The pivotal role of rapid manufacturing in the production of cost effective customised products

2009-12-11T15:05:47Z (GMT) by Christopher Tuck Richard J.M. Hague
The concept of Rapid Manufacturing (RM) is emerging from the so-called Rapid Prototyping technologies where additive rather than subtractive techniques will be used to make parts or even completed assemblies. As no tooling is required, one of the main benefits of RM will be the ability to make cost-effective custom products that could all be entirely individualised to a particular consumer or user. Thus, Rapid Manufacturing is the enabling technology for true, cost effective custom manufacturing and has the potential to revolutionise the design and manufacturing worlds. This paper will introduce results from a current research project that is being undertaken at Loughborough University looking into the effects that will occur to the logistics and supply chain infrastructure with the advent of RM.