Rapid Prototyping Comes Of Age Essay


Discuss about the Case Study related to rapid Prototyping.



The report focuses on a case study related to rapid prototyping. The aim of this report is to highlight the project management issues of the case study. Frank Billing dreamt of building of rapid prototyping [1]. His dream job was to work for a rapid prototype machine development as he realized its potential in the marketplace. After completion of the Engineering degree, he went for a job at Cocable to clear his debts and school loans. After working with the company for three years, he finally got the chance to work on rapid prototyping. The Case study assessment is elaborated in the following paragraphs.

Case Study Assessment

Problem Definition

Frank worked day and night for three months to build the machines according to the specifications. However, the machine failed to perform in its test run although it was built according to the specification. This mainly occurred because of a problem detected in the CAD model. The length of the model was 62 inches long, while the actual length should have been 55 inches. This made the project fail drastically and redesigning of the RP machines would have taken a lot of time and money. This resulted in entire project running late and in over budget. Therefore, lesson learnt from this case is that, it is utmost essential to have a clear picture of the requirements and specifications of a particular project.

Possible Causes of the problem

The possible causes of the problem is listed below-

1) Frank’s machines were optimized for a length of 48 inches and 55 inches were marked to be the safe length. 62 inches went outside the range.

2) The machines if redesigned would have required different processors, actuators and adhesion process, which would have gone out of budget [2].

3) A proper project management plan was not considered for developing the prototype model.

4) Thorough research about the specification of the project was not properly performed before the project initiation.

5) The project requirements were not properly clarified. The specification of the rapid Prototyping machines were given to Frank and he right away started working on it without clarifying the requirements with the company further [3].

6) The scope of the project was not clearly defined. Frank did not take any follow up with the company after initiating the work on the project. This was one of the major causes of the problems faced with the project. It was essential to ensure that the project scope is correct by developing a proper project plan and strategic approach to the development of the rapid prototype machines. This was significantly important since the machines were to be built for airplane engines and there could not be any room for error [4].

7) Another major cause of the project failure was the tight schedule. Developing the machines according to the specifications was essential and they were needed to be perfect. Developing a perfect product requires a considerable amount of time that was not given to Frank. Frank worked day and night to build the machines and the tight schedule left little room for undergoing a proper testing phase.

8) The machines were not tested before the test run. System testing is necessary for every product to be developed as it reveals the bugs present in a system. Frank was not entirely at fault for this issue as it was not possible to perform proper testing procedures of the machines. However, being a developer, he should have considered performing at least the essential testing phases of the machine development. This could have saved him from the embarrassment, and time loss [5].

After considering the probable causes of the problem, it can be well understood that it was fault of the entire project management team. Lack of proper project management plan and systemic methodologies was the source of the problem. Therefore, the payment for the changes should be Cocable and Frank can be charged a fine for not following the specifications of the machine properly [6].


Steps that could have been taken to avoid the problems stated above are listed below-

1) Cocable should have held regular meetings with Frank to know about the project progress. This could have helped in identifying the problem in the initial phase of development.

2) Frank should have clarified the specification with the company before initiating the project

3) Frank should have developed a proper project management plan before project initiation. This could have helped in identifying the tight schedule of the project and could have helped him in clarifying for extra time.

4) The project should not have been done in a tight schedule as it was mainly built for an airplane and the perfection of the machines was important.

5) Cocable should have given this project to an experienced RP machine developer [7].


Therefore, from the above discussion, it can be concluded that there were a varied number of loophole in the project management and execution of the project. The problem with the newly developed rapid prototype machines could have been identified in the development stage if proper testing of the machines were performed. This could have also saved Cocable from significant loss of time and money. Frank did a mistake of knot crosschecking the specifications and the testing the RP machine he was building. The damage could have been controlled or avoided if the project was not executed in a tight schedule


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H. Kerzner, Project management. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2017.

Mirza, Muhammad Nabeel, Zohreh Pourzolfaghar, and Mojde Shahnazari. "Significance of scope in project success." Procedia Technology 9 (2013): 722-729.

Larson, Erik W., and Clifford Gray. Project Management. McGraw-Hill, 2013.

Young, Trevor L. Successful project management. Vol. 52. Kogan Page Publishers, 2013.

Pham, Duc, and Stefan S. Dimov. Rapid manufacturing. Springer Science & Business Media, 2012.

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