The Wohler Chasm

From: Elaine Hunt (
Date: Fri Apr 23 1999 - 17:06:25 EEST

To all,

Having arrived back from the conference full of renewed interest and
visions, I challenged the RPMLers on Wednedsay night to set the record
straight about downturn in the RP business. When units sold, secondary
process dollars, and profits become the only measure of an industry, the
user community becomes secondary. You have to admit that the users became
very QUIET during the last two years due to business constraints and
proprietary interests.

While I can not totally disagree with this constraint, I am concerned that
numbers alone paint an incorrect picture of the industry. I heard many
users speak of being so busy, purchasing new systems or developing new
applications or materials. I saw many new ideas in the vendor section
including a 3d camera from Minolta. I was impressed of the success of the
show's new location which introduced many new people to this exciting
technology. However as I spoke to many of the vendors they knew little
about the RPML and were keen to join once they understood its significance.
It was funny when they asked about the membership fee.

About 45-50 RPMLer met Wednesday evening in the Eastern room and it was
GREAT to meet everyone. I find it amusing that so few of you men will
approach a woman to meet her even though you feel free to flame or praise
her. I had to resort to grabbing you by the... nametag to meet many of you.
 A few of you escape me.

I appreciate Mark Bliek of Materialise for providing the room and Mark
Littlewood of Time-Compression Technologies Magazine for providing the
food and drinks. When users unite in efforts to support each other, the
RP&M technology will move forward and flourish.

Those who were in Chicago have little doubt about the health of the
technology while those who doubt and hesitate will find themselves left in
our dust. However, users must keep chugging forward and LOUDLY singing the
RP fight song...the Wholer Chasm is NOT that broad and we do not wish to
lose any user, new or old.


Opinions, suggestions, and other controversial matter VOID where prohibited.
Elaine T. Hunt, Director
Clemson University Laboratory to Advance Industrial Prototyping
206 Fluor Daniel Bldg. Clemson, SC 29643-0925
864-656-0321 (voice) 864-656-4435 (fax)

For more information about the rp-ml, see

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