The History of Computing: One History Of 3D Printing (2023)

May 3, 2023

One of the hardest parts of telling any history, is whichinnovations are significant enough to warrant mention. Too much,and the history is so vast that it can't be told. Too few, and it'sincomplete. Arguably, no history is ever complete. Yet there's acritical path of innovation to get where we are today, and hundredsof smaller innovations that get missed along the way, or are out ofscope for this exact story.

Children have probably been placing sand into buckets to makesandcastles since the beginning of time. Bricks have survived fromround 7500BC in modern-day Turkey where humans made molds to allowclay to dry and bake in the sun until it formed bricks. Bricks thatcould be stacked. And it wasn’t long before molds were used formore. Now we can just print a mold on a 3d printer.

A mold is simply a block with a hollow cavity that allows puttingsome material in there. People then allow it to set and pull out ashape. Humanity has known how to do this for more than 6,000 years,initially with lost wax casting with statues surviving from theIndus Valley Civilization, stretching between parts of modern dayPakistan and India. That evolved to allow casting in gold andsilver and copper and then flourished in the Bronze Age when stonemolds were used to cast axes around 3,000 BCE. The Egyptians usedplaster to cast molds of the heads of rulers. So molds and thencasting were known throughout the time of the earliest writtenworks and so the beginning of civilization.

The next few thousand years saw humanity learn to pack more intothose molds, to replace objects from nature with those we madesynthetically, and ultimately molding and casting did its part onthe path to industrialization. As we came out of the industrialrevolution, the impact of all these technologies gave us more andmore options both in terms of free time as humans to think as wellas new modes of thinking. And so in 1868 John Wesley Hyatt inventedinjection molding, patenting the machine in 1872. And we were ableto mass produce not just with metal and glass and clay but withsynthetics. And more options came but that whole idea of a mold toavoid manual carving and be able to produce replicas stretched backfar into the history of humanity.

So here we are on the precipice of yet another world-changingtechnology becoming ubiquitous. And yet not. 3d printing stillfeels like a hobbyists journey rather than a mature technology likewe see in science fiction shows like Star Trek with theirreplicators or printing a gun in the Netflix show Lost In Space. Infact the initial idea of 3d printing came from a story calledThings Pass By written all the way back in 1945!

I have a love-hate relationship with 3D printing. Some jobs justwork out great. Others feel very much like personal computers inthe hobbyist era - just hacking away until things work. It’susually my fault when things go awry. Just as it was when I wantedto print things out on the dot matrix printer on the Apple II.Maybe I fed the paper crooked or didn’t check that there was inkfirst or sent the print job using the wrong driver. One of the manythings that could go wrong.

But those fast prints don’t match with the reality of levelingand cleaning nozzles and waiting for them to heat up and pullingfilament out of weird places (how did it get there, exactly)! Orprinting 10 add-ons for a printer to make it work the way itprobably should have out of the box.

Another area where 3d printing is similar to the early days ofthe personal computer revolution is that there are a few differenttypes of technology in use today. These include color-jet printing(CJP), direct metal printing (DMP), fused deposition modeling(FDM), Laser Additive Manufacturing (LAM, multi-jet printing (MJP),stereolithography (SLA), selective laser melting (SLM), andselective laser sintering (SLS). Each could be better for a giventype of print job to be done. Some forms have flourished whileothers are either their infancy or have been abandoned like extinctlanguages.

(Video) History of 3D Printing - A History of 3D Printing from 1980 to Now - Introduction to 3D Printing

Language isolates are languages that don’t fit into otherfamilies. Many are the last in a branch of a larger language familytree. Others come out of geographically isolated groups. Technologyalso has isolates. Konrad Zuse built computers in pre-World War IIGermany and after that aren’t considered to influence othercomputers. In other words, every technology seems to have a coupleof false starts. Hideo Kodama filed the first patent to 3d print in1980 - but his method of using UV lights to harden material doesn’tget commercialized.

Another type of 3d printing includes printers that were inkjetsthat shot metal alloys onto surfaces. Inkjet printing was inventedby Ichiro Endo at Canon in the 1950s, supposedly when he left a hotiron on a pen and ink bubbled out. Thus the “Bubble jet” printer.And Jon Vaught at HP was working on the same idea at about the sametime. These were patented and used to print images from computersover the coming decades.

Johannes Gottwald patented a printer like this in 1971.Experiments continued through the 1970s when companies like Exxonwere trying to improve various prototyping processes. Some of theirengineers joined an inventor Robert Howard in the early 1980s tofound a company called Howtek and they produced the Pixelmaster,using hot-melt inks to increment the ink jet with solid inks, whichthen went on to be used by Sanders Prototype, which evolved into acompany called Solidscape to market the Modelmaker. And some havebeen used to print solar cells, living cells, tissue, and evenedible birthday cakes.

That same technique is available with a number of differentsolutions but isn’t the most widely marketable amongst the types of3D printers available.

There’s often a root from which most technology of the day isderived. Charles, or Chuck, Hull coined the term stereolithography,where he could lay down small layers of an object and then cure theobject with UV light, much as the dentists do with fillings today.This is made possibly by photopolymers, or plastics that are easilycured by an ultraviolet light. He then invented thestereolithography apparatus, or SLA for short, a machine thatprinted from the bottom to the top by focusing a laser onphotopolymer while in a liquid form to cure the plastic into place.He worked on it in 1983, filed the patent in 1984, and was grantedthe patent in 1986.

Hull also developed a file format for 3D printing called STL.STL files describe the surface of a three-dimensional object,geometrically using Cartesian coordinates. Describing coordinatesand vectors means we can make objects bigger or smaller when we’reready to print them. 3D printers print using layers, or slices.Those can change based on the filament on the head of a modernprinter, the size of the liquid being cured, and even the heat of anozzle. So the STL file gets put into a slicer that then convertsthe coordinates on the outside to the polygons that are cured.These are polygons in layers, so they may appear striated ratherthan perfectly curved according to the size of the layers. However,more layers take more time and energy. Such is the evolution of 3Dprinting.

Hull then founded a company called 3D Systems in ValenciaCalifornia to take his innovation to market. They sold their firstprinter, the SLA-1 in 1988. New technologies start out big andexpensive. And that was the case with 3D Systems. They initiallysold to large engineering companies but when solid-state laserscame along in 1996 they were able to provide better systems forcheaper.

Languages also have other branches. Another branch in 3dprinting came in 1987, just before the first SLA-1 wassold.

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Carl Deckard and his academic adviser Joe Beaman at theUniversity of Texas worked on a DARPA grant to experiment withcreating physical objects with lasers. They formed a company totake their solution to market called DTM and filed a patent forwhat they called selective laser sintering. This compacts andhardens a material with a heat source without having to liquify it.So a laser, guided by a computer, can move around a material andharden areas to produce a 3D model. Now in addition to SLA we had asecond option, with the release of the Sinterstation 2500plus. Then3D Systems then acquired DTM for $45 million in 2001.

After Hull published his findings for SLA and created the STLformat, other standards we use today emerged. FDM is short forFused Deposition Modeling and was created by Scott Crump in 1989.He then started a company with his wife Lisa to take the product tomarket, taking the company public in 1994. Crump’s first patentexpired in 2009.

In addition to FDM, there are other formats and techniques.AeroMat made the first 3D printer that could produce metal in 1997.These use a laser additive manufacturing process, where lasers fusepowdered titanium alloys. Some go the opposite direction and createout of bacteria or tissue. That began in 1999, when Wake ForestInstitute of Regenerative medicine grew a 3D printed urinarybladder in a lab to be used as a transplant. We now call thisbioprinting and can take tissue and lasers to rebuild damagedorgans or even create a new organ. Organs are still in theirinfancy with success trials on smaller animals like rabbits.Another aspect is printing dinner using cell fibers from cows orother animals.

There are a number of types of materials used in 3D printing.Most printers today use a continuous feed of one of thesefilaments, or small coiled fibers of thermoplastics that meltinstead of burn when they’re heated up. The most common in usetoday is PLA, or polylactic acid, is a plastic initially created byWall Carothers of DuPont, the same person that brought us nylon,neoprene, and other plastic derivatives. It typically melts between200 and 260 degrees Celsius. Printers can also take ABS filament,which is short for acrylonitrile-butadien-styerene. Other filamenttypes include HIPS, PET, CPE, PVA, and their derivativeforms.

Filament is fed into a heated extruder assembly that melts theplastic. Once melted, filament extrudes into place through a nozzleas a motor sends the nozzle on a x and y axis per layer.

Once a layer of plastic is finished being delivered to the areasrequired to make up the desired slice, the motor moves the extruderassembly up or down on a z axis between layers. Filament is justbetween 1.75 millimeters and 3 millimeters and comes in spoolsbetween half a kilogram and two kilograms.

These thermoplastics cool very quickly. Once all of the slicesare squirted into place, the print is removed from the bed and thenozzle cools off. Filament comes in a number of colors and styles.For example, wood fibers can be added to filament to get awood-grained finish. Metal can be added to make prints appearmetallic and be part metal.

Printing isn’t foolproof, though. Filament often gets jammed orthe spool gets stuck, usually when something goes wrong. Filamentalso needs to be stored in a temperature and moisture controlledlocation or it can cause jobs to fail. Sometimes the software usedto slice the .stl file has an incorrect setting, like the wrongsize of filament. But in general, 3D printing using the FDM formatis pretty straight forward these days. Yet this is technology thatshould have moved faster in terms of adoption. The past 10 yearshave seen more progress than the previous ten though. Primarily dueto the maker community.

(Video) A Brief History of 3D Printers and How They Work (3DP#01)

Enter the Makers
The FDM patent expired in 2009. In 2005, a few years before the FDMpatent expired, Dr. Adrian Bowyer started a project to bringinexpensive 3D printers to labs and homes around the world. Thatproject evolved into what we now call the Replicating RapidPrototyper, or RepRap for short.

RepRap evolved into an open source concept to createself-replicating 3D printers and by 2008, the Darwin printer wasthe first printer to use RepRap. As a community started to form,more collaborators designed more parts. Some were custom parts toimprove the performance of the printer, or replicate the printer tobecome other printers. Others held the computing mechanisms inplace. Some even wrote code to make the printer able to boot off aMicroSD card and then added a network interface so files could beuploaded to the printer wirelessly.

There was a rising tide of printers. People were reading aboutwhat 3D printers were doing and wanted to get involved. There wasalso a movement in the maker space, so people wanted to make thingsthemselves. There was a craft to it. Part of that was wanting toshare. Whether that was at a maker space or share ideas and plansand code online. Like the RepRap team had done.

One of those maker spaces was NYC Resistor, founded in 2007. BrePettis, Adam Mayer, and Zach Smith from there took some of the workfrom the RepRap project and had ideas for a few new projects they’dlike to start. The first was a site that Zach Smith created calledThingiverse. Bre Pettis joined in and they allowed users to upload.stl files and trade them. It’s now the largest site for tradinghundreds of thousands of designs to print about anythingimaginable. Well, everything except guns.

Then comes 2009. The patent for FDM expires and a number ofcompanies respond by launching printers and services. Almostovernight the price for a 3D printer fell from $10,000 to $1,000and continued to drop. Shapeways had created a company the yearbefore to take files and print them for people. Pettis, Mayer, andSmith from NYC Resistor also founded a company called MakerBotIndustries.

They’d already made a little bit of a name for themselves withthe Thingiverse site. They knew the mind of a maker. And so theydecided to make a kit to sell to people that wanted to build theirown printers. They sold 3,500 kits in the first couple of years.They had a good brand and knew the people who bought these kinds ofdevices. So they took venture funding to grow the company. So theyraised $10M in funding in 2011 in a round led by the Foundry Group,along with Bezos, RRE, 500 Startups and a few others.

They hired and grew fast. Smith left in 2012 and they weregetting closer and closer with Stratasys, who if we remember werethe original creators of FDM. So Stratasys ended up buying out thecompany in 2013 for $403M. Sales were disappointing so there was achangeup in leadership, with Pettis leaving and they’ve become muchmore about additive manufacturing than a company built to appeal tomakers. And yet the opportunity to own that market is stillthere.

This was also an era of Kickstarter campaigns. Plenty of 3Dprinting companies launched through kickstarter including some totake PLA (a biodegradable filament) and ABS materials to the nextlevel. The ExtrusionBot, the MagicBox, the ProtoPlant, theProtopasta, Mixture, Plybot, Robo3D, Mantis, and so manymore.

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Meanwhile, 3D printing was in the news. 2011 saw the Universityof Southhampton design a 3d printed aircraft. Ecologic printingcars, and practically every other car company following suit thatthey were fabricating prototypes with 3d printers, even full carsthat ran. Some on their own, some accidentally when parts arepublished in .stl files online violating various patents.

Ultimaker was another RepRap company that came out of the earlyDarwin reviews. Martijn Elserman, Erik de Bruin, and Siert Wijniawho couldn’t get the Darwin to work so they designed a new printerand took it to market. After a few iterations, they came up withthe Ultimaker 2 and have since been growing and releasing newprinters

A few years later, a team of Chinese makers, Jack Chen, HuilinLiu, Jingke Tang, Danjun Ao, and Dr. Shengui Chen took the RepRapdesigns and started a company to manufacturing (Do It Yourself)kits called Creality. They have maintained the open sourcemanifesto of 3D printing that they inherited from RepRap anddeveloped version after version, even raising over $33M to developthe Ender6 on Kickstarter in 2018, then building a new factory andnow have the capacity to ship well over half a million printers ayear.

The future of 3D Printing
We can now buy 3D printing pens, over 170 3D Printer manufacturersincluding 3D systems, Stratasys, and Ceality but also down-marketsolutions like Fusion3, Formlabs, Desktop Metal, Prusa, and Voxel8.There’s also a RecycleBot concept and additional patents expiringevery year.

There is little doubt that at some point, instead of driving toHome Depot to get screws or basic parts, we’ll print them. Need anew auger for the snow blower? Just print it. Cover on the weedeater break? Print it. Need a dracolich mini for the nextDungeons and Dragons game? Print it. Need a new pinky toe. OK,maybe that’s a bit far. Or is it? In 2015, Swedish Cellink releasesbio-ink made from seaweed and algae, which could be used to printcartilage and later released the INKREDIBLE 3D printer for bioprinting.

The market in 2020 was valued at $13.78 billion with 2.1 millionprinters shipped. That’s expected to grow at a compound annualgrowth rate of 21% for the next few years. But a lot of that ishealthcare, automotive, aerospace, and prototyping still. Applemade the personal computer simple and elegant. But no Apple hasemerged for 3D printing. Instead it still feels like the Apple IIera, where there are 3D printers in a lot of schools and many offerclasses on generating files and printing.

3D printers are certainly great for prototypers and additivemanufacturing. They’re great for hobbyists, which we call makersthese days. But there will be a time when there is a printer inmost homes, the way we have electricity, televisions, phones, andother critical technologies. But there are a few things that haveto happen first, to make the printers easier to use. Theseinclude:

  • Every printer needs to automatically level. This is one of thebiggest reasons jobs fail and new users become frustrated.
  • More consistent filament. Spools are still all just a littlebit different.
  • Printers need sensors in the extruder that detect if a jobshould be paused because the filament is jammed, humid, or caught.This adds the ability to potentially resume print jobs and wasteless filament and time.
  • Automated slicing in the printer microcode that senses thefilament and slices.
  • Better system boards (e.g. there’s a tool called Klipper thatmoves the math from the system board on a Creality Ender 3 to aRaspberry Pi).
  • Cameras on the printer should watch jobs and use TinyML todetermine if they are going to fail as early as possible to haltprinting so it can start over.
  • Most of the consumer solutions don’t have great support. Maybeusers are limited to calling a place in a foreign country wheresupport hours don’t make sense for them or maybe the products arejust too much of a hacker/maker/hobbyist solution.
  • There needs to be an option for color printing. This could be areally expensive sprayer or ink like inkjet printers use at firstWe love to paint minis we make for Dungeons and Dragons but couldget amazingly accurate resolutions to create amazing things withautomated coloring.

For a real game changer, the RecycleBot concept needs to bemerged with the printer. Imagine if we dropped our plastics into arecycling bin that 3D printers of the world used to createfilament. This would help reduce the amount of plastics used in theworld in general. And when combined with less moving around ofcheap plastic goods that could be printed at home, this also meansless energy consumed by transporting goods.

(Video) What is 3D Printing History

The 3D printing technology is still a generation or two awayfrom getting truly mass-marketed. Most hobbyists don’t necessarilythink of building an elegant, easy-to-use solution because they areso experienced it’s hard to understand what the barriers of entryare for any old person. But the company who finally manages tocrack that nut might just be the next Apple, Microsoft, or Googleof the world.


What is the history of 3D printing process? ›

The first documented iterations of 3D printing can be traced back to the early 1980s in Japan. In 1981, Hideo Kodama was trying to find a way to develop a rapid prototyping system. He came up with a layer-by-layer approach for manufacturing, using a photosensitive resin that was polymerized by UV light.

Do 3D printers have a history? ›

The 3D printing method of stereolithography, today available in off-the-shelf machines, was first patented in 1984, when it was summarily dismissed. Hull's company, 3D Systems Corporation, released the world's first stereolithographic apparatus (SLA) machine, the SLA-1, in 1987.

What is the summary of 3D printing? ›

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, is a method of creating a three dimensional object layer-by-layer using a computer created design. 3D printing is an additive process whereby layers of material are built up to create a 3D part.

What is the history of 3D food printing? ›

Who Was the First To Use 3D Printing in Food? 3D printing of food was first used by the hobbyist 3D printing movement. A team at Cornell University's Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department developed the Fab@Home 3D printer in 2006. This was one of the first open-source 3D printers.

What is the history of 3D technology? ›

The first glimpse of 3D motion occurred between 1850 and 1860 when various people started combining machines that would display a series of images quickly and stereoscopic photography to create a moving 3D image. Louis Ducos du Hauron, a French scientist, patented the anaglyph in 1891.

What is the process of 3D printing? ›

3D printing is typically performed in three steps. The first step involves designing the object model in a CAD package. The second step involves building the object with a 3D printer. The third step consists of finishing where the final touches are made.

What was the first 3D printing technology developed? ›

The first 3D printing attempts are granted to Dr Kodama for his development of a rapid prototyping technique. He was the first to describe a layer by layer approach for manufacturing, creating an ancestor for SLA (or Stereolithography): a photosensitive resin was polymerized by an UV light.

Who created 3D printing? ›

Hull was developing lamps for UV-curable resins when he first came up with his idea for 3D printing.

What is the history of 3D metal printing? ›

A brief history of Metal 3D Printing

In the late '80s, Dr. Carl Deckard of the University of Texas developed the first laser sintering 3D printer of plastics. This invention paved the way for metal 3D printing. The first patent of laser melting of metals was filed in 1995 by the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany.

What is the main purpose of 3D printing? ›

Designers use 3D printers to quickly create product models and prototypes, but they're increasingly being used to make final products, as well. Among the items made with 3D printers are shoe designs, furniture, wax castings for making jewelry, tools, tripods, gift and novelty items, and toys.

Why was 3D printing important? ›

3D printing allows for the design and print of more complex designs than traditional manufacturing processes. More traditional processes have design restrictions which no longer apply with the use of 3D printing.

What are 3 benefits of 3D printing? ›

TL;DR : The main advantages of 3D printing are: reducing costs, less waste, reduce time, get an competitive advantage, reduce errors, confidentiality, production on demand.

What was the first 3D printing object? ›

On Nov. 24, ground controllers sent the printer the command to make the first printed part: a faceplate of the extruder's casing. This demonstrated that the printer can make replacement parts for itself.

When was the first thing 3D printed? ›

Chuck Hull Invents Stereolithography or 3D Printing and Produces the First Commercial 3D Printer. The first 3D printed part, produced by Chuck Hull in 1983. . That year he created the first-ever 3D printed part.

Why is 3D food printing important? ›

3D printed food can provide the control necessary to put a custom amount of protein, sugar, vitamins, and minerals into the foods we consume. Another area in customized food, is elderly nutrition.

Why was 3D printing originally developed? ›

3D Printing was first used for medical purposes as dental implants and custom prosthetics in the 1990s. Eventually, scientists were able to grow organs from patient's cells and used a 3D printed scaffold to support them.

Why was 3D printing invented? ›

Why Was 3D Printing Invented? 3D printing has been around for a while. The inventor of 3D printing, Chuck Hall (above), invented the 3D printer in 1983 because he wanted to revolutionize the way we could produce whole objects. In 1983, when 3D printing became established, Hull never envisioned it becoming so popular.

What is the purpose of 3D technology? ›

In recent years, 3D printing has developed significantly and can now perform crucial roles in many applications, with the most common applications being manufacturing, medicine, architecture, custom art and design, and can vary from fully functional to purely aesthetic applications.

What are the 3 types of 3D printing? ›

There are several types of 3D printing, which include: Stereolithography (SLA) Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

What is 3D printing in simple words? ›

What Is 3D Printing? Three-dimensional (3D) printing is an additive manufacturing process that creates a physical object from a digital design. The process works by laying down thin layers of material in the form of liquid or powdered plastic, metal or cement, and then fusing the layers together.

How 3D printing works simply explained? ›

3D printing uses computer-aided design to create three-dimensional objects through a layering method. Sometimes referred to as additive manufacturing, 3D printing involves layering materials, like plastics, composites or bio-materials to create objects that range in shape, size, rigidity and color.

How did 3D printing change the world? ›

Reduced Environmental Impact

In addition, 3D printers can use recycled materials to develop new products. This reduces the need for virgin resources and helps to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. As a result, 3D printing is helping to reduce the environmental impact of manufacturing.

What is the most common 3D printing method? ›

Extrusion (also known as FDM for Fused Deposition Modeling or FFF for Fused Filament Fabrication) is the most common 3D printing technique.

How has 3D printing changed over time? ›

Several new 3D printers came to market, including the ModelMaker from Solidscape®, which deposited wax materials using an inkjet print head, which was more common to traditional printing. New processes, such as microcasting and sprayed materials, allowed 3D printing to be used for metals, not just plastics.

What is the future of 3D printing? ›

The development of new software has made 3D printing more accessible and user-friendly, allowing for easier design and preparation of parts for printing. Overall, the vision for materials in 3D printing in 2023 is one of increased diversity, performance, and sustainability.

Who uses 3D printers the most? ›

Here we take a look at the key trends.
  1. Aerospace. The aerospace industry was the first to embrace 3D printing, and now regards it as a standard part of their toolkit. ...
  2. Medical devices and dentistry. ...
  3. Mechanical Engineering. ...
  4. Automotive. ...
  5. Tool-making.

Who made the first 3D model? ›

Developed for the first time in the 1960s by the creator of Sketchpad, Ivan Sutherland, 3D modeling can be simply defined as the process of creating a three-dimensional digital visual representation of an actual object using specialized computer software.

How much was the first 3D printer? ›

In 1988 when the first 3D printer, the SLA-1 went on sale it cost upward of $300,000. This SLA-1 was designed entirely for commercial use and was groundbreaking at the time. It allowed companies to start manufacturing parts directly from digital models, saving a lot of money in labour costs.

What is the technology of 3D metal printing? ›

Metal 3D printing, or selective laser melting (SLM), combines the design flexibility of 3D printing with the mechanical properties of high-performance metal alloys to create unique, strong, and lightweight parts, even for the most complex applications.

Why is 3D metal printing important? ›

Complex parts are not more difficult to 3D print than simple parts. Metal 3D printing can create parts that are impossible to make with any other fabrication method.

What is the most important part of 3D printing? ›

The Hot End is one of the, if not, the most important part of the 3D printer. This is where the plastic is melted and extruded in a little tiny layers. There are many different types of Hot Ends available on the market today.

Why is 3D printing important in the future? ›

Another significant change will be in the ability to individualize manufacturing. Besides disrupting traditional manufacturing, 3D printing will be more sustainable by using materials that are not petrochemical in nature. New materials will be less expensive and easier to source, which will lower manufacturing costs.

What is the impact of 3D printing? ›

Improve resource efficiency – 3D printing is a 'greener', more energy-efficient and cost-efficient production It creates almost zero waste, lowers the risk of overproduction and excess inventory and reduces the carbon footprint.

What is the conclusion of 3D printing? ›

Conclusion. 3D printing technology is a major on the original manufacturing technology, which is slowly changes our production and life, but also plays an extremely important role in cultural creative design, industry, biological and medical fields.

How does 3D printing help the environment? ›

3D printing reduces the environmental impact of manufacturing by lowering waste, energy usage, and need for space compared to traditional factory processes. The short answer is yes — one key way manufacturers can have a less harmful impact on the environment is by additively manufacturing whatever components they can.

How old is 3D printing technology? ›

The earliest 3D printer originated in 1981, when Dr. Hideo Kodama invented one of the first rapid prototyping machines that created parts layer by layer, using a resin that could be polymerized by UV light.

Can we 3D print food? ›

Food 3D printers are mostly suited for architecting intricate shapes and designs, not actually cooking the ingredients. Usually, the edibles are either ready for consumption or will be cooked in an external oven (or grill) once the 3D printing process is finished.

How is 3D printing used in the medical field? ›

Anatomical models—3D printers can produce extremely accurate and detailed anatomical models to help surgeons prepare for complex procedures, resulting in improved outcomes and at a lower cost. 3D technology also cuts time spent in surgery.

What material is used in 3D printing? ›

Plastic is still the most popular material used for 3D printing. As the 3D-printing market value increases, the list of what materials can be used also grows. Raw materials such as metal, graphite, and carbon fiber are commonly used for 3D printing, though at-home use is mostly limited to PLA for now.

Can you 3D print organs? ›

Multilayered skin, bones, muscle structures, blood vessels, retinal tissue and even mini-organs all have been 3D printed. None are approved for human use yet. The ability to 3D print human organs is an astounding notion.

Is 3D printing cheaper than manufacturing? ›

3D printing does not incur additional costs with each new unit produced. This means it can produce one part and hundreds of parts at almost the same cost per part. This is impossible with traditional manufacturing, which often requires an expensive tooling stage that is only justified if products are mass-produced.

Why is 3D printing better than manufacturing? ›

3D printing is much faster than many traditional manufacturing methods when producing small to medium objects. This speed improvement is because of the time needed to create the tooling for casts and molds used in traditional manufacturing.

Who invented 3D printing process? ›

Charles Hull is the inventor of stereolithography, the first commercial rapid prototyping technology commonly known as 3D printing. The earliest applications were in research and development labs and tool rooms, but today 3D printing applications are seemingly endless.

What is the history of additive manufacturing 3D printing? ›

Additive manufacturing first emerged in 1987 with stereolithography (SL) from 3D Systems, a process that solidifies thin layers of ultraviolet (UV) light-sensitive liquid polymer using a laser. The SLA-1, the first commercially available AM system in the world, was the precursor of the once popular SLA 250 machine.

What is the history of additive manufacturing process? ›

The first additive manufacturing system appeared in the 1980s — from there, additive manufacturing has taken off, branching out into several different types of technologies for turning CAD files into 3D physical objects.

What is the history of additive manufacturing techniques? ›

The foundation of additive manufacturing can be traced back to the work of Dr Hideo Kodama of the Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute in 1981. Dr Kodama developed a prototyping machine using 3D scanning and layering technology borrowed from 3D topographical map-making.

How did 3D printing become popular? ›

The 2010s And The Maker Movement

As the cost of 3D printers continued to decline, the demand for the technology began to soar, and they became more commonplace in the home and in businesses. On the shop floor, manufacturers began leveraging 3D printing in a variety of ways.

Why is it called 3D printing? ›

Three-dimensional (3D) printing is an additive manufacturing process that creates a physical object from a digital design. The process works by laying down thin layers of material in the form of liquid or powdered plastic, metal or cement, and then fusing the layers together.


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Name: Moshe Kshlerin

Birthday: 1994-01-25

Address: Suite 609 315 Lupita Unions, Ronnieburgh, MI 62697

Phone: +2424755286529

Job: District Education Designer

Hobby: Yoga, Gunsmithing, Singing, 3D printing, Nordic skating, Soapmaking, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Moshe Kshlerin, I am a gleaming, attractive, outstanding, pleasant, delightful, outstanding, famous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.