Manufacturing News

Father of 3D printing to enter hall of fame for US inventors

Chuck Hull,
founder of 3D Systems and recognised as inventor of the first 3D printer, will
be inducted into the USA’s National Inventors Hall of Fame in May.

and others report that Hull, who made the first functional 3D printer in 1984, will join the ranks of inventors including
Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs.

came up with his stereolithography method in 1983 while working at a company that
used UV light to harden a durable coating for tables.

“The class of materials is called
“photopolymers” and these are typically acrylic-based materials that
would be liquid until they’re hit with — let’s say — an ultraviolet light,”
he said of his 3D printing method in an interview with CNN last month.

“Then, they instantly turn solid. 

“That’s the basic methodology — that’s stereolithography.
That’s never changed.”

Hull’s inventions also include the .stl file format
still commonly used in 3D printing.

Hull is currently the chief technology
officer at 3D Systems, which he founded.

“I always knew that 3D printing had
the capacity to change the entire design-to-manufacture process, but could not
have anticipated the full impact that my work would have on every facet of our
lives,” he said of his invention, which many are predicting will radically
re-shape the world of manufacturing.

“It is incredibly humbling and exhilarating
to be a part of this transformation.”

His induction into the NIHF will take place on May 21 at
the US Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, Virginia.

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