Re: [rp-ml] Desktop Factory

From: Lee Eisinger <>
Date: Thu Aug 31 2006 - 00:22:31 EEST

I haven't read each and every comment but several concepts come to
mind. First, the general public is not smart enough to be able to
operate nor grasp all of the details required to produce a successful
part let alone product. Second, it will take a large company about 5
minutes to go after an individual who is crossing some of the copyright
laws and inflict extreme financial pain upon them. Napster taught large
companies to stop any infringement immediately. Thirdly, people want
instant gratification and designing as well reproducing a quality part
takes time and expertise which does not fit into the "instant" concept.
They talk the talk but are just too lazy to expend the effort.
Don't sell yourselves short when it comes to your abilities and value,
the companies providing the hardware need literally magic software to
make this open market become a reality. The equipment manufacturers rely
on you to find the work to make it worth purchasing their equipment. So,
software developers, and equipment builders should take note, service
your customer base, help them grow and help new markets and concepts
emerge instead of circumventing those who make their products successful.
Lee Eisinger
Akron Metal Etching

Brock Hinzmann wrote:

> I think Charles gets to the heart of the matter, in terms of who the
> consumer will be. The Home Office-plus-Kinko's model make the most
> sense to me. Most people just won't make enough use to have one in
> every home. In the RepRap model, however, if you spread the use across
> a global community of 6 billion people, you can probably sell (or make
> available) a lot of machines to small communities of consumers, who
> will channel networks of users. I'm less worried about the data and
> what people will print than Charles is. Just look around at digital
> photography and online video sites. 99 percent will be 3-D Crap. But
> it will be personal. I tried to anticipate some of these issues in a
> piece titled The Personal Factory, which was posted on several web
> sites (Wohlers, Ennex, et al) a decade ago. Is it finally going to
> happen?
> Brock Hinzmann
> Charles Overy wrote:
>> There seem to be two large holes that no one is discussing.
>> Machine price is only one part of the equation.
>> First, If price per part is much more than >$100 this machine is
>> still going to have limited application. As has been stated before
>> on the list, the cost per part, (inclusive of ALL materials,
>> maintenance contract, drum, lamp, etc) needs to be about an order of
>> magnitude less than it is now for widespread consumer use.
>> 2nd is data. I am still not sure what the "consumer" is going to
>> print. I think the market, even for something like a custom,
>> monochrome, cell phone case, at $50 plus a $5000 machine, is somewhat
>> limited. Then we can begin to stump around about stl. If someone is
>> going to say that people will set up "corner-Kinko" type operations
>> to print stove knobs and mower handles, great, I'll be a customer.
>> But there needs to be a better file format that will specify meta
>> data such as build orientation, scale, materials, etc so that
>> replacement parts can be reliably designed to be replicated with
>> reproducible results.
>> I think that any incremental decrease in price will have an
>> associated increase in adoption. "Floodgates" , I don't think so.
>> Not yet.
>> Charles Overy
>> LGM
>> steve wrote:
>>> Ian Gibson wrote:
>>>> Third is the competition. I would say that there are at least 5
>>>> machines on the market that can quite easily be manufactured to a
>>>> retail cost of $5000. Looking at the number of moving parts, I
>>>> would say that ZCorp, Stratasys, Autostrade, and a number of other
>>>> machines can all be made at a lower cost to this machine. I imagine
>>>> that all the companies involved in the low-cost RP market have
>>>> strategies for reducing their machine costs when the time comes. If
>>>> the company is just looking to set up an operation with a hope to
>>>> be bought out by a large company like Epson, HP, etc. then they
>>>> should be prepared to join a queue and to be disappointed.
>>> The key point here is that ONE company has to break out of line and
>>> drop
>>> the cost of their machines to the $5k range - and (as you say), the
>>> others can follow - and therefore WILL follow.
>>> Maybe the RepRap project will make the whole matter moot by providing
>>> the means for people to make their own machines for a couple of hundred
>>> dollars - maybe a printer manufacturer will see the light and come
>>> up with something for a few thousand bucks a pop.
>>> But sooner or later, someone will break the log-jam and once that
>>> happens, the flood gates will surely open and consumer-grade 3D
>>> printers
>>> for less than the prices of a decent TV set will be in Best-Buy within
>>> 2 years.
>>> That can't happen so long as all of the 3D printer manufacturers can
>>> sell a machine that costs them less than $5k to make for $20k. Life
>>> is easier for them the way things are now and they won't change without
>>> someone pushing them. I'm kinda hoping this will be the right push.
>>> That being the case, it may not be necessary for this to be the
>>> greatest
>>> 3D printer in history - it can be a pretty poor machine and still serve
>>> the purpose of breaking up the log jam.
>>>> We have been waiting a long time for one of the big companies to
>>>> surface with plans to make a low-cost machine. Unless Desktop
>>>> Factory Inc. has very deep pockets, I can't see how they can
>>>> manage. Maybe someone closer to this company can shed some light on
>>>> this?
>>> It would sure be nice to know.
Received on Wed Aug 30 23:25:41 2006

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