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

From: Rachel Park <>
Date: Tue Jan 05 2010 - 14:42:46 EET


I definitely agree that virtual prototyping and full simulation is an
excellent tool for the tool box, and I certainly take your point on
the size of some products, a wind turbine being a good example. Coming
back to your other example, personally I don't think there will ever
be a mobile phone released on to the market without a physical
prototype — in the hands of consumers for appraisal — regardless of
how good simulated data is/gets. Simply because, as other contributors
have suggested, we are a tactile lot, and need to feel the real thing.

I suppose my point is, it doesn't have to be either / or! There are
many technological options for product development available, and the
best approach has to be finding an intelligent mix, and teaching that
on the D&T curriculums.

Regarding the original hype of RP, it definitely worked against the
growth of the industry to a certain extent. As a journalist in this
area for many years, I admit I was probably guilty of it myself,
however, now, with somewhat more perspective, experience and a healthy
dose of reality, I am less inclined to believe that it will solve
everything!! It is was it is — in the wrong hands it can be dangerous
(guns/land mines/pornography) in the right hands it can do amazing
things that make a real difference to real people (prosthetics/hearing
aids etc), and everything inbetween! I do still think there is great
unfulfilled potential, which takes me back to the need for that
'killer app' — it could happen in my life time, and I would be
delighted to see it! It would be a great shame if it takes 500 years


Rachel Park | RP Editorial Services
t: 07515 741188

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On 5 Jan 2010, at 00:37, G. Sachs wrote:

> OK, Rachael, but what about just simulating your new device -
> virtually - on a computer (which I am now doing more and more)? You
> can't simulate a full scale new wind turbine or IC engine even after
> you build your small RP model. Wouldn't virtual modeling and full
> dynamic and material simulationof new devices (including cell
> phones) trump even RP in the near future? Maybe young people should
> just skip RP and go straight to computer rendering and simulation?
> Note sure, but I know there was just WAY TOO much hyping about RP in
> the beginning (and much of this by people who have since left the
> field for greener pastures) and a lot of "far out" prognostication
> about how every home owner would make their own parts to repair
> their appliances. Who do you know that still fixes their own cars
> and appliances (the way they did way before RP existed)?
> Sorry, I'm I skeptic when it comes to people choosing exertion
> (mental or physical) over pure entertainment.
> G. Sachs
> From: Rachel Park <>
> To: G. Sachs <>
> Cc: rp-ml <>
> Sent: Mon, January 4, 2010 5:42:59 PM
> Subject: Re: [rp-ml] free STL Files and other things we wish for in
> the new year
> 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
> Rachel Park | RP Editorial Services
> t: 07515 741188
> e:
> w:
> 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 14:35:33 2010

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