RE: [rp-ml] Where are the Universities?

From: Al Dean <>
Date: Tue Jan 03 2006 - 12:47:07 EET

Funny, one thing few people discuss when looking at the whole
fabbing/direct/rapid manufacturing debate is the lack of affordable and more
importantly, easy to use 3D modelling software. After all, if you could buy
a HP 3D printer, it's not much use unless you've got the ability to
accurately generate the 3D model its got to build...

On a slightly tangential note, I was recently in the white plastic/brushed
aluminium/black t-shirt haven that is the Apple Store and overheard a
'older' lady buying an ipod shuffle for her granddaughter. The guy had
everything out of the box, explaining the various functions and accessorises
- "this is the MP3 player, the head phone go in here, this is the cable to
connect it to a computer..." The lady looked worried and said, oh, she
hasn't got a computer yet, she's getting one for a birthday in june...

Not as funny as the guy I overheard in a traditional Art supplies shop,
asking about the airbrushing demo they were advertising. He kept asking the
guy at the counter about what software the demo used. The sales guy kept
saying, 'Eh..? It's an airbrushing demonstration'. After 15 minutes of the
same, it became clear that the twenty something student thought that an
airbrush was simply a tool in Photoshop and was quite amazed when presented
with a pneumatic device for projecting air...

Al Dean

Al Dean
Prototype Magazine

email (for large attachments):
mobile (best contact): +44 (0) 7887 541411
phone: +44 (0) 207 6811000

63/66 Hatton Garden

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of Adrian Bowyer
Sent: 02 January 2006 15:02
Subject: Re: [rp-ml] Where are the Universities?

Quoting Anand Dwarkanath <>:

> It might be worth pulling out Terry Wohlers article "Obstcales to
> RP's Growth"

For some reason he doesn't mention in that article the single biggest
obstacle, which is over-powerful IP protection laws.

I was at an (entirely unconnected) meeting in Oak Ridge a few weeks ago on
the future of the world's energy research, and I was surprised and pleased
to hear a number of very grown up, very important, very suited people say
the same about energy research: an obsession with IP protection is
hamstringing development. No-one demurred.

Encouraged by this, I made my usual suggestion, which is that governments
should offer tax breaks to companies for not patenting (or rather - they
patent, then tick the box that says "open" or "Creative Commons" o.w.e., and
don't pay so much tax as everyone else when they sell the product). I was
rather pleased that this got into the final set of recommendations. As Jack
Marburger (Science Adviser to the President) was there, who knows?...


Received on Tue Jan 03 10:39:18 2006

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