RE: Can RP be a manufacturing technology?

From: Karl Denton (
Date: Thu Jul 09 1998 - 20:48:23 EEST

The term "Rapid Prototyping" is the only limiting factor when talking about using technologies for "actual production" If companies have not found away to use these technologies to their fullest and that means using them for production of parts for various production purposes are missing out.

Investment casting foundries that use RP us it for making cast parts...the resultant can and often are for production in small quantities. I have seen RTV molds (as well as produced a few myself) used for making parts where the final molded urethane part was the final part! These parts may not fit the model of injection molding 12 million at some big factory but they do fall under Rapid Manufacturing! We need to stop calling everything that we do with this equipment a "Prototype", let a lone a "Rapid Prototype"

If we don't we will miss out on a very large portion of business that will refuse to even consider the use of this technology on a trial basis. We are the limiting factor in this industry, not the equipment! Lets take the concept of "concept modelers" for example (and I really hate to bring this one up again), have you seen thousands of these systems moving into businesses and industry? Have you seen even hundreds? What company in this day and age will spend ( even though the average price may be around $60,000 there is always the extras) nearly $100,000 for this item called a "Concept Modeler" that will allow his designers to spew out models of every iteration of a project.

In this fast paced manufacturing world companies need TOOLS that allow them to bring their products to market faster and more efficient. Telling them they can make prototypes really fast or models of bad cad data till the cows come home will due little in convincing them they need to spend money in this industry. What they need to do is learn how to use these technologies to accomplish that goal. All of the available technologies are capable of reaching that goal, if you are willing to invest a small amount of time running the equipment on a part based need instead of a speed need.


Karl R. Denton
Advanced Technology Consultants LLC
4778 Greenview Ct.
Commerce Twp., MI 48382
Phone: 248-363-1478
Fax: 248-363-7488
Pager: 248-523-3318
Email to pager: (200 character maximum)

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Thursday, July 09, 1998 11:10 AM
Subject: Can RP be a manufacturing technology?

I am currently researching a possible meeting to explore whether rapid
prototyping technologies can be used as actual production/manufacturing
technologies (kind of like in Toy Soldiers!). Do you know of anyone who is
currently utilizing RP in this way who might be willing to speak with me
about their experiences?

I'd also welcome anyone's opinion on the matter, in particular, whether or
not you think that there is/will be any inherent benefits in choosing RP
over other production methods. From what I've heard so far, there seems to
be a long way to go...

For more information about the rp-ml, see

For more information about the rp-ml, see

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