First mention of 3D printing
Science fiction author (and Hampton Roads native) William F. Jenkins writes a short story called “Things Pass By,” in which he describes a futuristic constructor:
I feed magnetronic plastics — the stuff they make houses and ships of nowadays — into this moving arm. It makes drawings in the air following drawings it scans with photo-cells. But plastic comes out of the end of the drawing arm and hardens as it comes...
The first 3D printing patent, almost
Japanese researcher Hideo Kodama files the first patent for a device designed to create 3D plastic models with a polymer that hardens when exposed to UV light. The potential of this device was not recognized at the time, the project was abandoned, and the patent was never obtained.
The first 3D printing patent in history
American entrepreneur Bill Masters successfully obtains a patent for a computer automated manufacturing process that becomes the foundation the additive manufacturing processes used today.
3D Printer or a Ferrari?
The cost of a 3D printer in the 1980’s was approximately $650,000 (adjusted for inflation), close to the price of the most expensive car in the world at the time, a Ferrari F40. Classic F40’s go for about $3 million now, but you can pick up a decent 3D printer for about $400.
First SLS printer
The first Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) machine is revealed by DTM Inc. SLS uses a laser to fuse powdered material into a solid object. Sintering is how bricks or porcelain have been made for thousands of years, but without the lasers of course.
3D Printing becomes a part of us
History is made when a 3D printed synthetic scaffold is used to create a bladder from the patient’s own cells. The bladder is successfully implanted in a human patient at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine.
3D printed jawbone successfully implanted
In the Netherlands, an 83-year-old woman with a chronic bone infection receives a 3D printed lower jaw transplant. The jaw was made of fused titanium powder and was printed using the SLS process.
A taste of the future
Two world-class, forward-thinking chefs in London open a restaurant called Food Ink, the first restaurant in the world to serve 3D printed food.
Habitat for Humans
The first 3D printed house provided by Habitat for Humanity is in Williamsburg, VA.