelry
  • Working mechanical models
  • Complex geometries
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