3D Printer

3D Printing History Terminology and methods

3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, refers to processes used to synthesize a three-dimensional object in which successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create an object.Objects can be of almost any shape or geometry and are produced using digital model data from a 3D model or another electronic data source such as an Additive Manufacturing File.
The term 3D printing has its origin sense, 3D printing in reference to a process that deposits a binder material onto a powder bed with inkjet printer heads layer by layer. More recently, the term is being used in popular vernacular to encompass a wider variety of additive manufacturing techniques.
Early additive manufacturing equipment and materials were developed in the 1980s.In 1981, Hideo Kodama of Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute invented two AM fabricating methods of a three-dimensional plastic model with photo-hardening polymer, where the UV exposure area is controlled by a mask pattern or the scanning fiber transmitter.But on July 16, 1984 Alain Le Méhauté, Olivier de Witte and Jean Claude André filed their patent for the stereolithography process. It was three weeks before Chuck Hull filed his own patent for stereolithography. The application of French inventors were abandoned by the French General Electric Company (now Alcatel-Alsthom) and CILAS (The Laser Consortium). The claimed reason was “for lack of business perspective”. Then in 1984, Chuck Hull of 3D Systems Corporation developed a prototype system based on a process known as stereolithography, in which layers are added by curing photopolymers with ultraviolet light lasers. Hull defined the process as a “system for generating three-dimensional objects by creating a cross-sectional pattern of the object to be formed,” but this had been already invented by Kodama. Hull’s contribution is the design of the STL (STereoLithography) file format widely accepted by 3D printing software as well as the digital slicing and infill strategies common to many processes today. The term 3D printing originally referred to a process employing standard and custom inkjet print heads. The technology used by most 3D printers to date—especially hobbyist and consumer-oriented models—is fused deposition modeling, a special application of plastic extrusion.

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