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Manufacturing Creates Wealth

February 28, 2003

Filed under: life,manufacturing,travel — Terry Wohlers @ 07:45

When visiting Beijing, China, in August of last year, I was surprised by the changes that had occurred since my last visit in 1998. I saw high tech parks popping up, fewer bicycles on the streets, European cars on college campuses, and more money being spent by practicing professionals. It became clear to me that China is a country that is busy creating wealth through manufacturing. When will our policy makers in Washington understand that it is the production of products that creates wealth? Flipping burgers doesn’t do it.

At MoldMaking Expo 2002 in Chicago last year, it was said that more than 100 moldmakers in the Chicago area went out of business during the previous year. Where do you suppose most of this mold work has gone? You guessed it!

Tired of Spam?

February 27, 2003

Filed under: Internet — Terry Wohlers @ 08:25

I certainly am! Yes, Spam filters and other measures can be taken. However, it will never go away until the recipients of the Spam stop responding to it. It’s a fact that a sufficient number of people respond favorably to it, making the idea of sending these mass emailings an attractive option. Where there is a demand, there is a supply. So, ignore those unwanted email messages and delete them immediately. Also, do not asked to be removed from their mailing list. Doing so confirms that they are sending to a valid address.

Welcome Back, Dave

February 24, 2003

Filed under: additive manufacturing — Terry Wohlers @ 10:03

After time away from rapid prototyping, RP industry veteran Dave Tait has accepted the position of Detroit area vice president of Automotive Sales at General Pattern. GP is one of the largest product development and prototyping service providers in the U.S. Dave will report directly to Denny Reiland, president of the company.

Dave’s experience dates back many years when he was the manager of GM’s Advanced Vehicle Engineering Group. He later co-founded and served as president of LaserForm, a successful RP service provider located in Auburn Hills, Michigan. LaserForm was acquired by Plynetics Express in 1996.

It is sad when good people like Dave leave this industry, so his return was wonderful news. Welcome back, Dave!

A Bitter Sweet Week

February 23, 2003

Filed under: additive manufacturing — Terry Wohlers @ 07:48

Last week was bitter sweet for the RP industry. The two largest U.S. manufacturers of rapid prototyping (RP) systems surprised the industry with their 2002 financial results. After discovering a $3 million accounting error and putting its CFO on administrative leave, 3D Systems announced that it would not be profitable in the fourth quarter or fiscal 2002. In January, the company had anticipated a fourth quarter return to profitability on revenue of about $33 million. Meanwhile, Stratasys announced record revenues and strong profits for the year.

These two companies are anchors in this exciting but fragile industry. It will be important for 3D Systems to get back on track very soon. Also, the company cannot afford to make any more mistakes. As for Stratasys, one can only believe that its Dimension product will bring more success to the company throughout 2003.

Welcome to Wohlers Talk

Filed under: uncategorized — Terry Wohlers @ 07:47

Welcome to the first installment of Wohlers Talk. Its purpose is to give readers snippets of information that I hope are of interest. Many of the postings will relate to rapid product development, but I will occasionally venture into other areas. I hope that you enjoy this addition to the site and return regularly.