RE: Beginning a career in RP

From: Charles Overy (
Date: Thu Aug 08 2002 - 19:26:36 EEST

I am not sure exactly what "A career in RP" is. In my opinion, RP will
become a pervasive output tool for a variety of industries.

If this is so, then one definition of "A career in RP" would be a career
that enables you to use RP. Right now your best bet would be industrial
design, although you could probably get into jewelry, sculpture, medical
applications, architecture and some others. However, in ten years, as RP
becomes more commonplace and more user friendly, you may find that if you
went into those positions because you were excited about the technology that
you got to use and not because of your love of the underlying work, that you
were pretty unhappy.

Alternately, if it is the idea of turning data into physical products that
is appealing, then find a job with a service bureau or a manufacturing
company that does the design to manufacturing in house (and has a commitment
to keep it in house). If you like things fast and furious with many models
a day, a bureau is probably better. If you like to take an in depth look at
a narrower range of products or models, then, in general, a company is
better. Preferably find a bureau or company that is interested in tough
challenges and new processes.

If one is interested in RP techniques, and the machines themselves another
definition of "A career in RP" would be to work for an RP software house, a
machine vendor, materials vendor or a university that researches new RP
techniques. All of these areas will need new talent with very diverse
skills. You could have "A career in RP" if you were interested in
chemistry, marketing, human resources, software code, etc.

My advice is to really think about what it is that is attracting you to
rapid prototyping as well as what it is that you like to do and what you are
good at. Then look for companies that are growing and beat on their door,
and keep beating on the door, and then beat some more, until you get to talk
to someone. If they won't hire you for your dream job then ask them what
skills you need so they will hire you. Then go back to the beginning of
this paragraph and do it again.

Good luck

Charles Overy

-----Original Message-----
From: []On
Behalf Of Sanat Agrawal
Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2002 12:07 AM
To: rp-ml
Subject: Re: Beginning a career in RP

This is a very relevant discussion. Thanks to John Vollman and
Rick Lott for raising the issue of career in RP. The companies have
minimal staff for their RP equipment as noted by Rick Lott.
Careerwise who has a better propect - a model maker or a CAD


On Wed, 7 Aug 2002, Rick Lott wrote:

> In May of this year, Boeing Satellite Systems decided to close it's RP
> and layoff it's one RP employee, me. Luckily for me, I have been working
> the RP field for over 12 years and hand the contacts and resources to
> nearly every RP shop in the Los Angeles region, of which there are 30 or
> within a 50 mile radius of my home. Unfortunately, none of them are
> Like Boeing, the majority of companies that have their own equipment have
> minimal staff, usually one person. (The process is just too darn
> The remaining job shops are like everyone else in America, suffering from
> the economic downturn of September 11. In other words, not hiring.
> I can read the writing on the wall. I am currently taking advantage of a
> scholarship to learn a new trade. It will be my 6th career change.
> >From that pessismistic viewpoint I offer the following advice to those of
> you who seek to begin a career in RP: Buy a machine and start your own
> shop. It's your best and probably only shot at getting in. It will be
> it.
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