Too many people seem to get all caught up in the technology. It's
understandable on this forum because there are many technologists but...As
we've just read, communicating about these processes is already confusing to
outsiders (the rest of the world) and there's just no reason to make it
rocket science (no offense to the rocket scientists out there).
These are pieces of capital equipment that produce prototype parts quickly.
They are (as Karl said so well), rapid prototyping equipment. Companies know
how to buy capital equipment, they've been doing it for about a century.
They know how to justify capital equipment, pay for it and handle the
This industry needs to realize (IMHO) that for the most part the technology
just isn't that exciting anymore. It was exciting back when it was invented
but that was many Internet years ago. The focus needs to be on increasing
the VALUE of these machines to the marketplace. Prices need to come down,
benefits need to go up (give companies MORE reasons to buy - make them
machines that do more). You're making and selling capital equipment that
companies will (want to) buy - they just need to understand the value (what's
in it for them if they buy?) and the ROI.
Keep it simple. Make these RP machines work better, do more, and less
expensive. Oh , one more thing - as I see it, the real issue here is
MATERIAL (properties). I've been involved in this industry for over 15 years
now (back before RP) and it's always been my contention that companies don't
want to buy prototypes. They buy/make them because it's a necessary "evil" -
it's what it takes to get a product to market. We must not forget that,
except for service bureaus, protototypes and RP machines are not companies'
core technology. As tooling processes continue to accelerate, companies will
continue to walk away from making significant investments in prototypes (&
RP) and run towards faster tooling solutions. Now, if these RP machines
could make production parts (NOT production-like parts), you couldn't make
them fast enough!
That's my $0.02 worth - flame away!
Disclaimer: my personal opinions - not affiliated with any RP company or
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 23:02:39 EEST