Re: RP Consultant (Thomas Ong)

From: Steven Pollack (
Date: Wed Aug 11 1999 - 08:36:36 EEST


As I was looking to integrate CAD/CAM into jewelry manufacturing, I was
evaluating various CAD software including I-Deas, JewelCad, and FormZ. I found
little real information to make an informed decision as to which software would
best service my needs. The issue of learning curves and software training came
to the forefront of my decisionmaking process. Expensive software training was
sometimes available from the CAD company, $300 and up per day.

As you may or may not know, I took an architecture course online from Temple
University which was based on 3D modeling utilizing FormZ CAD software. I did
not have an interest in architecture but I found the comprehensive CAD training
invaluable. Indeed, my thinking became that I was better off with a semester of
college level training on software which might not be optimal, than with other
software which might be better suited but which would take a longer time to
learn. Besides that FormZ has turned out to be a wonderful concept modeler,
exactly what I am using it for, I think my decision to go with the software
which was the quickest to master was the right one.

Since CAD is the drivers license one needs to be able to even consider Rapid
Prototyping, it would seem that the RP manufacturers ought to be focusing their
efforts to put CAD in the hands of as many businesses as they can.

Maybe the RP world could come together to run an online CAD University. Since
CAD learning is software specific, this would need to be a partnership between
the software and RP vendors.

My stamement that I would be interested in taking another online CAD course
reflects the complexity of the CAD packages. My next course could be the
intermediate FormZ course and then the advanced or maybe I would take the I-Deas
beginning course.

I see this as a win-win for everyone. The end user would have access to
innexpensive comprehensive CAD courses, innexpensive due to standardization of
course content and a projects based approach instead of the currently offered
individual tutoring. The software vendors would benefit by selling more
software as people could take a semester long online $1,000 course using a demo
version. After the course, the sales rate should be pretty good for their
software assuming it fit the students needs. RP benefits by giving the
uninitiated user the drivers liscense needed prior to considering RP for their
business. Even if they do not end up purchasing RP technology, there will now
be a new army of individuals with the ability to access service bureaus which
will in the end benefit RP manufacturers.

Who it is that would be able to bring the various RP manufacturers together with
the various CAD vendors to fund a seamless unified Online CAD University, I do
not know, but it seems obvious that this is what is needed to bring RP to the
masses. I would imagine that this could be run at a breakeven level if not at a

Steven Pollack
The Missing Link Jewelers

Marshall Burns wrote:

> >It would be nice if you could develop an online course for 3D modeling. I
> >would be interested.
> That's interesting, Steven. What would you want to see covered in such a
> course?
> Best regards,
> Marshall Burns
> Ennex Corporation, Los Angeles, USA, (310) 824-8700
> For more information about the rp-ml, see

For more information about the rp-ml, see

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