RE: HP getting into the rapid prototype printer business

From: Marshall Burns (
Date: Thu Oct 09 2003 - 17:31:51 EEST

Dear RP-ML,

        We had a very interesting thread a few weeks ago about the use
of digital fabricators (or 3D printers or "rapid prototypers") by the
mainstream public. I was deep into a heavy project at the time and did
not have the time to get involved in the discussion then, but those who
know me around here know how near this subject is to my heart. Several
years ago, I wrote a couple of brief articles about it for the Rapid
Prototyping Report. Those articles had not been uploaded to the Ennex
Web site before, but I have done that now for those interested in this
discussion. The two articles are:

                -- "Professional Fabbing at Home" about how fabbers will
first begin to appear in homes for professional use by freelance
engineers and designers, leading later to other household uses,
including making toys for the kids. At

                -- "UPS Foretells the Fabber Revolution" about a 1999 TV
commercial for United Parcel Service that provided a brilliant visual
image of the fabber future with people ordering products online for
delivery via fabber directly into their homes and offices. At

        Occasionally, I have found a couple of RP-ML threads valuable
enough to be worth extracting and preserving as a unit. I haven't done
it in a couple of years, but this is definitely another one. So I have
collected it and you'll find it at The
issues discussed there included machine cost, materials costs and
properties, applications of interest to "Joe Sixpack," recycling of
materials, related technologies developed by the Army and J. C. Penney,
and a comparison of home fabbing to home cooking. Thank you to Larry
Millard, Charles Overy, Scott Taper, Bathsheba Grossman, and the many
others who participated in the lively debate. It seems more and more
that the RP-ML is to this field what the Homebrew Computer Club was to
computers in the 1970s. The vision of mainstream 3D printers is being
formulated here, and it will come about.

        A few months ago, many of us were not sure this list would
survive the spam war. But has it ever!

Best regards,
Marshall Burns and


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