Dear RP Mailing List
I would like to clear up any misunderstanding that may have arisen from previous comments made in emails to the list.
LIP's claim of being the first RP company in the UK is qualified as follows:
Firstly, there is the definition of an RP "company" as opposed to an RP "bureau" - our definitions are as follows:
RP bureau - Any organisation (commercial, academic or otherwise) which offers a part provision service based on the output of an RP machine.
This can obviously include related services (CNC, toolmaking, etc.) and secondary processes such as vac. casting, finishing, etc.
RP company - A commercial organisation whose core business covers the whole spectrum of "RP" - from Special Projects and RP Consultancy to delivering turnkey solutions to customer's prototyping requirements.
In other words, anything from a one-off model to a fully integrated RP&T solution (including software, dedicated PC system, the right RP machine for the job, training and any related secondary processes).
As far as the history of RP bureaux is concerned, the first RP bureau in the UK was indeed Lasercad, who had the UK's first SLA 250/30 in 1989. (This system was transferred to LIP in 1991).
We had been supplying rapid investment castings (based on traditional prototype methods) to a variety of industries for eleven years previous to this (i.e. since 1978) and started working with Lasercad from their inception, converting SLA master patterns to accurate investment castings via LIP's proprietary tooling, wax production and casting methods.
Hence LIP's claim of being the first RP company in the UK.
(I realise that these definitions are not universal and indeed are specific to LIP, but they have served us well in our efforts to differentiate between the ever-broadening range of companies, academic and other instuitutions which are currently involved in the RP marketplace on a worldwide basis.)
I hope this clarifies the position, as we believe that the difference between an RP "bureau" and an RP "company" is a subtle but important one.
As a final point, I'm sure there will have been other definitions made at other times by other people more qualified to do so - the above is not intended as an authoritative definition, rather an explanation of how we view this complex and fast-moving industry.
In the meantime our thanks to Jan for bringing the need for clarity to our attention.
as the list is a good source of information that I would not normally come
across during normal working conversations, and find very interesting. But I
have also wondered if some of the information is factually correct.
on only a couple of occasions where I have had some knowledge of the subject
did I suspect that the content of the mail was a load of rubbish. But my
faith was restored in the system as apologies were issued and the
misunderstanding was clarified.
I hope the same will occur again with credit being given to Frank Green MD
who formed LaserCad, 11 months prior to LIP, to start the RP ball rolling
here in the UK.
Don't forget the truth is out there.
Laser Integrated Prototypes Ltd.
140 - 144 Station Road, March,
Cambs. PE15 8NH, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1354 650 789
Fax: +44 (0) 1354 650 799
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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