Rapid prototyping: Definition, Steps, Types, Benefits

What is rapid prototyping?

Rapid prototyping is a method of manufacturing the physical 3-D product in layers from CAD data files.
It is an additive manufacturing process, hence this method reduces the wastage of material considerably.

It can help in building prototypes of complex shapes using different materials.

The process of making a prototype from a CAD model consists of multiple steps which are discussed below.

Steps in rapid prototyping:-

Following are the steps used for creating a prototype from a CAD model.

Steps 1) Create a 3-D CAD Model

Step 2) Convert the CAD file to an STL file

Steps 3) Slicing of STL file

Steps 4) Built part in a layer by layer manner

Steps 5) Post-Processing ( Cleaning, Finishing )

Different types of rapid prototyping process:-

It can be classified on the different basis as follows:

  1. As per use of powder material:-
  • Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
  • Laser powder forming
  • 3-D Printing
  1. As per the use of liquid material:-
  1. As per the use of solid material:-
  • Fused Deposition Modeling
  • Laminated Object Manufacturing

Benefits of rapid prototyping:-

  1. Reduces loss of material.
  2. Different shapes part can be made.


  1. For the Precise product, Costly rapid prototyping machines are required.
  2. Skilled laborers are required to operate the Rapid Prototyping system.

Pratik is a Graduated Mechanical engineer. He enjoys sharing the engineering knowledge learned by him with people.

Leave a Comment