RAPID Manufacturing 2008

Later this afternoon, I'm headed to the RAPID 2008 Conference held in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. In manufacturing, “rapid” does not really have an exact definition. Sometimes it connotes additive fabrication techniques (certainly not rapid as in “made quickly”). The techniques are rapid because machines use CAD files directly to make parts. Thus, there is a turnaround of a day or a few days compared to weeks or months. I think the definition is getting broader to include subtractive technologies also. Think of how quickly Mom and Pop rapid shops could pump out parts with free, downloadable CAD and CNCs that cost under $3,000.

The show looks interesting. Workshops include “Metal Parts Using Additive Technologies,” “Reverse Engineering and 3D Data Capture,” and “3D Scanning: Reverse Engineering, Analysis, and Inspection.” Others that look neat are “3D Printing of Ceramics for Dental and Medical Applications,” and “Reverse Engineering and Aging Aircraft.”

More to come tomorrow...

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