Re: 3D fax: Who needs it ?

From: Ian Gibson (
Date: Tue Dec 05 1995 - 03:14:45 EET

>FYI, 3D-FAX has been demonstrated by us here at the University of Texas
>at Austin way back in 1991. Those of you who attended the 1991 SFF Symposium
>will remember touring DTM, SMS and UT. CT scan slices of an automobile piston
>taken at Scientific Measurement Systems (Austin) were transmitted over a phone
>line directly to an SLS machine located at UT to create a polycarbonate copy
>in real-time.
>Who wants it ?
>Them trekkies are bugging us to build them a transporter.

I think the issue is slightly more complex than demonstarting that models
can be passed down a phone line. UT demonstarted it in 1991. 3D Scanners
told me they demonstrated in 1990. I had a student look at it a couple of
years ago. Some of the issues that were raised were :- colour, transmission
rates, speed of build (compared to speed of scan), internal structure, size
of model (scaling), mechanisms, portability, integration.

Many faxes are fax/modems, capable of taking non-scanned data directly from
a computer - 3D CAD to RP via phone is what many do now. But is it the same?

Who wants it? Good question. When the fax was first demonstrated they asked
the same question. But it has made the transition from big business luxury
to consumer product quite well dont you think?


Dr Ian Gibson
Dept. Mechanical Engg.
University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong

tel: +852 2859 7901
fax: +852 2858 5415

Change is inevitable - except from the vending machine just outside the post

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