We are a distributor for 3D Systems' Actua in the United States. I can
tell you that after being in the RP industry for 9+ years, this is one
of the most exciting developments.
I believe (IMHO) that Actua is addressing a much needed "missing link"
between design and RP. That is, all of the up-front concept design
work has not been able to fully access RP because of cost and time. Too
often, we wait until the design is (nearly) fully mature before
accessing RP. Typically this happens when a designer is very close to
releasing the tooling order.
What about all the time spent up-front, getting the design to that
point? Here is where Actua really is significant. The machine is
designed to go directly into an office environment - no need for a lab.
Designers/Engineers access the machine over a network - just like a
color plotter, printer, etc.
Think what this means. An engineer can "print" the results of his/her
days work EVERY SINGLE DAY, if wanted. Actua's speed and cost make
that a reality.
This truely is a new paradigm for RP. Many in the industry feel that the
concept/office modeler will be as big (or bigger) than the traditional
forms of RP today. It will be interesting to see what developes.
Rapid Design Technologies
Kai Uwe Koch wrote:
> I am looking for information about 3D-Systems Actua-machine. I only know
> the offical 3D-Web-Site and that one or two machines are located in
> How many systems are shipped? How does the parts look? Have anyone
> experience with the Actua?
> Kai Uwe Koch E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Internet: http://www.ipa.fhg.de/
> Produktionstechnik und Automatisierung
> Nobelstrasse 12
> D-70569 Stuttgart Phone: +49 711 970 1856
> Germany Fax: +49 711 970 1004
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