In eighties Chuck Hull, the inventor of 3D printer, predicted to his wife that his new device would enter the people’s houses in 25- 30 years. And was absolutely right! Now 3D printing technology gets more accessible to simple people and costs from $300 in Amazon.com market. Additive manufacturing can be used in many fields from medicine to robotics and its possibilities seem to be endless. But what 3D printing started with?
In 1983 a US engineer Chuck Hull, who worked in furniture industry, used photopolymers that would solidify under ultraviolet light at his job. Then he thought that it is possible to use this technology to build a three-dimensional object from many thin layers of acrylic consolidated gradually.
In 1986 3D printing technology was patented and got $6m from Canadian investors to commercialize it. Car manufacturers, aerospace sector and medical equipment companies were the first who successfully implemented Hull’s 3D Systems in their manufacturing in 1988.
At present Chuck Hull is 75 and he is still working as vice-president, chief technology officer and is $20m shareholder of his own company. 31 years past from that time when he first printed a small black eye-wash cup using stereolithography, that is called now 3D printing. Last year Chuck Hall became a member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
Hall’s “child” grows and develops every day and provokes many debates about right and wrong application of it, for instance, controversy about 3D printing of guns. The 3D printer father answers to the disputant the following : “I don’t know that people are going to be printing guns around the world but in any case our company, we are not the government or the police agencies. It is more their business and all technology, the governments and the police have to be aware [of], it is not just 3D printing.”
By the way there are many other good things that 3D systems brings to our life like jewelry, shoes, human tissues and pizza.