This is why RP will enable the small business to compete effectively against the larger company. The closer upper management is to the worker bees(in my case one in the same) the more RP will be appreciated for the revolution which it is.
The only problem for the smaller company is capital cost but the service bureau can help this. RP enables the talented individual. The industrial revolution enslaved the talented individual to the corporate structure. Once RP becomes entrenched within the corporate structure, then the talented individual will once again become enslaved, but there is now a good five years for the entrepreneur to flourish.
There are some intrinsic problems with Very Large Companies. Something like RP is so new and
different that it doesn't fit neatly into a defined technical discipline, and so it slips into
the cracks between Computing, Design Engineering, and Manufacturing. Also, if an organization
does come to recognize the power and potential of the new technology, they will tend to try to
deploy the technology within their own empire, thus re-inventing the wheel, instead of using
existing resources. Finally, there is too large of a chasm between the visionaries in upper
management and the worker bees who are actually making the new technology happen, so that even
if a champion exists, the bureaucratic filters and hurdles multiply with every middle
management step downward. All of these Very Large Company characteristics have been at work at
Boeing, and they have hurt the rapid prototyping cause. The frustration I experienced in trying
to overcome them contributed to my departure.
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