How was 3D printing Invented?

How was 3D printing Invented?

3D printing is a technology that is originated from a theory, 80 years old, and from practice that is about 40 years old, still an emerging and advance theory of current times. Inventor Chuk Hull was the first person to build an actual 3D printer in 1987 by sending spatial data to the extruder to build up the object one layer at a time. Multiple experiments were performed during 1971-1999 before the 3D printer was invented.

History Behind The Invention Of 3D Printer

The Year 1960

  • In the 1960s, a method of “pulling” ink from a nozzle using electronics was invented by Teletype Corporation, named as an “inkjet” printer.
  • This printer was capable of printing 120 characters per second and it made a clear path for consumer desktop printing.

The Year 1971

  • In 1971, Teletype was tested with melted wax.
  • It belonged to Johannes F. Gottwald. His goal was to create a liquified metal object that solidified into a shape determined by the inkjet’s movement as each new layer was added.
  • These practices were part of the “material execution process” in which the approach was the same as in consumer desktop 3D printers that involve feeding thermoplastic through a heated nozzle and laying it on an item one “slice” at a time in an orderly manner.

The Year 1980

  • Dr. Hideo Kodama, in 1980 introduced two methods for Gottwald’s vision with the help of thermoset polymer—a plastic that hardens when it comes in contact with light—instead of metal.

From 1981-1984

  • The year 1981 was the year of no progress.
  • The defense manufacturer Raytheon filed a patent in 1982 to use powdered metal powder, such as titanium and aluminum, to add layers to an object. 
  • The term “3D printing” was first introduced in the year 1984 in a patent filed by an entrepreneur Bill Masters.

The Year 1987

  • In 1987, the first actual 3D printer was invented by Chuck Hull. According to his idea, spatial data from a digital file was sent to a 3D printer’s extruder, which builds the object one layer at a time.

3D printing is evolving with time constantly, therefore, many softwares have been introduced that can be used for 3D printing. Learn more about these new softwares with Technology In The Arts today!