Proposal to: Communication problems was third on the vote list...

Date: Thu Jun 01 2000 - 20:24:02 EEST

Dear Elaine et al:

Thanks for your thoughtful response and divinations concerning the field of
RP. Working with sparse data sets is very difficult, but I think you do
describe some general trends and needs which are stronger than the limp
returns suggest.

Two comments regarding numbers 1 and 2 on the list:

1) RP materials will continue to be expensve until there are more users. The
cost of development must be spread over very few customers. There are only
5,500 cumulative machines in the world, after all, and these are divided
among several material families and technologies.

2) If the second most important thing in the RP world is to produce criteria
for a standard test part, there seems to be a lack of leadership in the
standards setting organizations and committees. It's not a trivial problem,
but there ought to be some way of accomplishing this through the good offices
of the SME, GARPA or the numerous universities involved. There's at least a
Master's level thesis lurking here. Dick Aubin woulda dunnit, but he's become
difficult to reach.


3) I'd like to offer an instantaneous solution to the third item on the
voting list quoted below, but I'm wondering how (or if) people would react to
the solution. The RPML contains an enormous fund of knowledge and even a lot
of phone numbers. That's why I have saved almost every message for the last
5 years.

Of course, the best solution would be to index and post the entire contents.
However, I made some tests to estimate the size of the job and storage
requirements. It's clear that will be a lot of work and require several 10's
of megabytes. I'm getting tired just thinking about it, (but I'd perk right
up if offered money).

Instead, I propose to generate several concatenated files of all the messages
for the last 5 years or so. These would be compressed in zip format to
manageable size, and downloadable from the Castle Island web site. You would
then be able to decompress the files and search them locally on your PC using
your word processor or any text editor.

The files already exist and don't contain any attachments, flame wars or
jokes. (Jokes are saved separately.)

If ENTHUSIASM is demonstrated, you all might be able to have this stuff next

Don't everybody shout at once.


Ed Grenda
Castle Island Co.
19 Pondview Road
Arlington, MA 02474 USA
781-646-6280 (voice or fax) (email)

In a message dated 00-05-31, writes:
Communication problems was third on the vote list. The idea behind the wish
list was to allow the user community to vocalize and identify the direction
that RP technology seemed to be moving, however, many users focused on the
RPML itself and voted to set RPML netique rules. Others looked beyond the
frustration of nuisance emails to see the value in sharing of information
and made the third top wish to make the list archive searchable. This third
place vote seems to indicate that the RPML is an excellent communication
process. However, many users are frustrated by the time it takes to locate
topical information by searching though the archives. Therefore, many
users voted for the creation of a library for different subjects like 3D
printing or tooling while others called for a web site phone directory to
help identify experts, users, suppliers. Overall the communication of
helpful information seems to be a top priority for most users.

For more information about the rp-ml, see

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