Re: RE: Terminology debate again

From: Nick Osborn (
Date: Wed Jan 19 2000 - 16:26:28 EET

Dear Marshall / Brock / List

I agree that we need a clear, simple and cohesive terminology for RP / RT - we have all tried explaining the various processes to laypeople and watched the dreaded "eye glaze" of information overload / total non-comprehension set in at one time or another.

However, this is a deceptively complex task and I have no instant solutions to offer, only suggestions.

Let's consider definitions:

Fabricate - 1. to make, build, or construct 2. to devise or concoct 3. to fake or forge

Fabricate - 1. assemble, build, construct, erect, fashion, form, frame, make, manufacture, shape 2. coin, concoct, devise, fake, falsify, feign, forge, form, invent, make up, trump up

As can be seen from the above, whilst Marshall's choice of "fabricator" (or fabber for short) has a great deal of relevancy (and lends itself to abbreviation easily) it is clearly also open to misinterpretation.

One of the problems with terms like "Creator" and "Maker" is that, once again, the margin for misinterpretation and even quasi-religious overtones is considerable...imagine calling a bio-material compatible, medical grade RP machine of the future (used for building human body parts for example) "The Creator"...oh dear...

"Personal Factory" and "Matter Compiler" are other phrases that have been mentioned in the past - personally I favour something simpler, like maybe "Reality Machine" or how about "Realizer"....?

I can't help feeling that if we, as an industry, can't think of a decent name for all this, then it's not surprising we have problems in communicating the potential benefits to accountants, CEOs, etc.

Any further suggestions welcome...


Nick Osborn
Managing Director
Swift Technologies Ltd.
140 - 144 Station Road, March,
Cambs. PE15 8NH, UK

"Real Parts Real Quick - Because Time Is Money"

Tel: +44 (0) 1354 650 789
Fax: +44 (0) 1354 650 799

>>> "Brock Hinzmann" <> 24/06/79 19:27:03 >>>
Actually, I have always found fabber, fabricator, and even automated
fabrication to be more misleading than rapid prototyping or RP in describing
the current state of the art and I often wonder why Marshall continues to
use it. Automated Fabrication is a great goal, an application, but
certainly a lot of other technologies and equipment already do and will continue
to fill that application, albeit each with its own limitations as well.

I agree with Marshall's sentiment, in that some other term is desirable
to describe that revolutionary machine of the future, where cost-effective
automated fabrication of totally arbitrary one-off items is possible, but
the person or company that invents that machine is likely to get to name
it, like Xerox and Coke.

I like Marshall's enthusiasm, and creativity in general, and I would like
him to continue pushing the thinking in the industry, but I sometimes
wonder if he isn't beating a dead horse named Fabber.

Brock Hinzmann
technology navigator

KDenton wrote:
>List and Marshall,
>I was the originator of that email to Marshall and did not send it as a
>complaint I was just wondering how long Marshall would be tagging his
>messages with such a translation. It seems to me that it would be
easier to
>just use and accept what seems to be the industry standard.
>By the way I do not agree that the current terms are misleading. They
>perfectly with what these machine do.
>Karl Denton
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Marshall Burns []
> Sent: Monday, January 17, 2000 1:47 PM
> To:
> Subject: Terminology debate again
> Dear RP-World,
> I've received a private complaint about my use of terminology,
>and I
> thought I would share my response with the list, see below. Further
> comments, in public or private, are welcome.
> Best regards,
> Marshall Burns
> President, Ennex Corporation
> Los Angeles, USA, (310) 397-1314
> -----The complaint-----
> >>I know we have had this discussion before but... I notice that
>when you
> >>respond to an email you use your own terminology throughout the
>email and
> >>then give some form of a translation explanation at the end.
>Wouldn't be
> >>easier if you used the "standard" terminology up front?
> -----My answer-----
> > Easier, yes. But the popular terminology is flawed and since we
>are at
> >the leading edge of a revolution, we have the opportunity to set
> correct
> >terminology before our language hits the mainstream. Words are
> and
> >I like to use them thoughtfully.
> >
> > However, also note that in the case of my last RP-ML posting,
> >notice that there is no popular term for "industrial fabber,"
>except to
> call
> >it "an RP machine that isn't a concept modeller."
> >
> >Best regards,
> >Marshall Burns
> For more information about the rp-ml, see
>For more information about the rp-ml, see
>RFC822 header
>Status: U
>Return-Path: <>
>Received: from ([]) by
> (Netscape Messaging Server 3.6) with ESMTP id AAA2CE
> for <>;
> Mon, 17 Jan 2000 11:58:05 -0800
>Received: from major by with local (Exim 1.90 #2)
> for
> id 12AI8w-0004od-00; Mon, 17 Jan 2000 19:48:50 +0000
>Received: from [] (
> by with esmtp (Exim 1.90 #2)
> for
> id 12AI8v-0004lQ-00; Mon, 17 Jan 2000 21:48:49 +0200
>Received: by with Internet Mail Service
> id <Z2VJRARH>; Mon, 17 Jan 2000 14:49:55 -0500
>Message-ID: <551AEBFEC053D211B912000083947AE01FDBA0@mailsrv.williams-int.
>Subject: RE: Terminology debate again
>Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2000 14:49:54 -0500
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2448.0)
>Content-Type: text/plain
>Precedence: bulk

For more information about the rp-ml, see

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 23:02:39 EEST