UW Rapid Prototyping Consortium
The Rapid Prototyping Consortium is a part of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery. The goal of the UW Rapid Prototyping Consortium is to connect reseach groups throughout campus with the idea of collaboration of technology and resources.The Advanced Prototyping Facility (APF) is an affiliate of the Morgridge Institute for Research and is located in B1125 in the lower level of the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery building, 330 Orchard St.
Introduction to Rapid Prototyping
Rapid prototyping, sometimes referred to as 3D printing, is a method of fabricating objects in which a 3D computer model is constructed as a physical object using additive manufacturing. A rapid prototyping machine slices the computer model into layers, then sets down each layer in material (such as plaster) until the object is complete.
Unlike traditional manufacturing methods, rapid prototyping can produce 3D objects of any complexity with a single machine, little setup, and no assembly. Although the technique is currently used primarily for prototype device production, there is much potential for its application in medical and academic fields. For instance, prosthetics and surgical implants can be made to perfectly fit each individual. Durable models of internal structures, such as organs and proteins, can easily be produced for study.
The UW Rapid Prototyping Consortium is a colaboration of prototyping technologies available to researchers in many different fields at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. To check out some of the research projects that have used parts that were made at our facility go to the Research page under 'Applications'.
3D printing is only one type of rapid prototyping. A variety of technologies has emerged, each using different materials and a different method of combining layers. See the Technologies tab for further descriptions.