As a result of teh success of reducing "time-to-market" of parts produced using the various Rapid Prototyping (RP) technologies, more emphasis is now being placed on the reduction of the secondary process time to gain physical metal parts. To bypass the initial stage of producing a RP model for use in secondary functions, research has been undertaken to develop a system that will directly produce metal parts.
Thsi is a droplet based Solid Freeform Fabrication (SFF) technique which initially directs drops of molten metal onto a substrate forming a layer. Subsequent drops or "splats" stick to the previous layer by thermal adhesion at the point of contact. Solid models are thus made up by a ;ayering process similar to other RP methods.