My comments do not presume to represent the interests of other universities.
However, here at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), we work with
firms that are members of our Consortium on product development projects
that may or may not include the use of our considerable RP capabilities. We
do not solicit or accept work from non-Consortium companies who contact us
frequently for RP parts. Rather, I pass the 2-3 calls that I receive every
week along to area service bureaus with which we or our Consortium partners
have worked with previously.
Our job at MSOE has always been one of education: the education of
engineers and product designers within our Consortium to produce better
products and the education of students who go on to work in industry. The
use of RP technology in that educational process is only one tool in the
toolbox. In many instances, those same MSOE students have gone on to work
in the RP industry or started their own engineering consulting firms/service
We have always maintained that the opportunities in the product development
arena are plentiful enough for all to participate. I think Mr. Robert
Crangle hit it dead on in an earlier message to this list: "...if a service
bureau in its everyday work is literally unable to compete with the service
offerings of North American universities, it has bigger problems related to
the scope, scale, customer relationships, responsiveness, production quality
and overhead of its operation."
John A. Choren, P.E.
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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