Nowadays the field of Rapid Prototyping is rapidly changing and providing a clear overview is challenging. One of the biggest problems in this context is that different operations are often named similar. In the beginning of this paper the most important related terms are defined and classified. Afterwards the major Rapid Prototyping techniques, called generative manufacturing methods, are explained.
Alternatives to these generative methods as well as 3D-scanning methods are dealt with too. All in all these emerging technologies around 3D-printing and 3D-scanning are revolutionizing the way Rapid Prototyping laboratories look like. They offer new possibilities and reduce the complexity of prototyping. One of the future trends is so called Fab Labs which are currently stretching the boundaries of the common Rapid Prototyping laboratories. At Graz University of Technology the second Fab Lab in Austria has been established lately. Especially its implementation in University education as part of the Product Innovation Project is discussed in detail.