RE: [rp-ml] International Terminology Standards - UNIVERSAL STL FILE

From: Shane Collins <>
Date: Fri Jan 09 2009 - 22:20:53 EET

Dear all,
We struggled with this problem from the beginning when SLA(R) was generic
for any RP part regardless of process. A while back I was helping a SB with
a brochure that provided information about their capabilities. I
recommended they use the generic LS to describe the process of sintering
nylon. My recommendation was rejected because search engines recognize the
more popular SLS(R) and they did not want prospective customers having to
figure out the two processes are(essentially)the same. Old habits die hard.

I've been reluctant to use AF because the opposite does not make sense.
Subtractive fabrication could mean milling, turning, and grinding, but
molding does not fit with SF. Also, AF is somewhat redundant.

3D printing, to me, does not fit for most of the AF metal processes where
significant machining or post processing is required after "printing".

Any description with layered in it is short sighted for the long haul.

I use RM in my presentations because it is widely recognized within our own
industry, but when I'm talking to friends and the person next to me on the
airplane, I show them a part from my briefcase and say that it was "grown"
The verb "grow" is also easy on the ears.

So, if a cool acronym is needed, I would propose GM or when texting "G".
However, until there are 3D printer, RM, ADDM, AF or GM machines in most
molding and machine shops, the general population will still be saying OMG

Happy Friday,

Shane Collins
Sales Director
Arcam Inc.
805 427 0019

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of Alain Bernard
Sent: Friday, January 09, 2009 3:20 AM
To: Baran M. Dag
Cc: RP-ML;
Subject: Re: [rp-ml] International Terminology Standards - UNIVERSAL STL

Dear All,
concerning the "generic term" of our domain, there are different issues.
I think that it should represent the originality of the technologies, as
a whole.
So, layered-based manufacturing could be interesting because it figures
out the way to manufacture the part. Maybe, also "additive
manufacturing" could also be relevant.
Maybe it should be also important to discuss "Manufacturing" and
"Fabrication", even "Production". I am not a native-English or American
speaker so, this is difficult for me to be sure that one term or th
eothers are more relevant, but Manufacturing is my favorite. Production
seems to be strategic if we would like to highlight the possibility of
using these machines as a production (like mass or customized) solution.
There is another issue, the fact that you transform a digital model into
a physical object.
So, "Digital (Layered-based or Additive) Manufacturing" could also be
interesting, by completarity to "substractive" technologies, like
machining by cutting.
I know that my contribution is not original at all but this is my opinion.
All the Best,

Baran M. Dag a écrit :
> Hello All,
> We are following the discussions around the terminology, as we
> possibly all are experiencing the same difficulties in communicating
> due to this lack of unification in "RAPID" terminology.
> I just wanted to bring something else up to your attention which is
> already in my mind for some time. It seems like an appropriate time.
> As the competition is getting harsher, systems manufacturers are
> coming up with new machines more frequently than ever.
> This is great and yes we all love it but sometimes making unbiased
> comparisons of all these new machines could be frustrating if you are
> on the market for a new system and evaluating what is available.
> It would really really be great if there was a universal STL file for
> "practical" benchmarking of new systems.
> This universal part should have certain geometry, so when we run the
> file in different systems and put the parts down on the table for
> comparison, we should be able to get a rough idea with only inspecting
> through eyes and hands. It should give us some idea about "all"(may be
> not possible), surface roughness, z-axis features, sharp features,
> small features, impact, flexibility, whatever and anything.
> If anyone would appreciate this kind of universal STL file in their
> life or already have a design for that or has a better idea or you
> think this is not usefull at all, please share your thoughts. It would
> really be great to hear from you.
> I am sure designing this file will be a fun ride to many who gets this
> message.
> Best wishes,
> Baran M. Dag
> Temperman Bvba
> <>
> Terry Wohlers yazmış:
>> Greetings,
>> First, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope that it is
>> filled with peace and happiness.
>> Next week, ASTM is hosting an organizational meeting to discuss
>> industry standards and I hope you can attend. Details are at
>> The use of terminology will
>> be a part of these discussions. Over the past several years, I've put
>> a lot of thought into the terms that we use in our industry and have
>> come to the conclusion that there's no right or wrong terms, although
>> some are better than others at communicating our thoughts. In
>> preparation for next week's meeting, I'd like to initiate some
>> discussion on the subject. I will share ideas, and hopefully some
>> consensus, from the members of this list.
>> For many years, "rapid prototyping (RP)" has been a popular term, and
>> rightly so because prototyping has been the most popular application
>> of additive fabrication (AF) technology. However, it is one of many
>> applications as AF expands into new areas and industries.
>> Consequently, a growing number of people are using terms such as
>> "additive fabrication" or "additive manufacturing" when referring to
>> the group of processes (e.g., fused deposition modeling, 3DP from Z
>> Corp., laser sintering, etc.) that build parts layer by layer.
>> Stratasys and 3D Systems have adopted the term "additive fabrication"
>> as a catch-all term, although I cannot say whether it has become an
>> official corporate standard at either company. Maybe. The mainstream
>> press-when our industry is lucky enough to get included in it-uses
>> "3D printing" most frequently. Among industry insiders, 3D printing
>> refers to a group of AF processes that are relatively low cost, easy
>> to use, and office friendly. Some think of the process from Z Corp.
>> when hearing this term. Others may think of PolyJet from Objet
>> Geometries.
>> AF processes are being used for a range of applications including
>> concept design and modeling, fit and function testing, patterns for
>> castings, and mold and die tooling. They are also used for fixture
>> and assembly tools, custom and replacement part manufacturing,
>> special edition products, short-run production, and series
>> manufacturing. Prototyping is one of many applications and that's why
>> "RP" is no longer suitable in most instances as a catch-all term. In
>> fact, many companies resist the idea of using a prototyping method
>> for part manufacturing, so using this term could stifle AF's
>> transition to manufacturing applications.
>> The term "additive manufacturing" is fine, although because
>> manufacturing is an application and not a technology, I believe it is
>> plagued with problems, similar to "rapid prototyping." Consider, for
>> example, this sentence: "My company is using additive manufacturing
>> for manufacturing." It's confusing. Now, consider this: "My company
>> is using solid freeform fabrication for manufacturing." Much cleaner.
>> I'm not suggesting that we use "solid freeform fabrication;" I'm
>> using it here to illustrate a point. I believe it works much better
>> when the catch-all term does not include the name of an application.
>> That way it can be used cleanly for all applications of the technology.
>> Since 2005 I've used the catch-all term "additive fabrication" in our
>> company's publications, presentations, and communications. It's not
>> perfect, but it works. In the future, I truly believe that "3D
>> printing" will become the most popular term. When I'm describing AF
>> technology to a relative or someone I'm seated next to on an
>> airplane, I use 3D printing because there's a better chance that
>> he/she will understand what I'm saying. It's simple and easy to say.
>> I prefer it over alternatives, but 3D printing currently means
>> something else to many people in our industry. This is likely to
>> change. An estimated 74% of all systems sold in 2007 were classified
>> as a 3D printer and each year this percentage increases.
>> If we were to let nature take its course, which term do you think
>> would become the most popular in 5-7 years? In other words, which
>> catch-all term do you feel has the greatest chance for success as AF
>> works its way more deeply into both technical and consumer markets.
>> Answering this question will help guide our thinking next week.
>> Thanks!
>> Terry
>> ************
>> Terry Wohlers
>> Wohlers Associates, Inc.
>> OakRidge Business Park
>> 1511 River Oak Drive
>> Fort Collins, Colorado 80525 USA
>> 970-225-0086
>> Fax 970-225-2027
>> <>
>> <>
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> --
> Baran M. DAG
> Sales Manager
> +32 484 532 898
> <>
Received on Fri Jan 09 22:19:04 2009

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