Where can I get my desktop 5-axis 3D color printer?
There may be a limit to what RP can achieve right now, but I believe that
the lines are really beginning to blur between what a "prototype" is and
what a "production" part is. The past few years have seen incredible
advances in the materials science fields, areas such as surface coatings,
composites, ceramics, paints, metal matrix composites (MMC's), polymer
alloys, shape-memory alloys, etc. etc.
If costs can be driven down to a somewhat reasonable point, more
"customization" can take place which will mean smaller lot manufacturing
(sort of like business jets - typical part production run for us is 25-50
parts). The Dodge Viper and Plymouth Prowler are good examples of this.
This will drive the need for more flexible, adaptable, faster-response
manufacturing to keep up with the markets and "rapid prototyping" will
become encompassed within a broader scope, maybe something called "rapid
products" where the key benchmark will be the total time from initial
concept to sitting on a store shelf, rather than focus on one particular
area such as design or tooling. I wonder what "rapid sales" and "rapid
marketing" would entail,
maybe we could limit the sales presentations to 3 minutes?
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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