RE: [rp-ml] Zcorp!?

From: Ed Tackett <>
Date: Tue Nov 22 2011 - 01:46:31 EET

As always enlightening.

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf
Of Bathsheba
Sent: Monday, November 21, 2011 2:30 PM
Subject: Re: [rp-ml] Zcorp!?

On 11/21/2011 10:49 AM, G. Sachs wrote:
> Looks like it (and Vidar digitizers). Boy, that's really consolidating
> the market into 2-3 players. Not really good, is it?

I can see why they wanted to do it, but I agree: this can't be good for
the market.

Stop me if I'm wrong, but what I observe in this field is that technical
innovation takes place when companies are founded or enter the field,
and only then. Since I started doing this in the mid-90's, I can think
of no game-changing innovation that took place in an established 3DP
company. I don't mean incremental improvements, but when a whole new
process is invented, bringing with it new applications, changing the
cost structure, novel material category...something that brings in a
whole horde of brand new uncaptured customers.

Within existing companies the layers get a bit thinner, the support
structure algorithms get a bit better, on a big day a new material is
added. The most exciting thing I remember from an established company
was when ZCorp got color. Stereolithography doesn't seem too different
to me from what it was when I first heard of it 20 years ago. Yes it's
incrementally better, but the fundamentals -- layers, supports, type of
material -- don't get fixed. People who are invested in SLA don't see
these things as problems. Better parts, different parts, must come from
somewhere else.

On the one hand, it's better for the industry if there are small
companies springing up. On the other hand, nobody's going to start a
small company if it doesn't have an exit path, and it's traditional in
this era for that exit path to be "selling out to the 800-lb gorilla".

Gripping hand, RIP ZCorp. I'll miss you guys. I believe there would be
no consumer market today without what ZCorp did: they invented the
cheaptastic concept model.

Personally, ZCorp was the company that looked at my very first CAD model
-- and it was total crap -- and say hey, we're new here too, nothing to
lose, let's act like this is a customer and see what happens.

It's a while since we've done business, but those were great days.

Well, here's to the next big thing. I will bet you a dollar it comes
from a company that, right now, no one reading this knows the name of.


Bathsheba Grossman                            Bathsheba Sculpture LLC
Sculpting Geometry                     
Crystal Proteins                  
Received on Tue Nov 22 01:41:38 2011

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