RE: Last week's SFF Symposium at the Univ of TX ?

From: Brent Stucker (
Date: Tue Aug 14 2001 - 23:37:40 EEST

Once again I found the SFF conference in Austin to be the most informative
research conference in rapid prototyping today. More people attend the
talks at this conference than at any RP conference I have been a part of
recently. At most conferences today, a lot of people go just for the trade
show and skip the technical sessions. Since there is no trade show as part
of the SFF Symposium, everyone who attends is there to go to the talks.

If you want to know the latest about what the various RP companies are
doing, the SFF Symposium this year would have disappointed you. However, if
you want to keep up with the latest and greatest in research and development
at Universities and Research Institutions, the SFF Symposium has the
broadest treatment of any conference.

Based on my conversations with others, the consensus highlight of the
conference was Tuesday morning. Eli Sachs from MIT gave a great talk on the
use of SFF in manufacturing and its future applications in manufacturing.
Phil Dickens from DeMontfort followed up with a great talk on integrating
SFF thinking into design and how designers' thinking should be changed so
that they can more readily take advantage of the great benefits of making
parts using RP techniques. These two talks, in my opinion, were the best of
the conference.

I have attached Phil's abstract from the program, which more adequately
summarizes his talk:
11:00 - 11:45 Integration of Solid Freeform Fabrication in Design -- Phill
Dickens, Department of Engineering and Technology, De Montfort University,
During the last few decades designers have been educated to develop designs
with restricted geometry so that parts can be made easily. The revolutionary
aspect of Rapid Manufacturing would be that geometry would no longer be a
limiting factor. The introduction of Rapid Manufacturing will have a number
effects on Design. It will be possible to have re-entrant shapes without
complicating manufacturing, no draft angles, variable wall thickness, no
split lines and fewer parts leading to easier assembly and lower stock.
The individual designer's method of working will change with the
introduction of Rapid Manufacturing and also there will be changes to the
overall design process. Examples will be the elimination of prototype and
pre-production stages as end part manufacture will occur as soon as the CAD
is finished. This will affect project management practices and sign-off

Brent Stucker
Dr. Brent Stucker, Director & Asst. Professor
Rapid Manufacturing Center
University of Rhode Island
Dept. of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
Gilbreth Hall, 2 East Alumni Ave.
Kingston, RI 02881
ph: (401)874-5187
fax: (401)874-5540

-----Original Message-----
From: []On
Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, August 14, 2001 3:51 PM
Subject: Whad's about last week's SFF festival at the Univ of TX ?

Hi folks:

It would be very nice to hear from one of you lucky people that got to
last week's SFF festival at the University of TX about some of the
- or even the lowlights.

Well - what was new, exciting, interesting or maybe just plain funny?

Inquiring minds would like to know...


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

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