Re: desktop systems

From: Bradley C. Fox (
Date: Fri Feb 06 1998 - 16:53:45 EET

What is it going to take to convince you that Actua 2100 is the perfect
fit for University Lab and Classroom activity? ;) To answer your
specific questions:

                    FOR ACTUA 2100 OFFICE MODELER

> In order to justify RP for lab and classroom activities I would like >to explore the following:
> Initial cost of systems:
Actua is $65,000 COMPLETE. You do not need to buy installation,
training, 1st yr maintenance and even material (Actua is shipped with
over 30# of material). All this is included in the sale price.

> Cost of build material:
Material for the Actua is roughly $50.00 per pound - or specifically
$2.84 per ounce. Look at a University running tons of parts per year -
the savings over competing products is substantial.

> Average cost of Each model:
Depends on: 1) size 2)amnt of material and 3)whether you are running
full trays of parts. I separate the costs into two main items: machine
run time cost and material cost. Looking at avg use over a 5 yr period
the machine use cost for Actua is about $5.00 per hr. Material cost of
avg. part is say, $10 to $15. If you want an average of what I run in my
office, about $30 per part. Emphasis on "Average."

> Speed of systems:
No doubt Zcorp is fastest in current offering - however part quality
(and other reasons why to by Office Modeler) must be evaluated.
Comparing Actua to Genisys - running one single part on the tray - they
will be comparable. However, I do not know of a single installation of
either machine that primarily runs one part at a time. Typically it will
be multiple parts - or packed full trays. In this case, Actua is very,
very fast when compared to Genisys. Benchmarkes I've heard/seen is that
Actua could be up to 5X faster on full trays of parts.

> Build time of each model"
See discussion above.

> Yearly main cost:
Actua's first year maintenance cost is included in sale price. Each
subsequent year is $7,500. This includes software (and some hardware)
upgrades, all service related and also includes the print head. Remember
that there are NO OTHER CONSUMABLES with Actua except the material (i.e.
no tips, etc.). Over a 5 year life, those "others" add up.

> Other associated costs:
See last comment above.

> Other comments:
Another very important "metric" to examine when buying an office modeler
is reliability. The machine must run completely unattended - and pump
out the models day after day after day. This (I think) would be most
important when looking at a University setting. IMHO nothing beats Actua
here. It is the closest OM to a direct comparable to that laser printer
in the corner of your office.

Well, that's my input. Remember just like the "high-end" RP systems -
there is no universally applicable system. You have to evaluate the
parameters/qualities of each and make a decision. Office modelers the
same - there are at least 6 main "metrics" to examine and you have to
pick the one that meets the majority of them.


Brad Fox

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