3D Printing technology has evolved into the mainstream over the past 6-7 years. Everyone now knows about 3D printing, and they want one. The price range has decreased dramatically over the last 2 years and it’s not too expensive nowadays. Either you are a fashion designer, working in food processing, Medical, Automotive industry, Aerospace or Prosthetics it changed everything. You can do so much with a 3D printing that’s not possible to describe it opened up new opportunities for everyone.
History of 3D Printing:
There are a lot of arguments on how long has 3D printing been around. History of 3D printing goes way back to 70s. As we are hearing a lot about it for the last 4-5 years. Over the past 10 years, 3D printing is the transition from a rapid prototyping technology to additive manufacturing. 3D printing was started and called rapid prototyping in early 2000 that’s almost 20 years. That is what it was used for like prototyping things. As more and more people got acquainted with 3D printing from all the sectors and industries it became generalized additive manufacturing technology.
1980–1990: (Invention of Stereo Lithography Process)
In 1984 engineer Chuck Hull printed a small cup using plastic material and ultraviolet light which was named as Stereo Lithography process. In 1985 the first 3D printing pad was granted to Chuck Hull who invented Stereo Lithography (SLA). In 1986 Chuck founded the company 3D Systems for selling 3D printers. The actual development of the 3D printing process started in late 1970 & the first pattern was filed in 1980 but wasn’t granted. The first commercial sale was in 87 & SLS was pounded in 89 by Carl Decker and his team at the University of Texas. SLA & SLS was the original 3d printing technology.
1990-2015: (Rapid Development & Evolve)
Then in 1992, the FDM process was patented by S. Scott Crump and his company Stratasys. They are ones who started 3D plastic printing manufacturing along with YOLKS. Yolks are now doing Direct Metal Laser Centering (DMLS ). SLA is being developed by 3D systems and SLS was being manufactured by desktop manufacturing which also absorbed by 3D systems in the mid-2000. There are a few more technologies being developed like LOM – a metal technology, Solid-State Zeke or Arcam Object A2 which were then again acquired by 3D Systems and Stratasys. In the 3D printing history, there is a long history of acquisitions and merging within the industry. In the last 10 years, we saw the proliferation of new companies like Shapeways with online service, Gypsum technologies, RepRap open source do it yourself project by Makerbot and again bought by Stratasys. In the last 5 years, we came to know about literally hundreds of companies and thousands of pants being filed. So that’s how 3D printing evolved every year with new features and functionalities for the betterment and now being used for the greater good. We can do some much with 3d printing which was once a dream.
2016 (New Technologies)
This year ZMorph published a pretty handy 3D Printing Dictionary. Taekyeom Lee, Assistant Professor at Appalachian State University, has found the art of printing with clay. Lot’s of Kickstarter projected being launched and backed by the industry.