RP Global Summit

From: Terry T. Wohlers (twohlers@compuserve.com)
Date: Wed May 20 1998 - 14:04:18 EEST


Global Summit Focuses on Rapid Prototyping
in 13 Regions of the World

Nations Meet in the USA to Find Common
Interests in RP Technology

DEARBORN, MICHIGAN, May 19, 1998 – Leaders from 13 rapid prototyping (RP)
groups and associations worldwide met yesterday to discuss current and
future applications of RP. The meeting, dubbed a Global Summit,
investigated ways in which these groups might cooperate on projects that
would help educate companies on the benefits of rapid prototyping and
related technologies. Involved were representatives from Australia,
Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, South
Africa, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This was the
first ever meeting of RP groups and associations worldwide.

"The 13 groups completed their first project, even before the Summit took
place," said Terry Wohlers, president of Wohlers Associates, Inc. and one
of the organizers of the event. The groups provided case studies and
application stories on how RP is being used in their region of the world.
Dr. Ian Gibson, associate professor at the University of Hong Kong and
co-organizer of the event, collected the articles and made edited versions
of them available on CD-ROM. The 13 groups plan to distribute the CD-ROM
to its hundreds of members and affiliates worldwide.

Gibson and Wohlers agreed it was important that the groups complete a
project before meeting in Dearborn. "We felt that if we could not produce
something of value before we met, there was little reason to meet," Wohlers
explained. "It demonstrated that we could collaborate on a worthwhile
project and it gave us the confidence to consider other project ideas."

The Global Summit was the brainchild of Wohlers and Gibson. "Thirteen
groups were invited and 13 showed up," said Gibson. "The summit was
organized without sending a single piece of paper in the mail," he said.
Using the Internet, Wohlers and Gibson communicated regularly with the
leaders of the groups without regard to time zones or phone and mail costs.

The global summit coincided with the Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing ’98
Conference and Exposition, sponsored by the Rapid Prototyping Association
of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (RPA/SME). The event, held May
18-21, 1998, also in Dearborn, consisted of company tours, educational
tutorials, a multi-track conference program, and a large display of

At the summit, the 13 groups and associations reviewed options for a Global
Summit in 1999 and it was proposed that they meet in a different country
each year. The groups expect that these annual meetings, along with one or
more projects per year, will guarantee on-going communication among the
participating countries. The meetings will build relationships between the
individuals involved – relationships that Gibson and Wohlers expect will
lead to productive activities on a global scale.

Wohlers Associates, Inc. is an 11-year old company that provides technical,
marketing, and strategic consulting on the new developments and trends in
product design, modeling, prototyping, and tooling. In 1992, Terry Wohlers
led a group of 14 individuals from industry and academia to form the
world's first association dedicated to rapid prototyping (RP). In 1993,
the association joined the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) to
become the Rapid Prototyping Association (RPA) of SME. Today, RPA/SME is
the largest RP member organization in the world.

For more information, readers can reach Terry Wohlers at 970/225-0086, fax
970/225-2027, e-mail twohlers@compuserve.com, or

RP Groups and Associations
Global Summit
May 18, 1998

Australia’s Queensland Manufacturing Institute
Mr. Scott Loose, CEO*

Canada’s National Research Council
Mr. Millan Yeung, Group Leader*

Chinese Rapid Forming Technology Committee
Professor Yongnian Yan, Chairman
Dr. Wei Feng*

Finnish Rapid Prototyping Association
Mr. Jukka Tuomi, President*

French Rapid Prototyping Association
Dr. Alain BERNARD, Vice President*

Germany’s NC Society
Dr. Andreas Gebhardt, Chairman
Mr. Hans-Dieter Plum*

Hong Kong Society for Rapid Prototyping and Tooling
Dr. Ian Gibson, Vice-Chairman*

Italian Rapid Prototyping Association
Ms. Gabriella Marinsek, Chair
Dr. Mario Salmon*

Japanese Association of Rapid Prototyping Industry
Mr. Katsuma Nakagawa, Secretary General
Professor Takeo Nakagawa*

South Africa’s Time Compression Technologies Siliconworks Centre
Mr. Deon de Beer*

Swedish Industrial Network on FFF
Mr. Berndt Holmer, Coodinator*

UK’s Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Association
Mr. Graham Tromans, Chairman
Mr. David Wimpenny*
Professor Phill Dickens*

USA’s Rapid Prototyping Association of the Society of Manufacturing
Mr. Clint Atwood, 1998 Chairman
Ms. Kristen Dudash, Association Manager
Ms. Marge Hartfel*

Organized by:
Wohlers Associates, Inc. (USA)
Mr. Terry Wohlers, President*
University of Hong Kong
Dr. Ian Gibson, Associate Professor*

* indicates those in attendance at the Global Summit

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