Shape Deposition Manufacturing is a process which uses material
additional and material removal. The material removal method is
usually 3- to 5-axis machining. The process has been jointly
developed at Carnegie-Mellon University and Stanford University.
Most of this work has been done on separate machines for deposition
and removal of material, so there were initially no "fabricators"
At Carnegie-Mellon, there is a newer single-machine "fabricator"
which can extrude thermoplastic materials and 3-axis machine
them to the desired size and shape. At Stanford, we're
building a "fabricator" to build polymer molds by depositing
and shaping part material and support material. The resulting
polymer molds are for gelcasting ceramics or casting thermoset
These machines are not yet suitable for commercial use, but patents
and research papers have been published for several years, especially
at the Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposia at UT Austin.
Rapid Prototyping Laboratory
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