RE: '99 conference & confused - rapid milling?

From: Jim Williams (
Date: Wed Apr 28 1999 - 16:39:47 EEST

Reply to Al...
Fundamentals of supply and demand are working overtime at some RP OEMs.
Yes, one could say RP OEMs are selling below cost, thus incurring
corporate bottom line losses. This may be an over simplification. Easy
answer, raise unit prices. However, the paradox is loss of market
unless you give some new benefit to the customer. Take the obverse
reaction and redesign your machine improving user benefits and reducing
cost. WOW what a concept! That becomes a powerful solution to altering
a course that may have otherwise been destined for crash and burn.

Can anyone think of a company that did just that in 1998? Reduced their
high end machine cost by 25%. Improved the throughput efficiency as
much as 130% over its 2nd generation predecessor and 242% over their
original 1st generation machine.

Jim Williams, President and CEO
Paramount Industries
Rapid Product Development & Manufacturing Specialists
2475 Big Oak Road
Langhorne, PA 19047
215.757.9611 voice x229
215.757.9784 fax
800.RPTOOLS toll free * watch for new page May '99 * request company sales information * digital data transfer

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 1999 8:00 PM
Subject: Re: '99 conference & confused - rapid milling?

-- [ From: Al Hastbacka * EMC.Ver #2.5.3 ] --

At the currrent prices of RP systems, most of the RP manufacturers are
selling their machines below cost. (That is why nearly all of the
publicly traded manufacturers are reporting a net loss on their business
Now you are asking them to take even a bigger loss.

Al Hastbacka
-------- REPLY, Original message follows --------

> Date: Saturday, 24-Apr-99 10:41 AM
> From: T Schuett \ Internet: (
> To: RP MAIL LIST \ Internet: (
> Subject: '99 conference & confused - rapid milling?
> >Sure, everything cost money but the amount of money the RP industry
> expecting is pretty high. >The SBs have realised this and have dropped
> rates and are seeing benefits.
> >It is high time now that the OEMs too realise this and start reducing
> prices to affordable >levels.
> >RP per say has limited application and with the metal RP coming to
> coupled with enhanced >accuracy and speed, I think it is just a matter
> time (my guess is about 2-5 years) when the RP >gets into the main
> production lines. When I say RP, I mean the technology and am not
> restricting >myself to the SBs.
> I'm confused by the overall tone of the correspondence on this list
that I'm
> new to, so bear with me...
> Is the purpose of RP to make prototypes quickly and accurately or is
> technology for technology's sake?
> There seems a real absence of discussion of enhanced use of
traditional (?)
> technology like CNC milling within this group! Many in the industry
> me during the show to discuss their newfound respect for real high-
> CNC milling of models, citing the better finish off the machine, less
> greater resulting accuracy and the generally equivalent speed. The
> choice of materials seems to make prototypes that better represent
> parts. Overall, rapid milling seems to be the method of choice for
those with
> that choice.
> Does that mean that I don't respect the high value of other RP
techniques and
> their need to evolve into more useful tools? Absolutely not. Rather,
> encourage the use of all available technology to get the job done
quickly and
> accurately, at a profit. Certainly there are significant advantages
to many RP
> techniques for many parts with complex buildups or structural
> Still, I think the intense discussions on choices and competitive
> within this group are lacking acknowledgement of "best methods." I
expect this
> will draw many remarks that traditional techniques do not require
> but the clang about CAD/CAM, as an equally established tool, convinces
me that
> there is still a lot to be said of the ongoing evolution of so much
> stuff.
> Many have stated concerns over the future of the industry. No
surprise here!
> Much of the tooling industry in "rapid" and non-rapid (like molds and
dies" are
> concerned where it is all going. I can see a convergence in plastic
> mold making with the "rapid" industry because my customers keep
improving on
> their deliveries and techniques. They are using well-known techniques
> milling and EDM to get more aggressive about making prototypes.
> aluminum or even hard P20, etc. are commonly being used to build
prototypes in
> just a week or two. My customers now tell me that the only difference
in a
> prototype and a "hard" tool is the complexity of the mechanism and the
> of cavities. They are now building cell phone part "prototype" molds
of P20,
> capable of millions of parts, in less than 2 weeks!
> Will this put you out of business? Not likely unless you're faint-
hearted. You
> and your business will have to evolve to offer different services
and/or other
> advantages, though. More creative design service integrated with
visual models
> seems to be the logical separation of prototyping from the engineering
> technical service offered by a mold shop. Still, that convergence of
> prototyping with mold shops will continue, say I.
> So back to the milling and technology for its own sake...
> One of the many notable things frequently discussed on the floor of
the show
> was the speed, finish, accuracy, and choice of materials offered by
> milling. Many have a bad taste for it because they haven't seen the
> They think 60 IPM is fast for CNC milling. That is way wrong!
> Defiance Innovations was showing a small and inexpensive (relatively -
> CNC machining center that is arguably the fastest in the industry. We
> talking fast in rapid traverse rates, but rather fast in SUSTAINED
> Because of quality design and look-ahead in their CNC control, they
> program for 500 IPM or so and sustain it more of the time than anyone.
> means dramatically faster parts than most expect from CNC milling.
The speed
> is also used with finer stepovers to virtually finish the parts right
on the
> CNC. Defiance Innovations also offers smaller bench mills that are
> fast and accurate for their low $35,000 starting price tag! They
still use the
> same feedrates as the higher priced models above.
> My own company, Creative Technology Corporation, offers retrofits and
> CNC mills, again offering sustained higher feedrates. One prototype
service on
> the floor had no complaint of his CNC speed, generally using feedrates
> 60 IPM on large Haas machines for most all his prototypes. He was
floored to
> learn that he could speed things up 3 to 5 times or more just by a CNC
> change on that same machine! We have a lot of experience doing that
for people
> in the rapid prototyping trade for about 15 years.
> Successful rapid milling relies on fast and efficient cutterpathing.
We aren't
> just talking about crunching the numbers faster, but also taking less
> intervention. The HUMAN LABOR to cutterpath CNC parts can seem like
one of the
> biggest hurdles. PTC's Pro/Man can do better than ever before for
both speed
> and reliability. Still, it can be complicated to learn and use. A
real secret
> weapon can be Sescoi's WorkNC. It is only a 3-D cutterpathing package
, working
> with all CAD and CAD/CAM packages. WorkNC's benefit is that it takes
almost no
> labor to make your cutterpathing choices and cut 3-D parts reliably!
It can be
> counted on for good, gouge-free paths day in and day out. While other
> companies are aspiring to this noble need, they have a 10 year track
record of
> success. Their fast and accurate cutterpaths can make the difference
in your
> success or failure with rapid milling.
> SLA is the stuff dreams are made of. Parts magically emerge from
> with light, smoke and mirrors. That's not cynical, it's a true
statement! What
> more could we want? The other technologies each represent new and
> ways to solve many specific challenges in our trade. Still, we
mustn't forget
> our mandate to run our businesses for a profit! We must use the
> tools to push the envelope, not only of technology, but also the
service and
> profit envelope. Don't ignore the evolving changes in your old
technology that
> can make it key today! When you can offer more accurate and faithful
> prototypes faster, with less manual work and a lower overhead, this is
> stuff business dreams and success is made of!
> Todd Schuett
> Creative Technology Corp.
> P.S. I sincerely want people to use the tools they have to the best
> This was not intended as a commercial. That's why I didn't list web
> right with the text. Still, some will want more info, so I ask the
others to
> forgive the following... If you want more information on any of the
> mentioned, Defiance Innovations, Creative
> Corporation, Sescoi WorkNC
> For more information about the rp-ml, see

-------- REPLY, End of original message --------

For more information about the rp-ml, see

For more information about the rp-ml, see

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