Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute (RPMI)


The RPMI started in 1995 with a small group of faculty, industry and government representatives sharing ideas for addressing specific needs in manufacturing education. From that exchange, constituents made dollar and time commitments to the creation and growth of the RPMI. In our founding charter, we set down clear objectives and important guidelines for our operations and have remained true to those principles as we’ve grown. From the solid foundation we have established, the RPMI is making tremendous progress in leading the way into RP&M's future. Important changes are occurring within the RPMI and in the broader RP&M industry.

Mission Statement

To develop and deploy rapid prototyping and manufacturing technologies and applications through education, research and service.

The RPMI Vision

Our vision of RP&M's future includes a world where layer-based, additive fabrication technologies (e.g., rapid prototyping) are recognized as production manufacturing technologies. We want to leverage the unique capabilities of these additive fabrication technologies to produce unique geometries and material structures.

  • To be an internationally recognized center for RP research and education excellence.
  • To provide a unique resource to students, manufacturers, and RP vendors - allowing all parties to prosper as RP grows as a fundamental design, manufacturing, and marketing tool.
  • To folster the growth of intellectual capital among all RPMI stakeholders.
  • To maintain an open facility for all RPMI partners equipped with technologies representing the current state of the art in RP.


We have specific activities in research, education, and service, with a focus on the following areas:

  • Rapid Tooling
  • Rapid Inspection and Computer-Aided Verification
  • RP&M within Product Realization
  • Design for Additive Fabrication
  • Fabrication of Large Structures
  • Fabrication of Small Devices in Metals, Ceramics, and Polymers
  • Other Projects (like Machining of Non-Traditional Materials for Rapid Tooling)

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