RE: Siggraph 99 Report

From: Anshuman Razdan (
Date: Mon Aug 16 1999 - 04:15:12 EEST

Dear RPMLers
        Michael beat me to putting the SIGGRAPH report on the studio. I knew when I
got Michael to be my 3D Chief I was getting a highly enthusiastic high
energy person championing the RP cause. He was in his element tirelessly
procalimaing the virtues of RP. No wonder he got the T Shirt saying - "24/7
Build It Baby". I finally convinced him to 23/7 schedule after 5 days and
nights of pure hard work.

        Thanks to many friends who stopped by to say hello and marvel at
approcimatel 5 MIl lab we put together for 5 days - God bless America !!

Dr. Anshuman Razdan
Technical Director PRISM
MC 5106 Arizona State University
Tempe AZ 85287-5106
Phone: (480) 965 5368
Fax: (480) 965 2910

-----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of
Michael Rees
Sent: Sunday, August 15, 1999 5:28 PM
Subject: Siggraph 99 Report

Hello rp-ml

I have just returned from Siggaph 99. Anshuman Razdan, Dan Collins,
myself and others put together a wonderful venue within Siggraph called
the Studio. This is a place where attendees of siggrpah can use over 100
workstations and 9 2D high end printers and 5 rapid prototyping machines
to try out software hardware and output. Intergraph, SGI, Apple, Hewlett
Packard, Alias Wavefront, AutoDesSys, Softimage and many many other
hardware and sofware companies generously donated their equipment to
this venue.

For the first time ever, this year we had 5 rapid prototyping machines
generously loaned from 3D Systems Thermojet(2), Stratasys Genisys (2),
and Z Corp (1). My brief report follows.

This was one of the most exciting events that I have ever attended. The
Studio was the buzz of Siggraph and from my perspective, it had
everything to do with the presence of 5 rapid prototyping machines. We
built 153 models over 6 days. We returned these models for free to the
designers. Can you say LIGHT BULBS GOING OFF? At the risk of sounding
hyperbolic, people were awestruck and amazed. We worked hard to get as
many models as possible to the users. I received the nickname "24/7"
because I insisted that the machines run at every possible moment. (I
lost a lot of sleep last week!) Users ranged from people who had never
worked in cad, to world class animators, to scientists wanting to print
their molecular models or space craft forms.

In the planning of the event, we wanted to be conservative. We projected
that we might be able to build 12 models a day. We worried about network
problems, bad STL's, and the fact that most of us were novice at using
these machines. In all, we had 1 build failure(bad stl), and the only
times we were not printing was when our network was down and we couldn't
access user's files. The machines ran flawlessly. I am proud of our
industry because on the 2D printing side, they had nothing but problems.
Funny huh? I am proud that the rp machines out performed the 2D printers
and their software. The rp industry is making reliable machines.

Now, while I was gone, it seems that there's been a debate about whether
rp has any future or not. I've got to ask, whats all the whining about?
Certainly, time will tell if the arts and entertainment industry will
adopt the technology. But from what I saw and heard, I'm placing my bet
that they will. I suspect that there are so many uses for rp at its
current precision and look that we have just begun to scratch the
surface. Events like Siggraph 99 and the generousness of 3D systems,
Stratasys, and Z corp goes a long way towards helping the rp industry
bump into some new customers.

We saw old RP friends there too. Marshall Burns and Terry Wohlers
stopped in for a visit. I'm just wondering when the rp industry moves
from the SME to Siggrpah as its main yearly venue.

One last thing. Color was a hot topic at the conference. People asked
again and again if full res color was available. The standard response
was "when there is a file format available". Hopefully, soon, this issue
will be moot. I've heard from one accomplished Computer Scientist that
he and his university are working hard on a color file format.

My only hope is that you all sell some machines as a result of this
venue. From the standpoint of publicity, there are a several thousand
more users educated to the possibilities of Rapid Prototyping. They may
not be purchasing agents but they are definitely potential bureau


michael rees		effective immediately
suite Number 301
1015 Washington Ave	314 494 7393
St. Louis Mo 63101

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