This, however, is not it, and it is not quite so pleasant. Although, I have just read the biography of a new follower of mine on twitter, which goes: "100 % Honest, always Dedicated and incredibly Exciting. Work hard - Be nice - Dream big. Sponsored by God. Social media pundit." Anton Perlkvist
As a result of being reminded that I do aspire to live my life by a similar code, what follows will be less of a rant than I had in mind as I launched my computer!
It is just so disappointing when the darker sides of human nature come to the fore. Some of the contentious comments that are flying around as the result of the Zcorp video going viral last week are beyond ignoring now, not least because they are at times ridiculous, petty, and just downright rude — and I'm not just referring to the scanning issues, but won't go there right now. Also some of them are coming at me directly, I imagine because I like to talk up the positives, so, anyway, as a result, I am not going to maintain the dignified silence that I originally intended. Uh oh, probably going to regret this huh!!?
And just for the record, this is my blog, sponsored by me, and all comments are my own!
Right, anyone on the inside of the 3D printing / additive manufacturing industry knows that the technology is not perfect. We can probably all agree on that. There are plenty of shortcomings (materials, repeatability, blah blah blah). Similarly for other product development technologies such as scanning and design software. And this is the choker for me, the majority of these ill-informed comments are generally all about the pre-build process, but are tarnishing the end result as well — 3D printing. These people seem to have got their knickers all twisty about the scanning process and the subsequent editing of the 3D digital model. Because it wasn't included in the video, certain commentators are making the assumption that there is something sinister going on about the whole process. Such nonsense. There are many laser scanners available today, and they are amazingly accurate tools for collecting surface data — but they're not perfect. This surface data is fully modifiable in mid to high-end 3D CAD packages, which allow the designer to add in features that can then be 3D printed. Yes, it can be time consuming and no, not everything can be printed, but we're getting there.
The point? It's this — if all of this process was documented in the video, how many of the 4.5 million viewers would have watched it?? I've sat through a fair number of CAD demos in my time, and the capabilities are amazing, but watching someone else design can be as interesting as watching paint dry if you are not that way inclined. The intention was to get people interested enough to watch and share.
Furthermore, this video wasn't issued as an ad, it wasn't a ploy to deceive, rather it was conceived as an informative marketing piece and as such I think it does exactly what it says on the tin. I suspect that there are individuals at Zcorp that are as taken aback as anyone else at the success it has seen. Anyone with an ounce of common sense will appreciate that the reality of the process is somewhat longer than 2 minutes.
It's has been suggested to me that this video is as fake as a TV cookery show — well, I'm not sure which shows they watch, but I've been able to follow a recipe and I have had some pretty successful results from TV chefs. Thank you very much.
This is where I am at:
3D laser scanning produces real data, this data WILL need modification for accurate 3D printing, but with a good recipe and a good cook — IT IS REAL.
It'd be great if we could draw a line under all this playground politics, but hey ho, that's the optimist in me.