Tech. Questions

From: Connelly, Rob - BDRC (
Date: Tue Jan 28 1997 - 15:28:00 EET


Elaine Hunt wrote:

>We users have always asked 3D for the moon but I have never heard any other
>RP system user publicly ask for anything. Why?

And Michael Rees wrote:

>Second question. Why isn't there a RACE to develop FULL PHOTOGRAPHIC
>RESOLUTION COLOR rapid model technology? Why isn't there constant
>discussion about ways to accomplish this? Other than the construction of
>models molecule by molecule I think this represents one of the more
>exciting developments. (Call me an artist if you want)

Sounds great! I'd like to ask for it from ANY RP manufacturer. In fact, it
might be said that the race is on already, although it is such a difficult
thing to do that it appears very slow. The evolution of computer video
displays from text to high resolution full color took a while, and doing it
in 3D with real materials arguably adds an order of complexity.

Regarding tooling, if a given RP manufacturer really wants to fill this
niche with a quality product I suggest they stop by their local tooling
vendor (they're everywhere) and pick up one of those shiny metal blocks and
study it for a while. Toolmakers do amazing things. Beautiful shiny
finishes; sharp, crisp edges; the smallest detail formed precisely in all
three dimensions. Now compare this piece of art to that produced by the
most accomplished RP craftsperson on a given RP device. Not only
measureable inaccuracies but ANY visible differences are areas to be
improved. We're getting better all the time but there is still a long way
to go.

And you know, just when we have figured out how to produce rapid prototype
tooling from RP, people at my company have started talking about eliminating
prototype tooling and going straight from accurate RP prototype parts to
production tooling! Go figure. So... production tooling is next. Anybody
know how to get +/- .0001" in X,Y, and Z?!

Anyone want to add to/subtract from this?

 - Rob
Rob Connelly
Becton Dickinson Research Center
21 Davis Dr.
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
(919) 990-2263
(919) 990-2211 FAX

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