Over the last 15 years, rapid prototyping has been an integral part of the design process in the car and aerospace industry (Brad Fox 2006). Recently the architecture profession has started to use these techniques in its design process (Greg Corke 2006), and some architecture schools have begun experimenting with these technologies.  Foster + Partners have been one of the first architecture practices to fully integrate rapid prototyping within its design process. The technology was initially seen as a sketch model making tool in the early stages of the design, in particular for projects with complicated geometries. It surpassed this purpose within a year and it is now seen an essential design tool for many projects and in for many project stages. The officeis rapid prototyping department now produces about 3500 models a year. Besides, or perhaps because of, rapid prototyping, Foster + Partners have started to experiment with rapid manufacturing. This first was done through the design and manufacture of a Christmas tree for the charity organisation Save the Children.