Re: 3D printers - what are they?

From: Mark Kottman (
Date: Tue Oct 28 1997 - 15:41:20 EET

The real key is to use the appropriate tool at the appropriate time. I
know that sounds trite, but amazingly most people simply do what they
know how to do.

Consider the reaction of a customer (internal or external, we all have
customers) who wants a quick model, but the engineer estimates it will
take two weeks to do a solid model and then a rp part. Do you think that
customer will be happy with that?

Likewise, if it is critical that the part be symmetrical, or contain a
specific volume, or mate with existing parts, it's not likely a quick
hand made model will do the job. This is why it is so critically
important to constantly expand your skills beyond your current area of
expertise. It's not a case of one way being wrong and the other right,
it's just right process for the job.

Mark wrote:
> I'm afraid I'm going to have to hang with Brock on this one. This has
> been the case for many years in the CAD market; the ubiqutous napkin is
> still a common medium for design decisions. Many times I have seen the
> engineer sketch several designs before actually doing one in the CAD
> system. Of course, there may be several iterations after this point.
> The argument for the "concept modelers" is for use when CAD (and specifically
> solid modeling) is an integral part of the process already, after the
> napkin sketch but before a review by peers. Another place that these
> technologies are useful is for commmunicating the idea to a shop for
> the part to be built, assuming you do not want to cast from and RP part
> and want a specific material. Here you will get better results if the
> shop can see and match a model; hopefully they will not miss any features
> that way. This, again, is much further down stream. So, the freeform
> object guys who tend to use Alias rather than ProE seem to work in clay
> or foam or whatever before entering it into the system.
> Consider, on the other hand, a soap bottle. What if you want to keep
> the shape, change the volume??
> chuck
> -----
> Chuck Kirschman
> "I don't NEED to compromise my principles, because they don't have the
> slightest bearing on what happens to me anyway." - Calvin
> > From Mon Oct 27 18:15:33 1997
> >
> > I agree with Preston's point, which is the same advantage of any process
> > that starts with a 3-D CAD solid model. Once you have that CAD model, you
> > can use the same data for the RP model, for use in collaborative virtual
> > environments, for making rapid design modifications, and in final
> > production.
> >
> > The question that was being argued, however, was time. If you start the
> > clock running with the moment someone has an idea, it takes a little extra
> > time to generate that CAD model and then a physical model than it does to
> > make a quick sketch and hand carve a piece of foam.
> >
> > Brock Hinzmann
> >
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