Re: back from Austin

From: lonepeak (
Date: Tue Aug 15 2000 - 23:07:17 EEST

Elaine / RPML

Javelin decided not to go to this meeting this year. Unless there is a
trade show portion to a meeting, we rarely have the luxury of staying more
than a day or 2 at the meeting. When I speak at a meeting, by-in-large,
they waive any fees to attend the meeting and often supply other kinds of
"perks". This conference has not been structured that way and we decided
that our company had to focus its attendance on meetings that would give us
more commercial exposure and have some realism about the expense incurred by
smaller, commercial firms to come to meetings like this.

So - it wasn't a reflection on the technical content availability but rather
the business opportunities and strategy, which are not really an aspect of
this conference.

You asked -

>Does this mean the US and it's manufacturing base are losing interest?

No, I don't believe so. What I see is shift to Value-added rapid
fabrication. By this I mean using the RP technology to spring board into a
wider-scope activity. Examples of this are:

1. 100 or more parts from soft tooling created based on an RP pattern. Not
a novel concept, but this makes up more and more of our regular jobs

2. Adaptation of the RP systems to work with materials like foam and carbon
fiber composites to create rapid components for customer-specific

3. More and more reverse engineering that ties in RP for hand-held
duplicates and - really - really important - web interfacing for internet

4. A continued push to drive CNC machining as a solution for rapid

5. Expansion into markets considered difficult such as medical modeling.

These are the meetings we are still supporting -

SME's RP meetings
IDSA (International Design Society of America)
The Professional Modelmakers meetings

It would be interesting to hear from the list what meetings they think are
worth attending and for what reason.


>From: Elaine Hunt <>
>Subject: back from Austin
>Date: Tue, Aug 15, 2000, 8:53 AM

>This year Austin was an interesting conference for all the wrong reasons.
>First question was "Where was everyone?"
>Participation was great but overall attendance was way down.
>Very few (<5) industrial attendees and only NIST was there.
>It is interesting to see that foreign investment and development in the
>technology is extremely strong.
>Also only one maybe two SLA papers while most revolved around SLS(14),
>FDM(8), and LOM(5).
>Papers came from S&NA(47), Asia (9), Europe(14).
>Watch for a very competitive direct metal process to emerge out of Sweden
>this next year.
>Does this mean the US and it's manufacturing base are losing interest?
>Or does it mean that the champions who pushed this technology at high
>levels are gone?
>Will the US lose it's competitive edge?
>Should we even be concerned?
>for other goodies all I can say is "You missed it".
>Opinions, suggestions, and other controversial matter VOID where prohibited.
>Elaine T. Hunt, Director
>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

For more information about the rp-ml, see

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