"Zero knowledge user" machines

From: lblasch@opw-fc.com
Date: Tue Apr 14 1998 - 09:42:23 EEST

     Dear Mr. Huolila
     I apologize for singling your comment out and the over-simplification
     of the examples, but I was attempting to make this point...Many things
     that we do on a daily basis are substantially more complicated than a
     one button push operation.
     The direction that the RP industry follows will be guided by those who
     are willing to lead the way. The leaders must be willing to struggle
     with the uncooperative natives and battle the elements just to make a
     little forward progress. The wilderness is often littered with the
     bodies of those who failed in the attempt, but you cannot give up in
     the quest.
     I understand your frustration regarding the difficulties in justifying
     the expense of RP technology. I too have fought the management view
     that the cost is too great.
     OPW acquired an SLA-250 machine in 1990 only because of an extremely
     good sales pitch by the 3D Systems Salesman. He told my management of
     the potential things that could be done with the machine while failing
     to mention that the process was not evolved sufficiently to accomplish
     these same things.
     In time, many of the items mentioned in the presentation came to pass,
     but at the cost of many hours of unrewarded labor on my part.
     I have found that the single greatest benefit gained from rapid
     prototyping is cultural and has a direct impact on the bottom line
     profit of the company. This is the ease in identifying potential
     problems in a design before they are integrated into the manufacturing
     Regrettably, this is also a "cost avoidance" to my financial
     department and therefore cannot be quantified.
     The truth is that the Engineer or Designer who produces an early
     prototype will often recognize a problem that can be corrected easily.
     The change is made without comment, and once changed, is now
     eliminated from the cost equation.
     Getting an engineering staff to admit that these changes occur is
     easy. Getting them to quantify the potential costs associated with
     their mistakes is truly impossible. For this reason, the true
     financial benefit to an organization performing creative design work
     will never be recognized and can only be estimated.
     A 3d printer attached to a Nintendo or PlayStation or PC Game port
     that lets the kids make action figures from the game characters would
     probably sell. I know how my kids play...Talk about the need for more
     robust models! And you thought that your management was impatient
     about the turn around time for your projects.
     Wait, how about a portable model for the laptop-Gameboy market...
     I wish you luck in justifying an RP machine purchase at your company.
     Larry Blasch
     System Administrator
     OPW Fueling Components
     P.O. Box 405003
     Cincinnati, OH 45240-5003 USA
     Voice: (513) 870-3356
     Fax: (513) 870-3338
     Disclaimer...The views expressed are personal opinion and not those of
     OPW Fueling Components.
     * "Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else." *

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