Re: [rp-ml] A public survey on terminology

From: Bathsheba Grossman (
Date: Mon Aug 29 2005 - 23:01:18 EEST

On Mon, 29 Aug 2005, Brock Hinzmann wrote:
> If you really don't know what Star Trek is, then you make
> your point very clearly. We often think everyone must have
> seen American TV and movies. 3-D Printer will make more
> sense to non-Trekkies than Replicator will. Even the
> Trekkies will probably expect too much from a Replicator.

Yes, I don't favor the Star Trek approach. I'm not a Trekkie myself
(Dr. Who, if you must know), so Replicator conveys little to me; and
when I see such people bandy the word, it's obvious that it conveys
far too much to them. They want to know whether it can make
dilithium, positronic brains and so forth...these aren't useful

> Professionals will certainly recognize Additive
> Manufacturing and I expect most of them have refered to a
> Build at one time or another. But most will recognize
> virtually all oof the alternatives that have been
> mentioned here, because you are here and you discuss them.
> Experts will take the time to learn new terms and
> behaviors, even awkward ones (sometimes especially the
> awkward ones).

I don't believe that anyone outside the industry will have much
interest in walking through an 8-syllable sobriquet every time they
want to mention the technology. Part of making the process easy to
use is making it easy to talk about.

I would say that "Additive manufacturing" is a valid and useful term
for the specific purpose of distinguishing these processes from
subtractive ones such as CNC milling, but for everyday use it's not
viable. Just way too much work to say.


Bathsheba Grossman                                          (831)429-8224
Sculpting geometry                            
Laser etched proteins                    

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