Our next blog post; a Who’s Who of the big names in 3D printing!
Who are the inventors and pioneers that helped propel 3D printing to the pedestal it currently sits on?
One cannot give recognition to the lesser names in the 3D printing world without first mentioning the mastermind that is Chuck Hull.
He is the father of stereolithography, the first link in the chain which lead to different types of manufacturing, all under the 3D printing umbrella. A visionary, Hull also invented theSTL file type and the rapid prototyping technique – all critical pieces of the 3D printing pie. He is reported to have over 60 patents in the USA alone.
The metaphorical light bulb above Hull’s head lit up back in 1983, when the entrepreneur was working for a small business that used UV rays to place layers of plastic onto tables and other furniture.
Envisioning a method which involved using light to mould plastic layers into 3D shapes, the cogs in his head began to turn.
After months and months of experimenting, Hull’s dreams turned into reality – and a prototype was made. The printer pictured below was Hull’s first ever printer, a relic now over 30 years old!
In case you missed out, last week’s post included a Chinese company capable of printing up to ten houses a day! While that is awe-inspiring, the Eastern firm must pay homage to Dini, the first to patent the technology to print large structures using 3D printing.
Many years ago, Enrico Dini was a robotics specialist, and enjoyed experimenting with 3D printing in his spare time. Teaming up with his brother, he created his first prototype printer, eventually succeeding in printing a stone column, and more notably – the world’s first ever fully printed architectural structure.
“My dream is to go to Africa, remove the weapons out of the hands of child soldiers and replace them with a basket. They can use the basket to collect sand and bring it to a 3D printer. This printer then builds small houses, irrigation canals, or parts for shading. Things that improve life for the people there,” Dini was quoted as saying.
Our next contender for the printing pioneer award is one who claims that 3D printing is effectively lighting the fire for the third industrial revolution.
His name is Tedd Syao – a man who, after analyzing the state of the 3D printing industry, saw fit to dedicate himself to improving its infrastructure from the bottom up – similar to how his revolutionary printer operates.
According to Kudo3D’s Kickstarter page, Syao previously worked as a professor in electrical engineering, clocking in 15 years of hard work in the Photonics industry. Building on his unique set of skills and experience, Syao and his team crafted this trendsetting printer, available at the low cost of $1,999!
SLA (stereolithography) printers differ from the conventional FDM (fusion deposition modelling) printers. Kudo3D’s entry into the market claims to improve the resolution, increase build speed and build space whilst focusing on reliability – effectively making it a top contender in the SLA domain.
Interestingly enough – the Titan 1 builds items ‘bottom up’, as displayed in the picture above.
From Hull’s moment of brilliance to Syao and Dini’s revolutionary ideas, the world of 3D printing has not stopped expanding in the last few decades. As the world continues to open its’ eyes to this method of manufacturing, one can only expect more pioneers to pop up around the world.