Wohler's Executive Summary

From: Todd Grimm (tgrimm@atiaustin.com)
Date: Tue Apr 27 1999 - 16:04:10 EEST

I promote RP as a facilitator of clear, concise communications. Without
RP, or another form of physical model, poor communications that lead to
errors, mistakes and flaws are more likely to occur. It appears that we
need the same tool for our verbal and written communications. It seems,
with regards to the Wohler's report, we have a failure to communicate.

I am especially concerned with the questioning of Terry's thoroughness
and the quality of his sources. This question was posed by an
individual that did not comprehend the full executive summary nor attend
the presentation at the RP&M conference. The report does state, "The
rapid prototyping industry is questioning the future of its
technology." But it also states, "It is not unusual for a technology to
experience rapid growth from purchases by early adopters, only to be
followed by a decline. RP has reached this period of slowed growth."
It continues, "CAD solid modeling, the fuel that stimulates RP sales,
has begun its dramatic growth phase...With this growth, RP will have
many new opportunities for sales of systems and services."

Out of context, it could seem that Terry has forecast the demise of the
industry. In full context, he indicates that we are in a rough spot,
but it is one that can be bridged. When this "chasm" is bridged, a
tremendous volume of RP activity will occur.

As a service bureau, we question the future of the industry every day.
If we did not, we could be caught off guard. I would be surprised if
any of the RPMLers have not questioned RPs future sometime in the past
12 months. What technologies will survive? What companies will
survive? What new technology, that compliments or obsoletes RP, is
waiting in the wings? So many questions. To few answers. As a true
test of your faith in the RP industry, would you invest some of your
nest egg in any of the RP manufacturers? If not, you probably have
lingering doubt about the future and what its path will be.

RP is here to stay (I believe). Why hasn't it taken off? What is
holding it back? These are the questions that Terry is addressing so
that each of us may gain insight that helps us to chart a strong and
true course.

Todd A. Grimm
Director of Marketing
Accelerated Technologies Inc.
Phone: 606-334-3875
Fax: 606-586-0404

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