CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

Living Edition
| Editors: The International Academy for Production Engineering, Sami Chatti, Tullio Tolio

Rapid Tooling

  • Andreas GebhardtEmail author
  • Jan-Steffen Hoetter
Living reference work entry



The term Rapid Tooling has three different but related meanings (Mennig and Stoekhert 2013):
  1. 1.

    Strategies for the fast (or rapid) conception of tools, tool inserts, dies, and molds in the sense of a methodology.

  2. 2.

    All, even nonadditive, manufacturing processes or process chains that support to make tools, tool inserts, dies, and molds faster and cheaper than it was possible with traditional tool making but for a lower production outcome. The term includes all kinds of copying or secondary rapid prototyping processes like vacuum casting.

  3. 3.

    Additive manufacturing of tools, tool inserts, dies, and molds in the sense of direct digital manufacturing.


This entry only deals with Rapid Tooling in the sense of direct digital layer-oriented fabrication as defined under bullet point 3.

Rapid Toolingsometimes is misunderstood as automated making of the entire tool. In fact, it delivers complex tool...

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  1. Gebhardt A (2006) Vision rapid prototyping. Generative manufacturing of ceramic parts – a survey. Proceedings of the German ceramic society (DKG: Deutsche Keramische Gesellschaft). DKG 83(13):7–12Google Scholar
  2. Gebhardt A (2012) Understanding additive manufacturing: rapid prototyping – rapid tooling, Rapid Manufacturing. Hanser, MünchenGoogle Scholar
  3. Gebhardt A, Hötter J-S (2016) Additive manufacturing. 3D printing for prototyping and manufacturing. 600 pages. Hanser, MünchenCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. ISO/ASTM 52900:2015 Additive manufacturing-General principles-Terminology.
  5. Mennig G, Stoekhert K (eds) (2013) Mold-making handbook, 3rd edn. Hanser/Gardner, CincinnatiGoogle Scholar
  6. VDI 3405, VDI 3405 Blatt 2. Additive Fertigungsverfahren – Strahlschmelzen metallischer Bauteile – Qualifizierung, Qualitätssicherung und Nachbearbeitung. (Additive Manufacturing Process, rapid manufacturing – Beam melting of metallic parts – Qualification, quality assurance and post processing). VDI Gesellschaft Produktionstechnik (ADB), Düsseldorf, Germany August 2013 (in German)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© CIRP 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GoetheLab for Additive ManufacturingFH Aachen - University of Applied SciencesAachenGermany
  2. 2.FH-Aachen/University of Applied SciencesAachenGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ludger Overmeyer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Transport and Automation TechnologyLeibniz University HannoverGarbsenGermany