In a message dated 98-04-06 11:45:30 EDT, Michael.Buchloh@bmw.de writes:
> But on the other hand, which small company or design bureau can afford a
$250k system, just for the few models
> they need. These companies would benefit from a small, easy-to-use and cheap
> RP-system. And just think of the impact for the use of CAD once the
> downstream technology gets really cheap! Then it really makes sense to use
> CAD, even for smaller parts.
Excellent point - how the 3D "tools" work together.
That reminds me of the impact of cheap and easy 2D printers on computing of
the early '80's. Suddenly people could create a document on their monitors
AND push a button for a quick physical copy. Isn't that a large part of what
made personal computers really popular - and helped them beyond the
game/calculator worlds? Very few people predicted the result!
Cheap and easy "3D printing" (meaning both shape and shades of black & white)
will also have a general impact on the role of computers in society - through
the professional designers you're probably thinking about and a wide range of
people who have 3D interests. They just need easy 3D software, 3D "clip
art," access to 3D printers (and sometimes 3D scanners).
Wonder if anyone who divides up those large research budgets has thought that
far ahead? Compared to some of the figures I've read about in annual reports,
it wouldn't take the likes of a Xerox, Microsoft or Hewlett Packard a very
large percentage to have a remarkable impact. Unfortunately, it's probably
easier to concentrate on current markets and the next quarter's earnings -
instead of the overall relationships between computer "tools" and overall
computer industry potential.
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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