Unveiling the Evolution of 3D Printing

Additive Manufacturing

Emma Menebroker

9/12/20233 min read

Unveiling the Evolution of 3D Printing

In the realm of technological marvels, few inventions have sparked as much awe and potential for revolutionary change as 3D printing. This extraordinary innovation has traveled a remarkable path since its inception. In this blog post, we invite you to embark on an enthralling exploration of the history of 3D printing.

The Initial Spark

The journey of 3D printing started in the 1980s when an engineer by the name of Chuck Hull envisioned a groundbreaking concept aimed to fabricate three-dimensional objects, layer by layer, from a digital blueprint. In contrast to conventional manufacturing techniques, which relied on the subtractive method, Hull's vision marked the advent of additive manufacturing. Utilizing CAD software today, engineers can create designs that use additive manufacturing, where layers of material are compounded to create a functional form. This method allows for less waste products and the localized creation of unique prototypes.

The Breakthrough: Stereolithography

In 1986, Chuck Hull unveiled a pioneering 3D printing technology, called "stereolithography". This revolutionary process involved the precise deployment of a focused UV laser to solidify layers of liquid photopolymer, meticulously constructing 3D objects layer by layer. Stereolithography laid the cornerstone for what we now recognize as resin-based 3D printing.

The Diversifying of Technologies

With the passage of time, the world of 3D printing expanded exponentially with the emergence of diverse technologies. Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is the most common method for 3D printing, where layers are repetitively deposited in a predetermined pattern to make a desired model. This type of printer requires the melting of materials in a nozzle before being extruded into thousands of layers on a support base. As more layers are added, the bottom layers are fused to improve material bonding. Another type of 3D printing is Selective Laser Sintering (SLS). This method employs a laser to sinter powdered material into a desired design without support material. This technique allows for more intricate designs to be printed without the rough edges from supports.

These innovations democratized 3D printing, making it accessible to a broad spectrum of industries and hobbyists.

A Transformative Force

Fast-forward to the present, and 3D printing stands as an indispensable catalyst for innovation and sustainable manufacturing. It is no longer confined to the realm of prototyping; it plays a pivotal role in the creation of final, tangible products. From personalized fashion pieces to environmentally conscious architectural designs, 3D printing is reshaping the paradigms of design and production.

3D printing has greatly expanded the realm of possibilities. For example, healthcare professionals are creating individualized implants, prosthetics, dentures, and hearing aids on demand to meet specific patient needs. The bioprinting of organs is a new and exciting forefront, where human cells and bio-compatible materials are utilized to grow organs with a higher probability of acceptance by the patient’s immune system. This technology is also being utilized to grow skin for medical testing. (For more information on bioprinting: https://www.3dsourced.com/guides/3d-printed-organs-bioprinting/).

Engineers have also adapted this technology to print structures, such as houses and bridges. Using concrete and pre-certified and tested designs, a house can be built in a matter of weeks instead of months or years. Creativity truly has no limit in this next example, where 3D printers are being used to print food. Instead of extruding metals or plastic compounds, these machines are extruding ingredients and batters with unseen accuracy.

The scope of applications for 3D printing are never-ending, requiring the creativity and drive to reimagine our world in an exciting new light.

In Conclusion: A Future Forged in 3D

The history of 3D printing is a testament to the spirit of human ingenuity. From its humble beginnings to its pervasive influence across diverse sectors, this technology has redefined the way we conceptualize, design, and manufacture. As it continues to evolve, the opportunities it presents are nothing short of awe-inspiring, promising a future of innovation and sustainability.

If you have an idea you would like to see come to fruition, reach out under the ‘Contact Us’ tab. We invite you to stay tuned for more illuminating articles that spotlight the innovations shaping our world.


Linke, Rebecca. “Additive Manufacturing, Explained.” MIT Management Sloan School, https://mitsloan.mit.edu/ideas-made-to-matter/additive-manufacturing-explained. Accessed 11 September 2023.

Sourced. “15 Major Uses of 3D Printing Changing Our Lives in 2023.” Sourced, https://www.3dsourced.com/guides/uses-of-3d-printing-applications/. Accessed 11 September 2023.

Sourced. “6 Exciting 3D Printed Organs & 3D Bioprinting Projects.” Sourced, https://www.3dsourced.com/guides/3d-printed-organs-bioprinting/. Accessed 11 September 2023.