(Please mail all replies/responses to myself, Graham Bennett at the
email address below.)
Here at the CRDM, we have an SLA250 which is used for both academic
research and commercial purposes. The revenue generated from the
commercial work pays for the machine upkeep (full price), resin (full
price) and all staff salaries, as well as funding three PhD projects and
additional research. The machine is not grant-maintained.
It is used academically as a teaching aid in the degree syllabus, to
assist in final year undergraduate projects, and as an aid in
post-graduate research projects.
Some general points from my experience:
1)Many 'Commercial' Bureau also receive Government grants, eg for
advertising, for machine purchases and for staff training etc.
Universities don't get access to some of these grants. Some machines in
commercial bureaux have been bought entirely on grants. Is this fair for
those Companies who are not eligible for these grants?
2)We have done several 'blind' surveys of prices from most of the UK
bureaux and have found
a) The cheapest bureaux are not those found in
b) Many Academic bureaux are slow or occasionally don't
respond to requests for quotation, which makes them uncompetitive from a
c) The bureaux which have the worst reputation for
are found in the commercial sector.
d) The most successful bureaux do not charge the lowest
prices, but have good reputations for delivery and part finishing. If
'part price' was everything this would not be the case.
e) By far the cheapest stereolithography part prices are to
be found overseas, in bureau which have had their equipment purchased
entirely by Governement grant.
Maybe we should ban imports???
Graham Bennett Director Centre for Rapid Design and Manufacture Buckinghamshire Chilterns University College Queen Alexandra Road High Wycombe, Bucks HP11 2JZ, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1494 605001 Fax: +44 (0)1494 538593 email: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.buckscol.ac.uk/tech/crdm/crdm.html
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