RP/FFF Users Group

From: AIMMidA@aol.com
Date: Mon Feb 05 1996 - 21:04:49 EET

In a 2/2/96 message, Terry Wohler's wrote:

"An organized group of RP users, managers, and vendors is in place. It's the
Rapid Prototyping Association of SME. Membership is open to anyone anywhere.

If this group is not meeting the needs expressed here, this is a good place
provide suggestions."

I've been a member of the RPA for two years. In my opinion, the RPA of SME,
to date, has done a wonderful job for general orientation to the various
rapid prototyping technologies and for introduction of new applications of
the technologies through the discussion of case studies (i.e. rapid tooling
methods, etc.) My first Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Conference was a
fabulous introduction to the industry and those since have provided a nice
update on industry happenings. However, there has been very little time
dedicated at the Conferences for attendee interaction or hands-on
discussions. In post-conference critiques, I've recommended tutorials on
finishing techniques, laboratory safety, etc. The RPA states as one of its
Long Range Goals its desire to be a networking forum, however, aside from
boxed lunches and exhibit-area receptions there are not effective mechanisms
for networking. One simple way to offer this opportunity without changing
schedules or adding expense is to place topic signs on the lunch tables.
 This allows people to gravitate to others with similar interests.
 Similarly, the RPA Newsletter, to date, has been relatively infrequent and
based more on industry/vendor information than the practical, day-to-day
variety. I am only a technical wannabee, but even for me, it seems like the
RPA has not offered practical assistance to the initiated, daily user. It's
my take that the RPML discussions to date expressing interest in a "users
group" are more focused toward practical applications. If the RPA can and
will assume that type of role, then I'm willing to offer my assistance to
help facilitate it. If not, then I still stand ready to help form a new
rp/fff users group. Looking forward to responses, particularly from those
who have already expressed their interest to me.

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