The Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC) is an applied research center that helps businesses achieve prototype more quickly and take products to market faster. This joint effort of industry, government and MSOE is dedicated to the application of proven technologies to novel challenges.
Advances in material and machine choices have increased in the additive manufacturing industry. RPC engineers are staying abreast of all of the changes and also seeing an increase in requests for parts used for functional testing and end use parts in limited production volumes.
With freedom-of-design using additive manufacturing, the RPC, along with MSOE students, is helping designers and engineers eliminate fasteners and glue joints within their assemblies in order to eliminate multiple components. The result is a functional one-piece that can be used in limited production. With ten installed systems from five different technologies, and more than 15 different material choices in the RPC, there is a solution for almost every problem, especially since additive manufacturing has leveraged the use of secondary processes such as producing masters for silicone molding, investment casting, sand casting, blow molding, thermoforming, etc., with shorter lead-times.
The laboratory is equipped with a variety of commercially-available rapid prototyping systems, including:
- stereolithography (SLA)
- selective laser sintering (SLS)
- fused deposition modeling (FDM)
- 3-D scanning technology
The RPC uses computer-based manufacturing techniques and complementary processes to reduce the time and cost of industrial products ranging from functional models to full-scale production.
Established in 1991, the Rapid Prototyping Consortium continues MSOE’s tradition of building strong ties to business and industry. The Consortium includes industrial companies and educational institutions that cooperate in understanding the Consortium’s vitality and success in a high level of industrial parts design and fabrication activity. Companies that take advantage of the facilities and expertise within the Consortium become stronger and more competitive.
Joseph C. Musto, Ph.D., P.E.
Director of Rapid Prototyping Consortium