Brooks, Hadley and Aitchison, David
A Review of State-of-the-Art Large Sized Foam Cutting Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Technologies.
The Rapid Prototyping Journal, 16
Purpose – Current additive rapid prototyping (RP) technologies fail to efficiently produce objects greater than 0.5?m3 due to restrictions in build size, build time and cost. A need exists to develop RP and manufacturing technologies capable of producing large objects in a rapid manner directly from computer-aided design data. Foam cutting RP is a relatively new technology capable of producing large complex objects using inexpensive materials. The purpose of this paper is to describe nine such technologies that have been developed or are currently being developed at institutions around the world. The relative merits of each system are discussed. Recommendations are given with the aim of enhancing the performance of existing and future foam cutting RP systems.
Design/methodology/approach – The review is based on an extensive literature review covering academic publications, company documents and web site information.
Findings – The paper provides insights into the different machine configurations and cutting strategies. The most successful machines and cutting strategies are identified.
Research limitations/implications – Most of the foam cutting RP systems described have not been developed to the commercial level, thus a benchmark study directly comparing the nine systems was not possible.
Originality/value – This paper provides the first overview of foam cutting RP technology, a field which is over a decade old. The information contained in this paper will help improve future developments in foam cutting RP systems.