A Brief History of 3D Printing
The Gutenberg Press
A Brief Historical Timeline of 3D Printing
1977 - The Early Concepts of 3D Printing Begin to Emerge
Wyn Kelly Swainson files a patent for “using a laser to create covalent cross-linking at the surface of a liquid monomer where the object being manufactured rested on a tray that was gradually lowered into a vat one step at a time.”
– Excerpted from 3D Printing for Artists, Designers and Makers by Stephen Hoskins
1981 - Fusing Materials with Lasers
Hideo Kodama and Alan Herbert continue to develop concepts of linking lasers with photopolymer solutions in liquid polymers.
1983 - Chuck Hull Starts It All in 1983
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1v8QuAqZL7o Like so many discoveries, 3D Printing came about while working on something else. In 1983, Chuck Hull was working for a small business that made tough coatings for tables using ultraviolet lamps. When he suggested a new way to use the UV technology — to quickly turn computer designs into working prototypes — Hull was given a little lab to play around in during his evenings and weekends. Do check out this video from CNN as he recalls the moment.
1986 - Chuck Hull Obtains Patent for Vat Photopolymerization
1989 - Scott Crump Obtains Patent for Material Extrusion
1992 - 3D Systems Makes the First SLA Printer
3D Systems makes the first SLA (stereolithographic apparatus) printer. Using UV light, they are able to build layer by layer. The laser UV light hits the viscous liquid photopolymer and solidifies it as it builds layers.
1995 - Z Corporation Introduces Z Printers
Z Corporation, now part of 3D Systems, introduces Z Printers. Similar to 2d inkjet printers, the head moves back and forth across a powder bed depositing a liquid binding material in the shape of the desired section of the object.
1997 - 3D Printing Services and 3D Metal Printer
Materialise offers 24 hour 3D printing service and AeroMat launches first 3D Metal Printer
1999 - A 3D Human Organ is First Printed
For the first time ever, a 3D generated organ is created and implanted in a human using their own cells to coat the 3D synthetic structure. Developed by scientists at Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine, this breakthrough demonstrated it was possible to create other engineered organs using 3D technology and the patient’s own cels, thus dramatically reducing or eliminating the risk of rejection.
2000 - Large Scale Printing
Materialise launches their Mammoth SLA 3D printer, with a bed area of more than 2 meters
2003 - First Electron Beam Melting System
Arcam launches the first commercial EBM system melting the metal powder one layer at a time using an electron beam process.
2005 - First 3D Printers for Consumers
RepRap, an open source project, brings the first consumer/at-home 3D printer out.
2006 - First Laser-Sintered 3D Printer
For the first time, a laser-sintered 3D Printer (EOSINT M 270) prints Cobalt Chrome and Stainless Steel.
2008 - New Matrix Technology Launched, Online 3D Printing Service , First Prosthetic, Thingiverse Launched
- Matrix Technology launches technology which enables 3D printing with regular sheets of paper.
- Shapeways starts its online 3D printing service, allowing individuals to create, buy and sell their own 3D products.
- The first usable 3D printed prosthetic is created.
- Thingiverse, an open source website which shares user-created digital design files.
2009 - MakerBot Industries is Founded, First basic Material Extrusion patent expires
- The founding of MakerBot Industries is founded and is pivotal in making 3D printing and 3D technologies more accessible to individuals.
- First basic Material Extrusion patent expires.
2010 - The First 3D Printing of Porcelain
- The Centre for Fine Print Research patents their system for 3D printing porcelain.
2011 - FDM Patent Expires, Advanced Manufacturing Partnership Announced, More...
- With the expiration of the Fused Deposition Modeling patent, this technology enters into the public domain and becomes a significant catalyst in creativity and open sourcing.
- The Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, announced by President Obama, brings together industry, colleges and universities and the government to invest in and spur on emerging technologies.
- The first 3D printed dress is created.
- Cookson Precious Metals 3D prints using sterling silver for the first time.
- The first 3D printed aircraft is created.
- First 3D printed vehicles: The Rapid Racer, The Urbee, The Airbike
2012 - Medical, Housing, Guns, Candy and more
2013 - 3D Printed Lunar Habitat, NASA
- Working with the ESA (European Space Agency) several firms, led by Foster and Partners, teamed up to design and develop a lunar habitation.
- NASA announces plans to look at 3D printing food for their astronauts while in space.
2014 - Powder Bed Fusion Patent Expires
- Powder Bed Fusion, commonly known as Selective Laser Sintering) patent expires
John Hornick counsels clients on virtually every aspect of IP law, from licensing to litigation. He leads Finnegan’s 3D Printing working group and authored the award-winning book, 3D Printing Will Rock the World. John closely follows the 3D industry and advises clients about the IP issues of this rapidly developing technology and how they may affect their businesses, both offensively and defensively.