“Rapid manufacturing techniques are strongly penetrating the market, particularly in the plastics sector and that of moulds. Techniques of rapid tool manufacturing or Rapid Tooling are becoming very important in this field and in the field of production of single metal items, metal inserts and parts of moulds. This concept encompasses all those technologies through which tools are manufactured rapidly and directly using 3D CAD. The main technical motivations for the use of rapid manufacturing technologies are speed of construction, flexibility in making important geometric changes and the possibility of anticipating design defects and errors in the pre-industrialisation phases of the components. These technical motivations can also become economic motivations such as, for example, cost reductions of product development costs (by reduction in time and anticipation of design errors) and in an increase in expected benefit (by anticipating the competition). This addresses traditional processes in the mechanical sector on electrodes, moulds and matrices and enables entering the biomedicine sector for the manufacture of pre-operational models and guided surgery using this technology. Through the earlier research carried out in 2008 with the IMIDIC/2008/164 project entitled “Development of new materials for Selective Laser Sintering with the aim of seeking and diversifying new rapid manufacturing applications” we were able to show development of specific materials for a particular application. This next year we will proceed on this line to strengthen and consolidate the initial proposals.”

Start date: 01/01/2009