History of 3D Technology

The early 3D technologies became visible in the late 1980s and were called Rapid Prototyping technologies. Rapid Prototype technologies were a fast and more cost-effective method for creating product development prototypes. The origins of 3D printing can be traced back to the year 1986, when the first patent for Stereo lithography apparatus (SLA) was issued to Charles Hull, who first invented his SLA machine in 1983. Following that, Hull went on to co-found 3D Systems Corporation, which is one of the largest 3D printing organizations today. 3D Systems’ first commercial RP system, the SLA – 1, was then introduced in 1987 and sold in 1988. The coming years saw a prolific growth in the field. Today, EOS systems are recognized around the world for their quality output for production applications of 3D printing. The early nineties witnessed a growing number of competing companies, three of them – 3D Systems, EOS and Stratasys, spearheading the industry even today. Throughout this time a slew of new technologies continued to be introduced in 3D. In 2012, alternative 3D printing processes were introduced at the entry level of the market which resulted in market divergence.
The impact of 3D printing on the industrial sector is undeniably large and all this is just a drop in the ocean. What shape this potential will take is for us to see but it is evolving before us.