Free form fabrication, or rapid prototyping as it is commonly known, is the creation of a physical entity, directly from numerical description, using an additive process.
The mathematical data used is typically in the form of a 3D CAD file, but it may also be obtained from a reverse engineering process.
This paper presents a review of three of the leading FFF (free form fabrication) systems which are commercially available. Time constraints will allow us to describe only three of these products. Although this does not do justice to a technology where there are more than 30 different systems in various stages of development, these examples represent the vast majority of machines which are in the marketplace today.