Re: invesment casting from desktop printers

From: jk (
Date: Fri Mar 03 2000 - 19:33:31 EET

I think your reactions are well expressed and are indicative of the level of
frustration and rhetoric that many ModelMaker users
have experienced from SPI, especially in regard to the MM2.

Jim Klohr
Sigma TCT

-----Original Message-----
From: <>
To: <>; ASalvi@MMCCINC.COM
<ASalvi@MMCCINC.COM>; <>
Date: Friday, March 03, 2000 7:15 AM
Subject: RE: invesment casting from desktop printers

>Yet I get personal emails from you at my NON-work related email address
>asking me to stop!
>I said in my note that the process, no wait a minute the MMII, was not for
>us! We have gone around and around with Sanders and this equipment. We
>purchased it two years ago and from the start we had trouble. Williams
>International typically does not acquire service contracts rather we prefer
>time and materials, in the case of Sanders Equipment that was the wrong
>decision! Aside from that, the parts that we produce are small air foils,
>part that should be well suited for the MMII. The problems started with
>poor reliability. We have only completed a few builds because the
>simply would not function long enough to complete. We would hear reason
>after reason from Sanders yet when the problem(s) seemed fixed something
>else would go! Rolf is quick to tell me that we knew the capabilities of
>the equipment when we purchase it and this is true that's WHY we purchased
>it. What Sanders failed to inform us was the fact that the equipment and
>software were still in BETA and in my opinion still is! The latest version
>of software STILL is not finished!
>As an example of or problems...had JUST gotten the MMII back from Sanders
>presumably with ALL of the new bells and whistles, upgrades and on and on,
>unpacked the equipment plugged it in and started a build. The machine
>STOPED functioning within two days. As it turned out there was a service
>tech. In the area so he spent 2 days with the equipment got it running and
>the very next day it STOPED running and back to Sanders it went! That has
>been our experience with Sanders and the MMII, over and over and over
>I have TWO 2" binders that represent the repairs and fixes and replaced
>parts that went into the MMII.
>Instead of spending more money and development time making bigger machines,
>time needs to be spent on making the ones you have function day after day
>REGARDLESS of the size of the build or the length of time to complete the
>build. You are the ones that made a piece of equipment with the build
>envelope that you have, if your equipment can not function within that
>envelope then change your spec sheet to something like: The MMII builds
>small accurate features ONE AT A TIME!
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rolf Hubert []
> Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2000 11:30 PM
> To: Alex Salvi; Rapid Prototyping Mailing List (E-mail)
> Subject: RE: invesment casting from desktop printers
> Alex, I have no problems with criticism. The Sanders machine is not
> everyone as I stated. When a potential customer asks me if my
>system can
> produce concept models, I pass them on to all of my competitors.
>Karl knew
> the performance of the system before it was ever purchased.
> Rolf
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On
>Behalf Of
> Alex Salvi
> Sent: Thursday, March 02, 2000 9:51 AM
> To: Rapid Prototyping Mailing List (E-mail)
> Subject: RE: invesment casting from desktop printers
> Sanders,
> This is an interesting customer relations approach...
> I'm beginning to see the light... now I understand why Al Hastbacka
> responded the way he did back in mid January.
> Does Sanders not like criticism or competitors?
> I guess if you can make a machine that can build .0005" layers (as I
>read in
> Rapid Prototyping Report Vol10, N2, Feb 2000 page 6) then you can
>afford to
> loose a few customers because your machine is so great that everyone
> it.
> Thanks for the info Karl.
> Alex
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rolf Hubert []
> Sent: Wednesday, March 01, 2000 9:22 PM
> To:;;
> Subject: RE: invesment casting from desktop printers
> Karl, you bought these 2 machines knowing how precise but slow these
> are. Our machine is not for everyone especially you. I have heard
> from you that makes any sense. Why don't you do yourself a favor
>and sell
> it to someone who would appreciate them. We have delivered over 400
> and very few customers have problems like you.
> Our machines are for dimensionally accurate, smooth, small parts.
>We build
> turbine blades that you couldn't even begin to do with other
>systems. Why
> don't you try stopping the verbal abuse. You bought systems that
> you shouldn't have, shame on you.
> I can't even imagine why you built a model that took 650 hours, at
>least it
> finished.
> Regards,
> Rolf Hubert
> Industry Marketing Consultant
> Sanders Prototype, Inc.
> 603-429-9700
> -----Original Message-----
> From: []On
>Behalf Of
> Sent: Wednesday, March 01, 2000 2:55 PM
> To:;
> Subject: RE: invesment casting from desktop printers
> Kevin.
> We have investment cast from all of the machines that you listed
> the Sanders machine. Regarding the "Concept or Desktop" modelers,
> machines are ok for products that do not require very tight
>tolerances. In
> general we have found that the parts on these machines are typically
> with little or no detail and have no thin wall features. This is
>not to say
> that the equipment can not build these features but that they may
> survive the gating or dipping processes. We have a Genisys in-house
> have yet to cast anything from this machine as the build quality is
> then desirable for one of our cast parts. The equipment sits idle
>for 90%
> of the year and the other 10% it is running crude small scale
>mockups. We
> have cast parts run on the Z-Corp and Actua(ThermoJet) equipment and
> blocky parts they are ok although the surface finish on the Z-Corp
>was a bit
> rough at best! We have 2 Sanders machines in-house (an MM6 Pro and
>MMII) and
> although the bladed products we build on these machines are small
>(about the
> size of your thumb nail) it took about 630 hours of machine time to
> enough blades to make one completed ring(3 rings of blades per
> These machines are headed for soon!
> We also have 2 SLA-500s and with these machines have had the most
>success in
> the casting arena! As an example on one build I had 500 parts run
>in less
> then 2 hours and in a week they had been cast, cleaned and installed
> engines! Despite the frustration with support removal and having to
> QuickCast patterns this is, in my humble opinion, the best route to
> prototype investment castings. We are now enjoying nearly a 100%
> rate with patterns generated on the SLA equipment.
> Beyond the specific RP equipment when generating a pattern for
> casting you have to consider several factors that may prevent the
> form completing. All of which should be considered even when using
> conventional wax patterns. The longer I am involved in this
>industry the
> more I realize just how much of a black art this process is! There
>are no
> standards regarding gating, burnout, shell materials, and thickness,
> preheat, melting temperature and pouring temperature! We have tried
> solidification models and flow analysis and have found that our best
> guess is as accurate as the results from the analysis.
> I'm sure this is much more then you needed but one can not give a
> answer with out a minimal amount of background. I hope this helps!
> Karl Denton
> Lead Engineer
> Williams International
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Kevin Dyer []
> Sent: Wednesday, March 01, 2000 12:31 PM
> To:
> Subject: invesment casting from desktop printers
> Hello
> I would be interested in hearing from others who have used
> ThermoJet, Z
> Corp or Genisys systems to produce investment castings.
> information
> would be helpful in preparing for an upcoming presentation
> contrasts
> these technologies with 'industrial strength' RP systems
>like SLA.
> If you
> have anything you would like to share it would be
> Thanks!
> Kevin Dyer
> InterPRO Rapid Technologies
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