Re: if things are so great then

From: Brad Fox (
Date: Thu Apr 02 1998 - 21:48:41 EEST

I've met you a number of times. You're a wonder person to interact with on
issues, never seemed so negative in person!

If there is a feeling in the industry of such dissapointment (as you seem to
be saying) it's because we're as a group not focusing on the positive side.
Look at how far this industry has come:
   Multiple vendors
   LOTS of R&D
   Machines with decent capabilities ranging from $ 60 to 500,000
   Many different processes that give varied results meeting varied needs
And let's not forget about the very pronounced effect on the whole topic of
Rapid Product Development! RP is (largely) responsible for bringing RPD to
the discussion table. A profound effect. Everyone agree that we've just
begun to leverage EXISTING technology. I believe we have be greatly blessed
by this technology...and it only is going to get better!

>I know where I want the industry to go..... to that push button machine
>that sits in every student lab for every student that needs to be able to
>print a 3d model.

So you're an advocate of Concept Modeling, eh? So why didn't you respond to
my earlier point about existing R&D efforts at universities always seem to
be on the "high-end" and not on concept modeling? I look at the Concept
Modelers out there now and the technology is greatly simplified from the
"high-end" units. With the exception of MIT, universities haven't produced
much investigation on the concept side of things...and yet this is the area
most agree will have the biggest inpact on RPD. Let us know how many grad
students are working on these types of topics...?

>No Brad......schools can't afford the 60k price tag of an Actua or Z-Corp
>machine because we need multiple machines to support a large number of
>students. I'll give you two years to get that price down to under 20k or
>until Ennex, Autofab, Epson, or someone else gets an affordable 3d printer
>in the market.

Thanks for the two years! And as far as the 60k price tag, I remember quite
a bit of my undergrad and post grad time spent on equipment MUCH, MUCH more
expensive than 60K. And sharing that equipment with quite a few colleagues.
My last Actua installation had/has 15 people on the network printing to the
machine. Come're creative. Don't hide behind the price tag, nor the
technology available TODAY! And get some of those grad students working on
that "20K" printer technology!

>Until then I'll keep grumping and dreaming.....

Until then I'll keep on helping companies use the latest technology to
significantly reduce their product development cost and time.

Take care, Elaine...thanks for the sparring!

Brad Fox

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