History of 3D Printing

History of 3D Printing: a Look in the Past

History of 3D Printing: Earlier, we have discussed 3D printing and the many ways this device can prove very beneficial for us. 3D printing definitely impresses a lot of us. It’s dubbed as the latest, most state of the art device of its kind. It’s being hailed as one of the best gifts that modern technology has shared with humanity since the dawn of the internet age. But what is the actual origin of 3D printing? And where did it originate?

To start, PublicKnowledge.org writes: “Today's 3D printing community resembles the personal computing community of the early 1990s. They are a relatively small, technically proficient group, all intrigued by the potential of a great new technology. They tinker with their machines, share their discoveries and creations, and are more focused on what is possible than on what happens after they achieve it."

Let’s take a peek at some of the most important events that has shaped the world of 3D printing.

1986: Stereolithography is invented

3D printing has its origin in the process called Stereolithography (SLA). Developed by Charles Hull in 1984, steriolithography is a method which involves the use of lasers to burn and combine layers of resin to produce a three dimensional object. Hull patented his idea in 1986. Eventually, he came up with the 3D Systems which led to his invention of the Stereolithography Apparatus.

1987: The invention of Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)

Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) followed suit in 1987. It was developed and marketed by DTM (B.F. Goodrich’s subsidiary). The process involves the melting powder-like substances to create an object via laser.

1993-1996: The Invention of "Three Dimensional Printing" (3DP)

In 1993, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology introduced Three Dimensional Printing (3PD). The institute got the patent and gave Z Corp (now a part of 3D Systems), to develop the idea. The result was the Z402 printer launched in 1996.

1996 - 2008: The Term "3D Printing" and Self-Replicating 3D Printers
In 1996 saw more new and improved 3D printers flood the market. This was also the time when the term "3D printing" was popularized.

2008 until now (2013): The MakerBot and Online Community

The recent years saw 3D Printing has gained and earned its momentum. More and more people have started talking about 3D printing and this only excited popular interest to the extent 3D printers have been mass produced to meet the rising demand of the market. The history of 3D printing until today, has turned out to be a much in demand, highly-priced equipment in various endeavors and fields of interest, from medicine and aviation to health and manufacturing.

Just last year, MakerBot an open source project, stormed the market. Together with RepRap, the firm has enabled 3D printing to become more affordable and available for office, residential and academic purposes.