Feb.14, 2014

Chuck Hull (75) is the co-founder, executive vice president and chief technology officer of 3D Systems. He is the inventor of the solid imaging process known as stereolithography (3D Printing), the first commercial rapid prototyping technology, and the STL file format. He made on more than 60 U.S. patents as well as other patents around the world in the fields of ion optics and rapid prototyping.

CNN sits down with Chuck Hull in Frankfurt, Germany talking about his incredible invention and 3D printing today. In 1983 when he got the idea of using the UV technology he was given a little lab to play and experiment. In his earlier experiment, when the materials cure from a liquid to a solid, they tend to shrink and they can distort. And nowadays, the process and chemistry has been vastly improved, says Hull.

"It's really blossomed just in the last few years -- in the sense of really rapid growth and recognition. There's a lots of things that contributed to that, I think: a lot of the medical applications catch peoples' imagination; certainly the maker movement, with low-cost machines getting hobbyists interested in inventing and building using 3D printing."

But how has he felt along these long 30 years? "Well, you know I'm old enough that I should have retired long ago, but it's so interesting that I don't. It's a really interesting journey."

You can watch the video below:


Posted in 3D Printing Technology



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poop wrote at 9/2/2015 4:11:46 PM:

yolo fam

Bob the Builder wrote at 8/1/2015 7:24:46 AM:

i hope its as interesting as he says

Bob the Builder wrote at 8/1/2015 7:22:40 AM:

i hope 3D printing is as interesting as he says

Jack Pryne wrote at 5/27/2014 6:36:23 AM:

To Michael Rees: Interesting info you've collected, yet none of it contradicts the idea that Chuck Hull invented the 3D printer. Certainly many of the relevant concepts had been explored beforehand, but had any of them produced a working printer? Indeed, were any of them a means of manufacturing at all? (I'd say Yayoi-era clay pots are a stretch..) I would argue these examples were hardly more than optical illusions. And sure, even granting said examples as solid "prior art", none can argue that Chuck Hull didn't take these concepts & combine them with dozens of other component technologies to produce the first working prototypes. Thanks to his genius, we're enjoying a new paradigm in manufacturing, one that is only just beginning to bear fruit.

michael rees wrote at 2/21/2014 11:30:47 PM:

Dear 3ders, I appreciate that Dr. Hull has begun a successful industry and pioneered photo resins but he is hardly the inventor of layered manufacture: think coil built pots. For automatic manufacture, for a long time I thought the first one was an image based prototyping technology that I think I learned about in Marhsall Burn's 1993 book about the subject. He described a patent held by the King of Prussia in the first decade of the 20th century (1900-1910) where someone would stack photographic plates creating the image of a 3d object. Recently the art historian Caterina Pierre shared an article with me published from the Art Bulletin, Vol. 62, No. 4 (Dec., 1980) titled SCULPTURE AS THE SUM OF ITS PROFILES, by Robert A. Sobieszek. (even the article is 3 years ahead of Dr. Hull's claimed invention) In the article, Francois Willeme was credited as being the inventor of a technique for creating profiles using various apparatuses and automatic means to achieve 3d models.THIS HAPPENED IN 1859! THATS A FULL 124 YEARS AHEAD OF CHUCK HULL'S INVENTION! HE CALLED THE TECHNIQUE PHOTOSCULPTURE! Wow! I have to say the other amazing thing is that this is coming from artists, people trained in the arts, not engineers or scientists per se. The article suggests that the famous sculptor August Rodin was aware of it. And Rodin is famous for describing the silhouette as being the primary means for recreating figural form. He used a technique of sequential construction in Man with the Broken nose of 1862-64. What do you think?

x wrote at 2/19/2014 5:37:06 AM:

"Bre Pettis Go F yourself"

taiwanese reader wrote at 2/18/2014 1:37:33 AM:

Ping Fu said she is the "Godmother of 3D printing" to Taiwanese Readers.(via her biography in Chinese) So who invented 3D printing?

alvaro wrote at 2/14/2014 3:44:24 PM:

This man is a genius ! live long and prosper

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