Re: $20 K machines

From: Michael Buchloh (
Date: Mon Apr 06 1998 - 17:50:22 EEST

Preston Smith wrote:

> This has been an interesting thread. Following the thread's title closely,
> we all seem to be focusing on the cost.
> But people willingly pay much more for a bicycle than for a pair of shoes,
> much more for an automobile than a bicycle, and some jump up again for an
> airplane over an automobile. It depends not only on the cost but on the
> benefits derived too. I don't think we can say much about the cost of RP
> without assessing the benefits also. Without the amazing benefits RP has
> brought, we would all be going "RP barefoot," to stretch this metaphor a bit.
> As a start on this cost-benefit discussion, I have written a column, "Make
> Time-to-Market Technologies a Bottom-Line Issue," that will appear in the
> next (April) issue of Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) magazine, page 78.
> I'd be interested to see if others have thoughts in the cost-benefit
> direction, because this could help up get out of the "barefoot" mentality.
> This is not to say that I do not support a $20K machine. I just think we
> will get there much faster if we focus more on the business benefits that
> these machines can bring.
> Regards,
> Preston Smith CMC

Dear Preston,

on the one hand you're right. As long as there is a potential benefit, it't
interesting investing in these machines. But on the other hand, which small
company or design bureau can afford a $250k system, just for the few models they
need. These companies would benefit from a small, easy-to-use and cheap
RP-system. And just think of the impact for the use of CAD once the downstream
technology gets really cheap! Then it really makes sense to use CAD, even for
smaller parts.

Michael Buchloh
BMW Rapid Prototyping Centre
D-80788 Munich

For more information about the rp-ml, see

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 22:45:15 EEST