Re: What's in a Name II

From: Terry Wohlers (Wohlers Associates)
Date: Wednesday, January 4, 1995

From: Terry Wohlers (Wohlers Associates)
To: Brock Hinzmann (SRI  International)
Date: Wednesday, January 4, 1995
Forwarded to RP-ML
Subject: Re: What's in a Name II
     Please don't shoot me, Yakov! <grin>  I doubt that any individual or
organization is responsible for popularizing "rapid prototyping."  Quite
honestly, I don't remember where it came from or when I first heard or used
it. Sometimes, these things just happen.  
     Early on (pre-1990), I referred to RP technologies using several terms and
phrases interchangably, including those listed by Brock.  Back then, you
couldn't say "rapid prototyping" or "RP" and expect anyone to know what you
were talking about.  Now you can, which is not all bad, is it Yakov? <g>
     I published an article in the May '88 issue of CGW titled "3D Printing: From
CAD Model to Prototype."  At the time, I felt that "3D printing" was not a bad
way to describe this new class of technology, but it never caught on.  Today,
a few use 3D printing/plotting, but it is not used as much as RP.  
     Brock is right.  It was in the '89-90 timeframe when RP began to stick, as I
recall, and I'm not sure why.  The phrase does have meaning, and that may be
why the press and others chose to use it over the alternatives.  I'll admit
that it's not perfect, but it works.  FFF or something else may be better, but
there's not much we can do it about it now.  Even if everyone on this mail
list agreed to use something else, I doubt we could change it.  It's hard to undo
what's been done. 
     Brock - Where do you find the time to look up all of those references?  Did
you get some time off over the holiday?   
     Happy New Year to everyone!

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