Rapid design and manufacture tools in architecture

Gerard Ryder, Bill Ion, Graham Green, David Harrison, Bruce Wood

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The continuing development of Rapid Prototyping technologies and the introduction of Concept Modelling technologies means that their use is expanding into a greater range of applications. The primary aim of this paper is to give the reader an overview of the current state of the art in Layered Manufacturing (LM) technology and its applicability in the field of architecture. The paper reports on the findings of a benchmarking study, conducted by the Rapid Design and Manufacturing (RDM) Group in Glasgow [G.J. Ryder, A. McGown, W. Ion, G. Green, D. Harrison, B. Wood, Rapid Prototyping Feasibility Report, Rapid Prototyping Group, Glasgow School of Art, 1998.], which identified that the applicability of LM technologies in any application can be governed by a series of critical process and application specific issues. A further survey carried out by the RDM group investigated current model making practice, current 3D CAD use and current use of LM technologies within the field of architecture. The findings are then compared with the capabilities of LM technologies. Future research needs in this area are identified and briefly outlined.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-290
Number of pages11
JournalAutomation in Construction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • architectural modelling
  • concept modelling
  • prototyping
  • design engineering

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