RE: SLA Quoting and STL Viewing Software

From: Tony Riek (
Date: Wed Jan 24 1996 - 02:48:56 EET

>>Would any of you be able to refer me to inexpensive software for viewing
>>files. I would like to pass this on to my customers so they have some idea
>>what they are buying/creating/sending out. We are also interested in PC
>>SLA quoting software.

>With regards to the PC based quoting software - you might want to consider
>using Microsoft Access and writing your own. We have developed our own
>inhouse version that monitors/controls our entire SLA process keeping track
>of jobs, assisting in quoting, tracking customers & vendors, etc. We even
>a picture of the parts with each job. It can get as elaborate as you want.
> I will
>note however that you need a fairly robust PC with a good chunk of memory
>to run it very well.
>Regards, Todd Stahlhut

We're also using MS Access to handle all of the above - I was surprised at
how easy it was to implement. We are now investigating a link between
Access and MS Project so we can automatically schedule jobs for SLA and
vacuum casting.

As for help in SLA quoting - this essentially requires a build estimator.(!)
Build times can be estimated from STL data. Kamesh Tata and Dave Flynn
from Prototype Express once outlined how to do this in a paper for some
conference somewhere. (Anybody help here?) We started with this info and have
modified it a little bit . We now consistently get about a +/-5% error in
build times. Of course if someone faxes you a photocopy of a sketch on the
of an envelope instead of giving you an STL file the error is more like +200%.

Tony Riek
CSIRO - Division of Manufacturing Technology
Queensland Manufacturing Institute
P.O.Box 4012, Eight Mile Plains, Brisbane Q 4113
Ph: + 61 7 3364 0736 Fax: + 61 7 3364 0786

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