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EPRC is a leading institute in Europe for comparative research on public policy, with a particular focus on regional development policies. Spanning 30 European countries, EPRC research programmes have a strong emphasis on applied research and knowledge exchange, including the provision of policy advice to EU institutions and national and sub-national government authorities throughout Europe.

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Virtual assembly rapid prototyping of near net shapes

Lim, Theodore and Medellin, Hugo and Sung, Raymond and Ritchie, James and Corney, Jonathan (2009) Virtual assembly rapid prototyping of near net shapes. Ingeniería Mecánica. Tecnología y Desarrollo, 3 (2).

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Abstract

Virtual reality (VR) provides another dimension to many engineering applications. Its immersive and interactive nature allows an intuitive approach to study both cognitive activities and performance evaluation. Market competitiveness means having products meet form, fit and function quickly. Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing (RP&M) technologies are increasingly being applied to produce functional prototypes and the direct manufacturing of small components. Despite its flexibility, these systems have common drawbacks such as slow build rates, a limited number of build axes (typically one) and the need for post processing. This paper presents a Virtual Assembly Rapid Prototyping (VARP) project which involves evaluating cognitive activities in assembly tasks based on the adoption of immersive virtual reality along with a novel non-layered rapid prototyping for near net shape (NNS) manufacturing of components. It is envisaged that this integrated project will facilitate a better understanding of design for manufacture and assembly by utilising equivalent scale digital and physical prototyping in one rapid prototyping system. The state of the art of the VARP project is also presented in this paper.