Building a part one layer at a time using a method of additive fabrication such as 3D printing. Such parts are used for concept modeling to determine if the product design meets the customer's expectations. The parts are also used for form, fit and function to make sure they work properly with other parts. Contrast with rapid manufacturing. See 3D printing. See also RAD.
Rapid prototyping is the automatic creation of objects using a layering process from 3D data.
An example of rapid prototyping is ProtoCAM software creating auto engine parts.