Thanks for the insight Steve. Far from decrying the “industry” i see nothing but good in the future for it. Just as a relatively early adopter, the machine i settled on under-performed to my expectations, which may or may not have been biased by advertising and promises of what the future holds.
I agree that the industry needs to flourish to allow for these amazing opportunities to be realised to the mass public, but i do stand by my hobbiest statement, with the clarification that most of the affordable (<$2k machines) are still hobbiest pieces of equipment, with regard to time put into it verses cost of component, (thats how i define a hobby, where the cost of making it cannot be recouped when selling the item) where unless the item is not physically possible to be manufactured, due to its geometry or complexity, it is generally, still more economic to use traditional prototyping methods where presentation is a key factor.
Just to clarify, my initial expectations on finish and material performance were based a “rapid prototype” we had made on a machine at our local university back in the mid nineties. (I had to book time on the machine and the project had to be deemed worthy). My current expectations would be to be able to get one serviceable part off the machine at all, then hopefully be able to replicate this feat again would be nice. I am not looking for injection molded, smooth plastic finish straight off the machine.
I liked the analogy of the sack cloth, but i think, for the time being, i will go naked, keep out of the brambles and just scare the natives, until they come up with the felted wool.
Thanks for the discourse.