In the not-too-distant past, a patient in dire need of an organ transplant had to wait for someone to die to be bestowed with a healthy organ and thus, a new life. Today, an organ can be printed in a laboratory, with perfect specifications matching the patients’ needs and successfully implanted in his body. This is the most recent and best application of 3-Dimensional Printing technology currently in use, though this technology is certainly not limited to the medical field. Its scope is bounded only by the limits of one’s imagination.
It was Charles Hull, a physicist, who patented the ‘stereolithography’ technique, now commonly known as 3D printing, in 1986. He thought of this process while using ultraviolet light to harden coatings on a tabletop, in 1983. The new designs in manufacturing plants which required small parts hindered the speed of the process until his invention. Hull then started a company called 3D Systems and expanded his patents to include non-liquids. Vehicle manufacturing companies and medical and non-medical R&D labs were immediately attracted by the infinite possibilities posed by this invention. In 2014, Hull was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. He is also known as the “Father of 3D printing” …read more on NOPR