Re: 3D printing

From: zedand00 (
Date: Thu Jul 10 1997 - 07:49:07 EEST

Karl R. Denton wrote:

> Having said the above I can't imagine the companies listed below ever getting involved in the business. Once the hype of the "concept modeler" has long since gone the reality will set in and users will want machines that produce parts, not concepts.

Dear Karl and list,

I'm fascinated by your point of view. Lately, I've been thinking alot
about why companies with cnc machines would really want to invest in rp.
After all their infrastructure is in place. Their people are thoroughly
trained. The software is advanced. In many cases when a prototype is
made on a 3 or 4 axis machine it is being tested on the same machine
which will cut the molds. Accuracies are far and away better on the
cnc. My conclusion to this round of thoughts was this: Concept modelers
made more sense as a proving tool than did investing in the more precise
and way more expensive rp machines. You can buy several 3 axis cnc
including the software and hardware to run it for the same price as 1
sla 350. And cut high precision molds with it.

Obviously, the application of the end user is the prime consideration
here. For example, medical parts. (disclaimer: I have no direct
experience of the software discussed). A collaborator I know runs
materialise medical software. He's had models made with a concept
modeler with layer accuracies from .009-.01". His claim is that the
precision of the layers coming from a cat scan is coarser than the
accuracy of the model made with this modeler. Put another way, the
concept modeler is more precise than the data that has created the
model. In my mind, this makes concept modelers more than a fad.

Secondly, there is nothing to prevent the various "desktop" or "concept"
modelers from increasing their precision. Only marketing strategies. The
genisys is not a significantly different machine from its more precise
parent the 1600. As well the sanders machine, with the greatest industry
precision is well suited to the office environment and could easily be
considered a "desktop" or "concept" modeler.

I worked for a while in a product design company. The qualities of form,
fit, and a beautifully finished model were primary to the sales effort.
All the models that we produced using cnc, rp, and silicon molds were
further benched by hand to an excellent finish. For these sales
purposes, proving a concept and handing the client the right look was a
suitable task for the lower precision rp machines. The models were cost
effective and provided an excellent armature which could be further
developed. At the same time, 3 or 4 3D iterations could be presented to
the client which typically impressed them.

This is descriptive of a design, not production environment. I gather
that you are describing a production environment. The market will work
its Darwinian charm upon all we are discussing. We will probably all be
right and wrong in equal measure. But, I will stand by the effectiveness
of the "concept" modeler--through experience and my dream of owning a
desktop 3d printer humming away next to my computer.

michael rees
1212 w 8th St. Bldg B #2, 
KC, Mo 64101
816 753 3020 v 816 753 1542 f

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