> I agree, but a lot of people out there still aren't willing to invest the
> time in creating a solid model CAD file for something they are just going
> to throw away.
You're right -- It doesn't make since to create a solid model ONLY to take
advantage of 3D printing. If solid modeling is at the core of the product
development process, the company can use this master model data to drive
engineering, analysis, visualization, documentation, and tooling. I'm not
telling you anything you don't already know, but it's important to keep in
mind that if one isolates a given activity that requires you to create
computer model data, you risk losing the benefit of that activity. That's
why integration of data is so important. The lack of intergration, coupled
with the rigid steps that one must follow to get work done, are reasons why
CAD solid modeling hasn't been terribly successful for highly creative
(e.g., ergonomic) industrial design work -- a task that requires fast,
flexible, and intuitive tools.
> The people I talk to are just as happy or happier with the
> hand-carved foam, plywood, or sheet metal.
... because they are fast, flexible, and intuitive -- not to mention
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