RE: Where does RP take us?

From: Brock Hinzmann (
Date: Tue Apr 28 1998 - 21:30:51 EEST


Sorry I didn't respond sooner. I have been traveling and I am still
catching up with my email.

If you were not able to get the paper off the MCB Web site, I will be
happy to send you a copy.

However, I like Michael Rees's response. My paper barely scratches the
surface, outlining the enabling technologies, the synergistic technologies,
and the market forces that might have to come together to make it
possible. However, I am just one person and many other ways of thinking exist in
the world. Although I can imagine a few items I might make on such a
machine a few days per year, what would be the incentive to buy such a machine
for continuous use throughout the year? Mass production works quite well in
producing millions of functional products at quite low prices and
electronic commerce will likely make it quite easy to order such products or even
personalize them a little and have them delivered next day to my door.
Why would I make them myself?

All the artists, creative engineers, and entrepreneurs out there have
their own answer to that question, but they are not the average consumer--at
least not in the United States. Perhaps Norway is a nation of people who
like to design and make their own objects and take pleasure in getting to
know the physical object before they buy it.

Perhaps you could devise a project with your fellow students and
professors (not artist or engineering types) and pose the personal factory
question to them. Their responses might make a very good article.

Brock Hinzmann
Technology Navigator
Business Intelligence Center
SRI International

Oystein Asphjell wrote:
>Dear Sirs,
>I am a Mechanical Engineering student from Norway, currently studying at
>the University of Austin, Texas. I am not a member of the RP-list, and
>this in request for some help from it's members.
>I am taking a class here at UT, which sole purpose is to enable
>to think "differently" - outside the regular box and use our imagination
>and creativity to project current technologies impact on our life in the
>future. For this class I am preparing a paper on "The Personal Factory",
>with emphasis on the role of todays manufacturer as merely a supplier of
>information and data in the future. I try to make some projections of
>impact a "3D Printer" in every home will have on inventors,
>distributors, retailers, customers, users, liability laws, copyrights,
>I would greatly appreciate any inputs, comments, suggestions, thoughts
>ideas to this paper. Please mail to my private adress and not to the
>Best Regards,
>Oystein Asphjell
>Then: Trondheim, Norway
>Now: Austin, Texas
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