- Industrial design
- Manufacturing individualized products in small numbers
- Architecture, engineering and construction (AEC)
- Aviation and automotive industries
- Sculpting arts
- Geographic information systems
A number of techniques are used for rapid prototyping. Their main differences between them are found in the building technology and the base materials.
- Selective laser sintering (SLS): thermoplastics or metal powders
- Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS): any alloy metal
- Fused deposition modelling (FDM): thermoplastics, eutectic metals
- Stereolithography (SLA): photopolymers
- Laminated object manufacturing (LOM): paper
- Electron beam melting (EBM): titanium alloys
- 3D printing: various materials
Rapid Prototyping and Medicine
In medicine, rapid prototyping has been and can be utilized in a number of ways:
- Industrial design of new medical devices and instruments, such as retractors, scalpels, etc.
- Production of customized devices, prosthetics, and implants, such as hearing aids, hip prostheses, replacement teeth, etc.
- Surgical planning, especially in craniofacial and orthopedic surgeries.
- Manufacturing biologically active implants and tissue engineering.
- Production of replicas of normal and abnormal body parts for teaching.
In pediatric cardiology, rapid prototyping can be utilized in the following ways:
- Guidance for surgery and interventional procedures.
- Prototyping of tailored implants
- Patient and family education
- Teaching- Gross normal and pathological anatomy
- Simulation of imaging, surgical and interventional procedures
- Artifacts related to cardiac and respiratory motion
- Complex segmentation processes
- Continuous motion of thin valve structures
- Requirement of image fusion
- Models with consistency close to real myocardial consistency