Re: My 1K RP machine????

From: michael rees (
Date: Wed Apr 05 2000 - 05:51:11 EEST

Hi List,

This is something of a perrenial conversation. I am more convinced than ever
that the problem isn't rp, it isn't cheap rp, or 3D faxes or fabricators or
color or anything with this technology. The problem is users. They aren't there.
Technically, this is not RP's fault. Its CAD's fault. Its clumsy, highly
specialist, and overly technical. For the technology to become popular it must
have an infrastructure of CAD users. The way to get to those cad users is
through programs that are cheap, effective and cool. There are some out there. I
hope you won't get tired of me pointing out Nendo ( a $100
dollar subdivision surface modeler. Its fun. Its simple. You can make models
fast. They can be trucks and gears (NOT FOR ENGINEERING, FOR FUN), and heads and
all kinds of other things. There are a couple of others that I'm not so
impressed with--Amorpheum,

The failure of the RP industry not to link with and influence CAD would be a
real failure indeed.

I think this one is worth at least a nickel.

michael rees wrote:

> Here is my 2 cents worth...
> Several years ago when desktop modelers or concept modelers were being
> talked about it was the idea that if they were at a specific price point and
> "friendly" enough that companies would be buying them to put along side
> every plotter or next to each departments printer. Well we have seen the
> price for these machines drop below $100K and even below $50k and the sales
> just aren't there. The question is why? Is the price point still to high?
> Maybe! Is the concept of concept modelers not working? Probably! I have
> stated from the onset of these machines that above ALL they must be useful.
> And if a company was going to pay good dollars for Solid Modelers and
> Designers use them, that they would probably NOT want to spend money, time,
> materials, training (despite the ease of use there is always going to be
> some) on a unit that produced visual verification miniatures.
> Lets look at several years down the line when the price has dropped below
> the $5k mark and companies and select individuals can afford to purchase
> several if not hundreds or thousands of these machines. What size will be
> standard? What files formats will it read? What materials will be
> available? Will they "production" quality? How will an industry that can
> barely agree on anything now come to agree on this simple but most important
> aspects of this new machine?
> The quote from Mr. Rudgley I my humble opinion was nothing more then thought
> provoking comments on the possibilities of our industry. I have noticed
> that this list is obsessive about precisely how and when labels are used!
> The words "fax machine" were used in comparing our industry to the TV
> commercial that aired during the super bowl about UPS delivery service. Not
> that 3D was working on such a machine (not that I know anything!).
> We have monumental problems with file compatibility issues, solid modeling
> issues, materials, safety, service and many other issues that if this
> machine never materialized still need to be resolved. But that does not
> mean that we can't speculate what might be...
> Karl
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Bathsheba Grossman []
> Sent: Tuesday, April 04, 2000 3:11 PM
> To:
> Subject: RE: My 1K RP machine????
> On Tue, 4 Apr 2000, Charles Overy wrote:
> > What an interesting quote. Particularly that Mr. Rudgley speaks of
> a 3D fax
> > and not a 3D printer. I read this as an implication that 3D
> believes the
> > idea of scanning and transmitting an objects specifications is the
> > application that will make the technology widely commercially
> viable. This
> > is as opposed to the output from 3D design application that
> allmost all of
> > us are involved in. 3D faxing sidesteps (or at least makes
> transparent to
> > the user) all the problems of CAD, file formats,bad facets,
> translation etc
> > that we spend a great deal of time discussing.
> Isn't it more that the idea presuppose a solution to these things,
> rather than sidestepping them? I mean, to "fax" an object, there
> still must be a file representation of it, and that file will still
> have a format, and that format will still be vulnerable to errors.
> I'm puzzled by the specificity of the "fax" angle. If we had an
> output device that could do good models at that price, of course it
> would have many uses, and of course long-distance transmission would
> be one of them, but I wouldn't think of the device as specifically
> tied to it.
> I mean, I use my 2-D printer to print documents with many origins:
> scans, web downloads, faxes, emails, not to mention docs I write
> myself. Most of them come from somewhere else, but I still don't
> see
> the printer as being primarily part of a transmission system.
> > I really do hope 3D systems really has the technology research
> and the
> > business model to support this statement and that it is not just
> > prognostication. Very exciting. At $1700 it would be a lot
> closer to me
> > than the corner high street!
> And everybody who's still paying off a $100,000 box would be sucking
> the mop. Awful stuff, technology. :-}
> > Subject: My 1K RP machine????
> >
> > "Mervyn Rudgley, the senior director of business development at 3D
> Systems
> > in Valencia, California, believes this will happen sooner rather
> than
> > later. "In about five years, we will be producing 3-D fax machines
> for less
> > than 1,000, and they will be available in your local high-street
> store,"
> >
> > Just found this interesting statement...........wonder how big the
> fax will
> > be...Thermolithography is it's name? TLA?
> I would expect that if they are really pushing to make such a
> machine,
> it would be possible. It doesn't seem to me (know-nothing that I
> am)
> that there's anything very inherently expensive about the various 3D
> printing technologies. Plastic and lasers are not by nature costly,
> and great precision has been achieved in 2-D printers for peanuts.
> It's just that a mass market has not been perceived by machine
> manufacturers, and meanwhile there are these very well-capitalized
> specialized markets, and therefore no serious effort has been made
> to
> make 3D printing cheap enough for normal consumers. As I'm sure
> you're all tired of hearing me say, I believe that a bet's being
> missed there, and that the first manufacturer to go after that
> market
> will clean up.
> If it's going to be 3D Systems, good for them.
> -Sheba
> Bathsheba Grossman (831)
> 429-8224
> Digital Sculpture
> For more information about the rp-ml, see
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