Re: [rp-ml] International Terminology Standards

From: G. Sachs <>
Date: Thu Jan 08 2009 - 22:31:18 EET

Yes, Michael, remember BPM (Ballistic Particle Manufacturing)? This was one of the first commercial RP systems but, unfortunately, didn't last very long. To this growing list of past contenders we can add Helysis' LOM fabricator and Cubital's "Solider" machine.

I, for one, do not believe in spending a lot of time coming up with new naming conventions or placing too much emphasis on the importance of such things (VHS, Beta, HD-DVD, Blu-Ray, etc.). Anything that is too specific is - just that - and anything that is too general just leads to misunderstandings (particularly by the media which already has a problem describing technology). A while back there was a push being made to use the term 'Fabbing' or 'Fabber' instead of RP. I had lots of problems with this term, but mostly, having to do with it sounding a little to artificially 'trendy' and hip (in a forced way) and because it also sounded like it might have been derived from "fabulous" rather than fabricating. So, I am happy just sticking with phrases such as "This was RP'd (or fabricated) using...". As far as printers go, it will sometimes be important to distinguish between different kinds of printers and/or processes (even in the media), so you might say
 "The tissue was engineered and RP'd (or fabricated) using a new bio-printer (rather than 3D-printer)". A 'bio-printer' is going to be a lot more complicated than a typical Z-Corp printer. I think '3D-fabricator', '3D-prototyper' or 'rapid model-creator/maker', etc. would be a bit better than just 3D-printer - if it's really THAT important for the media to have some other way to refer to rapid-prototyping, other than RP (which is still nice and short). Even '3D-replicator' might be a more modern-sounding, general, and familiar term for anyone that has ever seen a Sci-Fi movie. But all this 'name coining' reminds me, a little too much, of my time working for one of the major automotive companies, where an entire team of people spent the better part of one week 'agonizing' over the name they would give to an internally developed application (that wasn't even around all that long). Even back then, I thought this was an enormous waste of time and resources
 but, not surprisingly, no one else agreed with me (hey, they were getting paid to come up with these clever names and they were being cheered on by the application's developer). But this did give me a small glimpse of where some companies end up misplacing their emphasis (i.e. marketing over engineering) and led me to predict that they would not fare well in the long term. Needless to say, the prediction did not go over well and I took a lot of ribbing for it.

Over the years, I have learned that your actual product counts a lot more than what you choose to call it (at least in the long term). So, I guess I'll just stick to the term RP, for now. When people start getting too clever with naming products - like CDO's (collateralized debt obligations) - my radar goes up. Indeed, 'RP' has had a slow adoption curve because, in some cases, it still proves to be neither all THAT 'rapid', nor as inexpensive, as its name would imply and more traditional approaches can still, sometimes, be more cost effective or produce much better results. I still can't believe that consumables for some of the processes are more than $15 cu-in. Anybody out there want to buy my flame-shooting 'Hemi'?.

G. Sachs
Paradyme Systems

From: "Miller, Michael W" <>
To: Yasser Hosni <>; RP-ML <>; Terry Wohlers <>
Sent: Thursday, January 8, 2009 11:12:07 AM
Subject: RE: [rp-ml] International Terminology Standards

 "Layered" is probably to restrictive. You'd be precluding future additive technologies that are voxel or free form based.

Michael W Miller(
The Boeing Company M/C 4E- 92 66-ZB-XQ12
Desk) 206-544-7714 Pgr) 416-0257 Fax) 544-4093
Rapid Prototyping and Modeling 655-4366 or -2262
Disclaimer: Engineer and out the other!
Received on Thu Jan 08 22:32:27 2009

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