RE: New Rapid Prototyping Benchmark Study Examines 3D Printers

From: Phil Iehle (
Date: Wed Oct 29 2003 - 22:21:24 EET

Hi List

I have to agree with John on some points. A Viper is a high end RP system
and not a "3D printer". Results on the 0.006" build style without mention of
the flexibility of building at 0.002" layers and 0.003" spot are misleading.
I also believe it unfair that as a high end flexible system, that his cost
per hour takes account of the acquisition price which is of course much
higher. I quote - "3D printers are affordable and easy to use rapid
prototyping systems for personal, office or departmental use." Why not
compare the InVision printer or at least draw the line at a dollar amount.
I feel this is a case of measuring apples and oranges.

I have to reiterate, Fine Line Prototyping is a prime example. You can't,
and wouldn't think of, getting the same type of part and quality from "low
cost" 3D printing systems. They are miles apart.
And what about build material choice?

The fact that the study is aimed at steering people to various methods by
comparison can be misleading without understanding the very real impact that
geometry, accuracy, and end use / purpose has on making the right

 "I produced this benchmark study specifically for design engineers who are
trying to select the rapid prototyping system right for them,"

We are a bit of a 'not-that-well-known' and cryptic industry. I agree that
does need addressing. Lets do it right.

Phil Iehle
Versadyne LLC

  -----Original Message-----
  From: []On Behalf
Of Neil Hopkinson
  Sent: Wednesday, October 29, 2003 11:47 AM
  Subject: RE: New Rapid Prototyping Benchmark Study Examines 3D Printers

  A few years back I performed a similar sounding study for Volvo Cars as
part of our Rapid Manufacturing Consortium.
  A couple of key points to make with this kind of benchmark include:
  - the findings are often geometry/purpose specific
  - the findings are often out of date by the time they go to print.

  I have not read the report but would expect that Todd has covered the
first point, previous work by him appeared to be well balanced and fair.
  The second point is very important to remember however it does not mean
there is no value in the excercise, it's just that the reader should be
aware of its limitations (ideally the author will make this clear).
  The second point is in fact a credit to system/material developers -
paradoxically it is good news if the report is out of date quickly as it
(usually) means significant improvements have been made.

  I look forward to watching a lively debate!


    -----Original Message-----
    From: []On
Behalf Of John Kerr
    Sent: 29 October 2003 14:20
    Subject: Re: New Rapid Prototyping Benchmark Study Examines 3D Printers

    Dear List,

    Went thru the report !

    Some questions :

    1. Is this site marketing site for selling reports ?

    2. This report is definitly not made by any RP Veteran but some novice

    3. Everybody knows that Viper is serious high end RP system not 3D
Printer. Why include it in the comparisons ? Viper accuracy same as
Dimension printer ? Ha Ha , who are they fooling ? Ask Fine Line Prototyping
or experts from 3D Systems, please wake up, or these fools will confuse the
market ! I doubt the credibility of of the publishers

    Why Invison, Eden is missing my friend ?


    Todd Grimm <> wrote:

      Edgewood, Ky., October 27 -- T. A. Grimm & Associates, Inc. today
      announced the release of a new rapid prototyping benchmark study that
      examines 3D printers. This extensive study reports the performance of
      seven rapid prototyping systems in the areas of time, cost and

      3D printers are affordable and easy to use rapid prototyping systems
      personal, office or departmental use. The benchmark study finds that
      five of the seven systems qualify as 3D printers, as illustrated by
      new Rapid Prototyping Index. A ranking methodology that incorporates
      performance measures, the index rates the systems in four applications
      areas: concept models, form and fit prototypes, functional prototypes
      and patterns.

      Todd Grimm, president of T. A. Grimm & Associates and a veteran of the
      rapid prototyping industry, conducted the five month project to assist
      companies in their evaluation and selection of 3D printers. Using
      independent organizations for all prototype construction and quality
      measurement, the benchmark offers an unbiased comparison of the seven
      rapid prototyping systems.

      "I produced this benchmark study specifically for design engineers who
      are trying to select the rapid prototyping system right for them,"
      Grimm. "Beyond vendor supplied data, there has been little information
      to help companies discover the true performance capabilities of rapid
      prototyping devices. Without real-world, user- supplied data, this can
      lead to poor decisions when selecting a system."

      The 55-page benchmark, which contains 34 charts, 5 tables and 36
      reports results for three prototypes that vary in size, volume and
      complexity. The benchmark study discovered that there is a large
      variance in prototype costs, ranging from $60.53 to $267.85. The
      measures include system and accessories costs, annual costs, labor and

      The report is available for purchase at T. A. Grimm also offers a free
      executive summary of the benchmark results at the same Web address.

      About T. A. Grimm & Associates
      Founded by Todd Grimm, a 13-year veteran of the rapid prototyping
      industry, T. A. Grimm & Associates, Inc. offers consulting services on
      rapid prototyping and related technologies, including competitive
      analysis, benchmarking and educational programs. The company also
      outsourced marketing services that include marketing plan development,
      Web optimization, copywriting and lead generation. Grimm combines his
      engineering background and technical knowledge with years of sales,
      management and marketing experience to create and implement strategic
      and tactical plans. For more information, visit the T. A. Grimm &
      Associates Web site at

      Todd Grimm
      T.A. Grimm & Associates, Inc.
      3028 Beth Ct.
      Edgewood, KY 41017
      Phone: (859) 331-5340
      Fax: (859) 331-5342
      Cell: (859) 240-0574

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