James Cameron that is, not David!
Terry Wohlers recently witnessed James Cameron being interviewed at the recent SolidWorld event, talking knowledgeably about 3D software and 3D printing in particular. The interview was followed up by a 1-to-1 conversation.
The full post can be found here: http://wohlersassociates.com/blog/2010/02/james-cameron-uses-3d-printing/
The gist being the positive effect on the 3DP industry when people so much in the public eye know about AND talk about the applicability of these technologies.
What was also very interesting was how Mr Cameron is renowned for "getting his hands dirty" in order to make stuff, both early on in his career as a machinist and even now, as (one of?) the world's greatest film directors.
This may sound strange coming from someone that has only worked with words her whole life, and watches in amazement from the sidelines as the real (and often dirty) work is carried out by the true pioneers of 3DP, but this is key! The desire to make things and to practice and learn. Innovation is born of an inherent creativity together with hands-on practical knowledge. It's not exactly a fast process, but one that fosters enthusiasm, passion and determination over a life-time.
I was talking to Dan Johns of Airbus recently (who, incidentally, was the ALM evangelist behind the Telegraph article I posted about last week) and this was central to his thinking too. I am sure he will not mind me saying that he does not profess to be especially academic, but as a child he spent hours and hours in his Grandad's shed, playing with a host of different tools and making things — all sorts of things. From this his passion for engineering and manufacturing was born. His imagination was totally captured by the emergence of rapid prototyping in the early 1990's and the potential that he saw then prompted him to take the time to fully embrace the capabilities and the limitations of the processes. His understanding through practical, hands-on experimentation, has driven these technologies to unprecedented depths within one of the largest Aerospace companies in the world. He freely admits there is still much work to be done, but his fascination and zeal for all things additive is only increasing as time passes.
Drive, passion and dirty hands — the roots of success. Without them, the rest of it cannot grow.