Re: HP getting ito the rapid prototype printer business

Date: Wed Sep 17 2003 - 23:53:23 EEST

In a message dated 03-09-17 14:19:42 EDT, you write:

<< Subj: RE: HP getting ito the rapid prototype printer business
 Date: 03-09-17 14:19:42 EDT
 From: (Charles Overy)
 Reflecting on this idea of having a RP machine at a retail parts service
 Does anyone have any knowledge or experience with what I believe was being
 called something like the " mobile army parts center". The idea that some
 sort of sintering machine was going to be deployed in a trailer to produce
 military replacement parts close to the point of need. Also, I thought that
 some of the early RP money came from DARPA grants looking at putting the
 same sort of technology on aircraft carriers.
 Was anything like this ever successfully implemented?
Hi There:

There is an article on our site at this location:

RP hits the road for the military

With all this talk about RP for the masses, and the future of RP, if you'd
really like to be inspired by the potential, look at the front page of the Wall
St. Journal for last Thusday, 9/11/03.

"Invisible Supplier has Penney's Shirts All Buttoned Up" by Gabriel Kahn

sub-title: "From Hong Kong, It Tracks Sales, Restocks Shelves, Ships Right to
the Store"

Unfortunately, the article is unavailable electronically except by
subscription, as far as I know, although many public and university libraries will
provide access to the text.

The gist is that Penney's inventory of a particluar shirt is that shirt. When
someone buys it, a replacement is fabricated and dispatched from the factory
in a couple of days. The long-term implications of the success of this
newly-developed infrastructure are profound. There is the potential to affect a wide
range of industries and distribution chains.

RP is very likely one of the key methodologies for expanding this
"manufacture for sale" shift in business thought. And, it probably won't be necessary
for RP processes customized for these applications to be perfect, nor to have
the very low prices appropriate to a consumer product.

It should be possible to greatly expand the market for additive fabrication
by applying the existing technology base to specific business problems that can
take advantage of the concept.

The first problem is educating a wider range of businesses about the
existence of a solution.

Ed Grenda
Castle Island Co.
781-646-6280 (voice or fax) (email)

The Worldwide Guide to Rapid Prototyping


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