Re: [rp-ml] free STL Files and other things we wish for in the new year

From: Rachel Park <>
Date: Tue Jan 05 2010 - 00:42:59 EET

I find myself agreeing and disagreeing with various aspects of both of
the last two posts.

Essentially the "cheap" 3D printer is already here, and it is a
capable one for concept development. The RapMan (not one of the
excellent open source projects) is well under the $5000 price tag that
has been on many people's wish lists over the last couple of years.
What is missing is the "killer app" (sexual or otherwise, hopefully
otherwise). The RapMan does not come close to the more refined
processes now available for production etc, but it is within the reach
of any company looking for entry level access to the technology, that
want to improve their product development programmes and generate
multiple prototypes quickly, easily and cheaply. While I agree with
much of the ethos of G Sach's post and the unfortunate throw away
culture we frequently encounter, and the average attention span he
refers to generally resembles that of a knat, I do not necessarily
agree that cheap is bad or that it equates to short-lived. Cheap can
also mean accessible — to anyone, including young and enquiring minds
that may not otherwise be engaged by such technology! Putting
affordable machines, with affordable consumables into the hands of
children as young as 5 is an enlightened approach, and made possible
by the 'cheap' price tag for schools with limited funding. The pay-off
may take a little time, but I will wager it will be worth it. The
first primary schools in the UK are in receipt of this machine. I am
no longer of the opinion that every household will one day have its
own 3D printer (yes, I was carried along on that wave for a while),
but I would not be too surprised if we get to a point in time when
designers, engineers and manufacturers will ask their predecessors how
on earth they ever developed ideas without one!

Best wishes to all for 2010

Rachel Park | RP Editorial Services
t: 07515 741188

On 4 Jan 2010, at 20:11, G. Sachs wrote:

> So what kinds of "great" things would consumers do with their dirt-
> cheap RP machines? What they do with their studio grade still and
> video cameras? What they do with their Cray-supercomputer class
> computers (which I would have killed for in the 70's)? No, I think
> you may have too much optimism and faith for how people end up using
> powerful tools (like TV) and how long their interest in such things
> lasts. My guess is that the 'attention span' for cheap RP machines
> would be about 1-month (in the 21st century) - then on to the next
> 'cheap thrill'. Cheap is not what is really needed to get increased
> interest in RP - new visions about what is possible, especially in
> terms of creating (real, meaningful and well paying) jobs, may be
> much more important. I'm kind of tired of cheap thrills (and
> conferences), it may be time for everyone to get back to work and
> really 'do something' (as Steve Jobs might say).
> G. Sachs
> From: George W. Hart <>
> To:
> Sent: Mon, January 4, 2010 1:57:09 PM
> Subject: Re: [rp-ml] Detroit Bomber STL File
> To extend Marshall's point, I'll opine that it wouldn't
> necessarily be a bad thing if some killer app involving human
> sexuality is what it takes to get the economies of scale jump
> started, so that RP machine prices drop into the consumer appliance
> price range.
> (But let's *not* brainstorm ideas for such apps here on this forum.)
> George
> P.S. My coolest RP sculpture yet: (kid-safe, don't worry)
> Marshall Burns wrote:
> > Very interesting comment, Greg. Given the history of cave drawing,
> marble sculpture, painting on canvas, the printing press,
> photography, video tape, the Internet, and every other communication
> medium known to man and woman, there is no question that the popular
> advent of fabbers will come along with applications in pornography,
> both legal and illegal. In ten or 15 years, we’ll probably have
> prosecutors across the country arresting high school kids for 3D
> sexting. (Don’t trust the timing of my predictions; they’ve been
> dreadfully off before.)
Received on Tue Jan 05 00:30:08 2010

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Fri Mar 11 2011 - 05:24:18 EET