Re: Future potential of RP

From: Tom Richards <>
Date: Tue Apr 13 2004 - 16:41:08 EEST

Hello List (what's left of it),

My take on RP in the next five to ten years:

Direct Prototyping of concept models by direct build in plastics and of
industrially useful parts in metal alloys by consumption of direct built
plastics in the lost wax investment casting process followed by machining is
well established. It is economical for the manufacture of from one to
several copies of a part. The quality of such parts will be enhanced by
incremental improvements in finish, accuracy and resolution of the model
building machines. The cost of such parts will decrease in proportion to
increases in machine build speeds. The availability of machines selling for
a tenth of present prices will swell the volume of concept models produced
and will result in a modest increase in the numbers of industrially useful
prototype parts manufactured.

Direct Prototyping by machines that build metal alloy parts directly will
satisfy niche applications for industrially useful parts at high cost and
might lead to the economical manufacture of rapid tooling for volume
manufacturing of parts.

Indirect Prototyping will expand greatly using rapid tools made by Direct
Prototyping for the rapid manufacture of industrially useful parts
economically in quantities ranging from several to tens of thousands.
Incremental improvements in finish, accuracy and resolution of the machines
will result in like improvements in the quality of the parts produced and
reduce the amount of machining required and will lead to a swelling of such
applications. The availability of machines for a tenth of present prices
will revolutionize the manufacture of parts by decentralization. Every
inventor, designer and entrepreneur will be able to quickly, economically
and reliably bring his own product to market.

Best Regards, Tom Richards, Metallurgist, Thoms Corp

----- Original Message -----
From: "Firdaus" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, April 12, 2004 8:47 PM
Subject: Future potential of RP

> Hi all,
> I need to know what is your idea about the future potential of prototype
> and rapid prototyping technology (at least for next five years).
> Thanks a lot and have a good day.
> Best Regards
> Firdaus
Received on Tue Apr 13 16:16:28 2004

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