Re: opinions requested for rp center

Date: Tue Apr 25 2000 - 21:16:17 EEST

Barb ;

You might want to contact the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) to
discover how they implemented their program. They have a very fine Rapid
Prototyping Program which is very well established. I believe what they did
to fund their program was to create a consortium with local manufacturers
(ie.. Harley-Davidson, Kohler, Johnson Wax, etc) where they get a discount on
services from the program. Plus probably first crack at the graduates (which
would be very worthwhile). Their program competes with some of the local SB's
to some degree. But all in all it is a very good program. Most of us SB's are
not making enough profit these days anyway to finance training to any kind of
an equal level to what MSOE can offer. As most of us first and second
generation prototypers get older, the burdon of training the next generation
will have to fall on the Universities as the market matures.
    To get started you will need a very large bag of money to be able to
implement several competing technologies all of which have their place in the
market place. A well rounded student needs to be intimate with the strengths
and weaknesses of each. I believe you could possibly do something similar to
MSOE's program in the Chicagoland area. You would have to ask some of the
acedemic's on this list if their is such a program in the Chicago area
already. They did try something like this at Rock Valley College in Rockford
several years ago and the program fell on its face. So make sure you go in
with your eyes wide open with a sound business plan. What killed Rock Valleys
program was not figuring enough budget for repairs and maintainance. Which is
extreme on high tech equipment. It's really tough teaching an SLA class with
a dead laser and no resin (you have to imagine alot).
    I would suggest contacting some of the local experts in the field. RP
started in Chicago originally (I'll get flamed for this) so you have many of
the worlds leading experts right in your own back yard to draw advice from.
But also be aware that the Chicago area has the largest concentration of
SLA's and SB's in the world, adding more to the frey could get some backlash.
Good Luck
Bob Morton
Fusion Engineering

In a message dated 4/24/00 4:29:04 PM Central Daylight Time, writes:

<< Everyone -
    I have been following your correspondence for some time now and I would
 like to ask the rp community its opinion on the following.
    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.
 Barb Mueller
 Barbara Jo Mueller
 Assistant Director
 Office of Industry Relations
 McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
 Northwestern University
 2145 Sheridan Rd >>

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