Nick and all,
I don't have trouble explaining the industry to anybody when using the
current terms like Rapid Prototyping Equipment! Here is a great example of
how confusing "new" terms can be: My boss had to write an article for the
company news letter explaining the various technologies in use around the
casting department. When he got to the SL end of things he rambled on
about replicators and Star Trek and on and on... I have never had so many
questions and comments in the many years spent in this industry as I did
when he wrote that article. I had one person come over to see the SL
machine run and because of the article that my boss wrote the person was
expecting the part to appear magically before their eyes as it does on Star
Trek. I have argued for keeping the term "Rapid Prototyping" for many years
and until the industry comes up with equipment and materials that allow for
production parts off the equipment I will continue to do so. These machines
are not production part producers! They are prototyping machines. The
argument that a few are using the equipment to squeak out some parts that
can be used as the "real thing" also does not hold much water as these
examples are far and few between. Then we have the concept of "Rapid
Tooling" This to is a fallacy when it comes to "production" type parts.
Unless these technologies are used by the masses to produce parts that at
least more closely resemble production they are prototyping machines,
whether for parts or tooling!
I'd be more then happy to give up on the debate if we had equipment that
produced things other then what was described above. But as long as I have
to talk to management, and the machine shop, and the guys that have to
machine my castings I will use the 'Rapid Prototyping" terms.
From: Nick Osborn [SMTP:Nick@swiftech.co.uk]
Sent: Wednesday, January 19, 2000 9:26 AM
To: RPfirstname.lastname@example.org; Marshall@Ennex.com;
Subject: Re: RE: Terminology debate again
Dear Marshall / Brock / List
I agree that we need a clear, simple and cohesive terminology for RP
/ RT - we have all tried explaining the various processes to laypeople and
watched the dreaded "eye glaze" of information overload / total
non-comprehension set in at one time or another.
However, this is a deceptively complex task and I have no instant
solutions to offer, only suggestions.
Let's consider definitions:
Fabricate - 1. to make, build, or construct 2. to devise or concoct
3. to fake or forge
Fabricate - 1. assemble, build, construct, erect, fashion, form,
frame, make, manufacture, shape 2. coin, concoct, devise, fake, falsify,
feign, forge, form, invent, make up, trump up
As can be seen from the above, whilst Marshall's choice of
"fabricator" (or fabber for short) has a great deal of relevancy (and lends
itself to abbreviation easily) it is clearly also open to misinterpretation.
One of the problems with terms like "Creator" and "Maker" is that,
once again, the margin for misinterpretation and even quasi-religious
overtones is considerable...imagine calling a bio-material compatible,
medical grade RP machine of the future (used for building human body parts
for example) "The Creator"...oh dear...
"Personal Factory" and "Matter Compiler" are other phrases that have
been mentioned in the past - personally I favour something simpler, like
maybe "Reality Machine" or how about "Realizer"....?
I can't help feeling that if we, as an industry, can't think of a
decent name for all this, then it's not surprising we have problems in
communicating the potential benefits to accountants, CEOs, etc.
Any further suggestions welcome...
Swift Technologies Ltd.
140 - 144 Station Road, March,
Cambs. PE15 8NH, UK
"Real Parts Real Quick - Because Time Is Money"
Tel: +44 (0) 1354 650 789
Fax: +44 (0) 1354 650 799
>>> "Brock Hinzmann" <email@example.com> 24/06/79 19:27:03 >>>
Actually, I have always found fabber, fabricator, and even automated
fabrication to be more misleading than rapid prototyping or RP in
the current state of the art and I often wonder why Marshall
use it. Automated Fabrication is a great goal, an application, but
certainly a lot of other technologies and equipment already do and
to fill that application, albeit each with its own limitations as
I agree with Marshall's sentiment, in that some other term is
to describe that revolutionary machine of the future, where
automated fabrication of totally arbitrary one-off items is
the person or company that invents that machine is likely to get to
it, like Xerox and Coke.
I like Marshall's enthusiasm, and creativity in general, and I would
him to continue pushing the thinking in the industry, but I
wonder if he isn't beating a dead horse named Fabber.
>List and Marshall,
>I was the originator of that email to Marshall and did not send it
>complaint I was just wondering how long Marshall would be tagging
>messages with such a translation. It seems to me that it would be
>just use and accept what seems to be the industry standard.
>By the way I do not agree that the current terms are misleading.
>perfectly with what these machine do.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Marshall Burns [SMTP:Marshall@Ennex.com]
> Sent: Monday, January 17, 2000 1:47 PM
> To: RPfirstname.lastname@example.org
> Subject: Terminology debate again
> Dear RP-World,
> I've received a private complaint about my use of
> thought I would share my response with the list, see below.
> comments, in public or private, are welcome.
> Best regards,
> Marshall Burns
> President, Ennex Corporation
> Los Angeles, USA, (310) 397-1314
> -----The complaint-----
> >>I know we have had this discussion before but... I notice
> >>respond to an email you use your own terminology
> >>then give some form of a translation explanation at the
> >>easier if you used the "standard" terminology up front?
> -----My answer-----
> > Easier, yes. But the popular terminology is flawed and
> >the leading edge of a revolution, we have the opportunity
> >terminology before our language hits the mainstream. Words
> >I like to use them thoughtfully.
> > However, also note that in the case of my last RP-ML
> >notice that there is no popular term for "industrial
> >it "an RP machine that isn't a concept modeller."
> >Best regards,
> >Marshall Burns
> For more information about the rp-ml, see
>For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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