From: Ian Gibson (igibson@hkucc.hku.hk)
Date: Thu May 02 1996 - 07:31:13 EEST


Some of you may have noticed an article by Alan Griffiths FIM in Materials
World magazine. His viewpoint, titled 'Rapid Prototyping - Fact or Fiction?'
had some interesting things to say. As you can guess from the title he was
not particularly complimentary of the term or the technology. It was too
long to reprint here but at the end he posted the seven tenets of rapid
prototyping which may amuse you:-

RAPID - provided there is little queuing time to use the equipment
RAPID - provided you can afford it
RAPID - music to the marketeers ears - he may still be able to meet his deadline
RAPID - to change your design - you should have given it more thought in the
first place
RAPID - the speed at which new 'rapid prototyping' methods are being introduced
RAPID - probably the way that some of the original 'rapid prototyping'
systems may become obsolete
RAPID - can it also mean 'more haste, less speed'?

I'm not saying I dont agree with some of these sentiments, but I felt
compelled to reply to Alan with my own set:-

RAPID - if there is a queue, perhaps then its time to get another machine
or use another bureau
RAPID - can you afford not to use it?
RAPID - the marketeer no longer has to wait for the product to come off the
line, or rely on glossy, misinterpreted, artist's sketches
RAPID - you now have the opportunity to refine your design more often and
with greater flexibility than ever before based on evaluations of real-life
physical examples rather than imagination and drawings
RAPID - 1500 machine sales worldwide cannot be wrong
RAPID - 1500 machines are still being used
RAPID - can it also mean 'the early bird catches the worm'?

How about you?

Elaine - how about this?
If an insurance company sold RP machines you would get a guy in your office
every 2 months with a new plan for you to buy it. When you tell him you
already have one he will say it is not enough and you should have more. He
will also try to convince you that the parts made on the machine can be
moved to a tax haven in any part of the world at a moments notice. There
should also be a warning that parts may shrink or expand according to market

Dr Ian Gibson
Dept. Mechanical Engg.
University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong

email: igibson@hkucc.hku.hk
tel: +852 2859 7901
fax: +852 2858 5415

Thermos flasks keep hot things hot and cold things cold. My question is -
how do they know?

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