Fwd: opinions requested for rp center

From: Elaine Hunt (ehunt@ces.clemson.edu)
Date: Tue Apr 25 2000 - 18:30:40 EEST

> Here at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering
> and Applied Science in Evanston, IL (just north of Chicago) we are
> investigating the feasibility of starting a rapid prototype facility that
> would be available for the education of our students as well as answer
> possible industry need for rapid prototyping in the Chicagoland area. We
> could function as an educator to industry and/or as a facility that
> industry could use. We currently have ProE and will shortly have
> Unigraphics capability as well. Our question is whether a center of this
> type would be of value to industry.
> I look forward to hearing from you.


If you have to ask RPML if such a center is of value, then you must expect
some of the industrial listeners to support your activity. I suggest you
ask local companies who eventually will become your bread and butter if
they support such a facility. Then ask your faculty if they plan to do
research and seek grants to financially support the technology. Also the
faculty must think it belongs in the classroom or lab experience of
students before they will work to include it in the academic area. However
if you see this facility as a service bureau then plan to hire skilled
staff and produce cheap parts since you will not be able to compete with
SBs who offer other services.

Having RP technology for the sake of having a geewhiz technology will not
sustain such an activity. You MUST have support at all levels. It takes
about 50K to 100K+ to support RP at the minimum level. I can send you my
98 report from other universities so you can see for your self their
comments and remarks. I am currently working on the 2000 version.

Chicago has a significant number of companies who own and sell RP. It will
take a significant effort but students would benefit if they are the
driving reason behind your efforts.


Opinions, suggestions, and other controversial matter VOID where prohibited.
Elaine T. Hunt, Director elaine.hunt@ces.clemson.edu
Laboratory to Advance Industrial Prototyping
Clemson University 206 Fluor Daniel Bldg.
Clemson, SC 29634-0925
864-656-0321 (voice) 864-656-4435 (fax)

For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/

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