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Make: Ultimate Guide to 3D Printing 2014 by Mark Frauenfelder

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF PERSONAL 3D PRINTING

WRITTEN BY DALE DOUGHERTY

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The first patent for 3D printing was obtained by Charles Hull in 1986, the same year that laser printers were patented and became available. Hull went on to found 3D Systems, which became one of the leading companies in industrial 3D printing. The essence of 3D printing is that software can “slice” a 3D image into a stack of 2D layers, and a machine builds the object by printing one layer on another. Sometimes called “additive manufacturing,” 3D printing sounds like magic. It can be mesmerizing to watch a printer (by most definitions, a kind of robot), but it’s also tediously slow, ...

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