3D printing is not introduced in recent times! But, we can bet on it that not all of you knew about it, did you? In this article, we are going to talk about the history of 3D printing –its origin since the 1980s to what it is currently. So make yourselves comfortable and take an exciting reading ride with us to know the details about 3D printer filament.
In reality, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) technology gained popularity and impressed the general public in 2009 because it could be well exposed through the media. As a matter of fact, most people still believe that FDM is the one and only additive manufacturing technique that has gained the eyes of the audience recently. But, let us tell you that FDM is not even the first 3D printing technique that was introduced, and the origin of 3D printing began in the 80s.
Here we will give you a quick timeline for 3D printing, starting from the 80s to the current scenario. Let us tell you that the history of 3D printing is quite fascinating. The origin of the first printing machines, the expectations that everyone had, and the several 3D applications used for printing are flourishing in this era. However, let us take a step back and look at how all this began in the first place.
The birth of 3D printing: 1980s
Although the concept of 3D printing was introduced in the 70s, the first experiments on the subject did not start until the early 80s. The first baby steps towards the revolution of printing were taken by Dr. Kodama, who developed a rapid technique for prototyping. He was the one who made the initiative to describe a layer-by-layer procedure for creating and manufacturing the ancestor of Stereo lithography or commonly known as SLA.
An SLA: is a resin that possessed photo-sensitive properties and could be polymerized by using UV rays. However, Dr. Kodama failed to register the patent requirement prior to the deadline. In 1986, a Charles Hull, submitted the first patent for SLA as the technology had intrigued him. The 3D Systems Corporation was a brainchild of Hull, which was founded in the year 1988, which later released its first product to the market under the name of SLA-1, which would then evolve to become 3D printing filaments.
While SLA was commercially introduced into the market, at the University of Texas, SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) technology was sent out for its first patent for 3D printing technology by Carl Deckard. In this method, the powder grains were technically fused by using a laser. And the Scott Crump, who co-founded Stratasys Inc., went ahead and sent out a patent for FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling). As a matter of fact, within ten years of time, the three different models of 3D printing technology were patented, which gave birth to 3D printing.
The emergence of Main 3D printers, CAD tools, and manufacturers: 1990s
Now that we have already discussed the basics, it’s time that we talked about how additive manufacturing evolved. In the 90s, the 3D printer manufacturers emerged, new technologies were taken up and polished to perfection. The 3D modeling tools started to develop as well, which further took additive manufacturing to the next level.
EOS GmbH was discovered that led to the creation of the first EOS “Stereos” technology in Europe for production applications and prototyping of 3D printers. The 3D printed filamentthat we use today has undergone ample transformations to offer us what we have today! EOS Stereos’ industrial quality today is known worldwide under the flagship of SLS technology for metals and plastics.
In the year 1992, after the patent issue of FDM to Stratasys, many 3D printers were developed for an individual as well as professional use. Between 1993 and 1999, the primary roles for the 3D printing sector started emerging with the inculcation of several techniques. Meanwhile, we could witness that CAD tools were taking the path of development, which allowed creating the 3D models.
Media Visibility Gained by 3D printing: 2000s
In 2000, the millennium was introduced to a kidney that was printed by making use of 3D printing technology. However, its transplantation was only done after 13 years of conducting appropriate research. The kidneys that were printed through 3D printing are now functioning correctly, and the researchers have further accelerated the experiment to enhance the opportunity of transplanting organs quickly and efficiently.
2004 was marked as the year in which the initiation of the RepRap Project took place that consisted of the self-replicating 3D printers. This might come across as a surprise, but with the use of 3D printing filaments,we can even print a 3D printer. This open-source of the project gave rise to the spreading of FDM 3D printers and desktops, and the technology gained ample popularity in the maker’s community.
While in 2005, Zcorp introduced Spectrum Z510 to the market; in 2008, 3D printing achieved even greater heights by printing a prosthetic limb for the first time. This fantastic medical 3D printing project could then be incorporated in the production of all biological parts of a limb. In the present scenario, 3D printing and scanning medical orthosis and prosthesis are becoming a faster and cheaper process and exposing the patients to more significant opportunities to get prosthetic limbs. These 3D printed prostheses are more adapted and optimized with the patient’s morphology. Also, due to additive manufacturing, new opportunities concerned with the mass-customization are being initiated.
The Year of Innovation, Hopes, and Visibility for 3D print: 2010s
In recent years, 3D printing has gained ample importance. With the expiration of the FDM patent, the first years of this decade have proved to be the years in which 3D printing flourished. Additive manufacturing gradually became an affordable and real production and prototyping technique for the world of businesses, which gave way to newer possibilities.
In the year 2013, President Obama talked about 3D printing in his speech for the State Union as one of the significant issues that needed to be addressed in the future. Today 3D printing has been imprinted in the minds of the general public and is being included in the decisions made by the policymakers as well. The technology is rapidly progressing, along with the use of technology. The small, as well as big companies, are taking advantage of this situation by making use of 3D printer filamentfor the creation of astonishing projects.
They include 3D printing in their innovation, production, and iteration process. Did you know that in 2010, a 3D printing car was produced? Yes, you read it correctly! Urbee was the first 3D printing car to be created then. Eventually, 3D printed car is becoming a reality, while additive manufacturing is taking up significant space in the automobile sector. Perhaps, from the evolution of 3D printing technology used for the making of the tooling process to the creation of 3D printed cars, additive manufacturing has proven to be very useful on several levels. It has also helped the challenge takers and technology improvers to try out new projects.
3D printing technology is still progressing and evolving. Also, newer types of 3D printers with additional features are regularly issued; they print faster and can furnish efficient results while giving access to the innovative 3D printed filament. Carbon us further working towards the development of CLIP (DLS), whose ultimate aim is to process more accurate and faster results ever than before.
Through this article, we have been able to witness the revolution of 3D printing influencing significant sectors such as –medical, automotive, and architecture. But, there are still several fields in which 3D printing can always evolve. 3D Bioprinting with the use of 3D printing filaments is becoming a significant sensation in the arena of medicine. The limits of 3D printing are still higher, and the niche is transforming in every step. Now that you are aware of the history and evolution of 3D printing, you can work towards contributing to the field in a much better way.
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