History of additive manufacturing

History of additive manufacturing
Wohlers Report 2014
History of additive
manufacturing
by Terry Wohlers and Tim Gornet
Introduction of non-SL
systems
COPYRIGHT © 2014
History of Additive Manufacturing
This34‐pagedocumentisapartofWohlersReport2014andwascreated
foritsreaders.Thedocumentchroniclesthehistoryofadditive
manufacturing(AM)and3Dprinting,beginningwiththeinitial
commercializationofstereolithographyin1987toMay2013.
DevelopmentsfromMay2013throughApril2014areavailableinthe
complete276‐pageversionofthereport.AnanalysisofAM,fromthe
earliestinventionsinthe1960stothe1990s,isincludedinthefinal
severalpagesofthisdocument.
Additivemanufacturingfirstemergedin1987withstereolithography(SL)
from3DSystems,aprocessthatsolidifiesthinlayersofultraviolet(UV)
light‐sensitiveliquidpolymerusingalaser.TheSLA‐1,thefirst
commerciallyavailableAMsystemintheworld,wastheprecursorofthe
oncepopularSLA250machine.(SLAstandsforStereoLithography
Apparatus.)TheViperSLAproductfrom3DSystemsreplacedtheSLA250
manyyearsago.
In1988,3DSystemsandCiba‐GeigypartneredinSLmaterials
developmentandcommercializedthefirst‐generationacrylateresins.
DuPont’sSomosstereolithographymachineandmaterialsweredeveloped
thesameyear.LoctitealsoenteredtheSLresinbusinessinthelate1980s,
butremainedintheindustryonlyuntil1993.
After3DSystemscommercializedSLintheU.S.,Japan’sNTTDataCMET
andSony/D‐MECcommercializedversionsofstereolithographyin1988
and1989,respectively.NTTDataCMET(nowapartofTeijinSeiki,a
subsidiaryofNabtesco)calleditssystemSolidObjectUltravioletPlotter
(SOUP),whileSony/D‐MEC(nowD‐MEC)calleditsproductSolidCreation
System(SCS).SonystoppedmanufacturingSLsystemsforD‐MECin2007.
In1988,AsahiDenkaKogyointroducedthefirstepoxyresinfortheCMET
SLmachine.Thefollowingyear,JapanSyntheticRubber(nowJSRCorp.)
andDSMDesotechbegantoofferresinsfortheSony/D‐MECmachines.
In1990,ElectroOpticalSystems(EOS)ofGermanysolditsfirstStereos
stereolithographysystem.Thesameyear,QuadraxintroducedtheMark
1000SLsystem,whichusedvisiblelightresin.Thefollowingyear,
ImperialChemicalIndustriesintroducedavisiblelightresinproductfor
usewiththeMark1000.ICIstoppedsellingitsresinaboutoneyearlater
whenQuadraxdissolvedduetoalegalconflictwith3DSystems.
In1991,threeAMtechnologieswerecommercialized,includingfused
depositionmodeling(FDM)fromStratasys,solidgroundcuring(SGC)
fromCubital,andlaminatedobjectmanufacturing(LOM)fromHelisys.
FDMextrudesthermoplasticmaterialsinfilamentformtoproduceparts
layerbylayer.SGCusedaUV‐sensitiveliquidpolymer,solidifyingfull
layersinonepassbyfloodingUVlightthroughmaskscreatedwith
electrostatictoneronaglassplate.LOMbondedandcutsheetmaterial
usingadigitallyguidedlaser.CubitalandHelisyshavenotbeenin
businessformanyyears.
Selectivelasersintering(SLS)fromDTM(nowapartof3DSystems)and
theSoliformstereolithographysystemfromTeijinSeikibecameavailable
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Wohlers Report 2014
History of Additive Manufacturing
in1992.Usingheatfromalaser,SLSfusespowdermaterials.TheSoliform
technologywasoriginallydevelopedbyDuPontundertheSomosname
andwassubsequentlylicensedtoTeijinSeikiforexclusivedistribution
rightsinpartsofEastAsia.Alsoin1992,AlliedSignalintroduced
vinyletherExactomerresinproductsforSL.
In1993,Soligencommercializeddirectshellproductioncasting(DSPC).
Usinganinkjetmechanism,DSPCdepositedliquidbinderontoceramic
powdertoformshellsforuseintheinvestment‐castingprocess.
MassachusettsInstituteofTechnology(MIT)inventedandpatentedthe
processthatSoligenused.Thecompanyshutdownitsoperationsin
January2006.Thesameyear,DenkenintroducedanSLsystemthatusesa
solid‐statelaser.Denken’sSLsystemwasoneofthefirsttofitonabench
topandwasintroducedatalowprice,comparedtootherSLsystemsthat
wereonthemarket.
Alsoin1993,3DSystemsandCibacommercializedtheirfirstepoxyresin
product.Ataroundthesametime,theQuickCastbuildstylewas
introduced.QuickCastisamethodofproducinginvestment‐casting
patternsthataremostlyhollow,makingitpossibletoburnthemout
withoutfracturingtheceramicshell.Itisstillusedtothisday.
1994wasayearofmanynewadditive‐manufacturingsystem
introductions.ModelMakerfromSolidscape(thencalledSanders
Prototype)becameavailable,asdidnewsystemsfromJapaneseand
Europeancompanies.ModelMakerdepositswaxmaterialsusinganinkjet
printhead.OneofthenewJapanesesystemswasasmall
stereolithographymachinefromMeikotargetedmainlyatthemakersof
jewelry.(MeikoendeditsSLbusinessin2006.)Meanwhile,KiraCorp.
commercializedJapan’sfirstnon‐stereolithographysystem.CalledSolid
Center,itusesastandardlaserprinterengine,toner,andanx‐yplotterand
knifetoproducewood‐likemodelsbypaperlamination.Kirareferredto
SolidCenterasthefirstplain‐paper3Dprinter.
Alsoin1994,Fockele&Schwarze(F&S)ofGermanyintroduceda
stereolithographymachine,butonalimitedbasis.TheGermancompany
EOScommercializedamachinecalledEOSINTbasedonlaser‐sintering
technologythesameyear.Japan’sUshio(nowcalledUnirapidInc.)soldits
firststereolithographymachinein1995.
Introduction of low-cost
3D printers
COPYRIGHT © 2014
In1996,StratasysintroducedtheGenisysmachine,whichusedan
extrusionprocesssimilartoFDMbutbasedontechnologydevelopedat
IBM’sWatsonResearchCenter.Aftereightyearsofselling
stereolithographysystems,3DSystemssolditsfirst3Dprinter(Actua
2100)in1996,usingatechnologythatdepositswaxmateriallayerby
layerusinganinkjetprintingmechanism.
Thesameyear,ZCorp.launcheditsZ4023Dprinter,primarilyforconcept
modeling.BasedonMIT’sinkjetprinting(3DP)technology,theZ402
producedmodelsusingstarch‐andplaster‐basedpowdermaterialsanda
water‐basedliquidbinder.Alsoin1996,SchroffDevelopmentbegantosell
itssemi‐automatedpaperlaminationsystemforunder$10,000.
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History of Additive Manufacturing
PersonalModeler2100fromBPMTechnologywassoldcommerciallyin
1996.Theballisticparticlemanufacturing(BPM)processdepositedwax
materialsusinganinkjetprinthead.Thecompanyceasedoperationsin
October1997.Alsoin1996,AaroflexcommercializedDuPont’sSomos
stereolithographytechnologyintheU.S.Thesameyear,Kinergyof
SingaporebegantosellitsZippypaperlaminationsystems,which
functionedsimilarlytotheLOMprocess.
AeroMetwasfoundedin1997asasubsidiaryofMTSSystemsCorp.The
companydevelopedaprocesscalledlaseradditivemanufacturing(LAM)
thatusedahigh‐powerlaserandpowderedtitaniumalloys.Untilitshut
downinDecember2005,AeroMetmanufacturedpartsfortheaerospace
industryasaserviceprovider.Alsoin1997,CibapurchasedtheExactomer
resinbusinessfromAlliedSignal.
In1998,BeijingYinhuaLaserRapidPrototypesMaking&Mould
TechnologyCo.,Ltd.steppedupthepromotionofitsproducts.Since1996,
TsinghuaUniversityinBeijing—theoriginaldeveloperofthesystems—
hasofferedtechnologiessimilartoFDMandotheradditiveprocesses.The
sameyear,AutostradeintroduceditsE‐DARTSstereolithographysystem
tocompaniesinJapanfor$25,000.Alsoin1998,Optomeccommercialized
itslaser‐engineerednetshaping(LENS)metalpowdersystembasedon
technologydevelopedatSandiaNationalLabs.
InMarch1999,3DSystemsintroducedafasterandlessexpensiveversion
ofActua2100calledThermoJet.Amonthearlier,thecompanyalsobegan
tosellitsSLA7000systemfor$800,000.Itwasthemostexpensiveplastic‐
basedAMsystemonthemarketatthetime.InApril1999,theExtrude
HoneAMbusiness(nowExOne)installeditsfirstProMetalRTS‐300
machineforbuildingmetalpartsatMotorola.Thesystemisbasedon
MIT’s3DPinkjet‐printingtechnology.Fockele&SchwarzeofGermany
introduceditssteelpowder‐basedselectivelaser‐meltingsystem,
developedincooperationwiththeFraunhoferInstituteforLaser
Technology.
Alsoin1999,Rödersbegantosellitscontrolledmetalbuildup(CMB)
machine,basedlargelyontechnologydevelopedattheFraunhofer
InstituteforProductionTechnology.Thesameyear,DSMpurchasedthe
SomosbusinessfromDuPont.
InJanuary2000,HelisysannouncedthatToyodaMachineWorksofJapan
wouldmanufactureandsellLOMsystemsinJapan.InJune,Toyoda
showeditsownmachinebasedonLOMtechnologyatalargeexhibitionin
Tokyo.Thesamemonth,SandersDesignInternationalannouncedthe
developmentofamachinenamedRapidToolMaker(RTM).Alsoin
January,SandersannouncedthatithadlicensedtheRTMtechnologytothe
GermancompanyBussModelingTechnology(BMT),formerlyBussMüller
Technology,withtheintenttomanufactureandsellitinEurope.Ataround
thesametime,BMTannouncedthatitwouldmanufactureandsellacolor
3DprinterbasedonpowderandbindertechnologydevelopedbyAadvan
derGeestoftheNetherlands.Theprocesswassimilartothe3DPprocess
fromZCorp.
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New generation
machines
COPYRIGHT © 2014
History of Additive Manufacturing
April2000wasamonthfullofnewtechnologyintroductions.Objet
GeometriesofIsraelannouncedQuadra,a3Dinkjetprinterthat
depositedandhardenedphotopolymerusing1,536nozzlesandaUV
lightsource.SandersPrototype(nowSolidscape)introduced
PatternMaster,amachinedesignedtoproduceprecisionwaxpatterns.
PrecisionOpticalManufacturing(POM)announceddirectmetal
deposition(DMD),alaser‐claddingprocessthatproducesandrepairs
partsusingmetalpowder.POMbegansystemsalesinearly2002and
continuestoofferDMDasaservice.ZCorp.introduceditsZ402C
machine,theworld’sfirstcommerciallyavailablemulti‐color3Dprinter.
InJuly2000,StratasysintroducedProdigy,amachinethatproducesparts
inABSplasticusingthecompany’sFDMtechnology.InOctober,Sanders
PrototypeInc.changeditsnametoSolidscapeInc.toavoidmarket
confusionwithSandersDesignInternational.InNovember2000,Helisys
closeditsdoorsaftersellingmorethan375systemsworldwideovera
periodofnineyears.Thesamemonth,HelisysfounderandLOMinventor
MichaelFeyginannouncedtheformationofCubicTechnologies.Thenew
companyabsorbedmostoftheassetsofHelisys.AlsoinNovember,Teijin
SeikiannouncedthatitwouldacquiretheCMETSLtechnologyfromNTT
Data.ByMarch2001,theacquisitionwascompleteandtheexpanded
stereolithographymanufacturerchangeditsnametoCMETInc.
In2001,Solidimension(nowSolido)ofIsraelquietlyintroducedits
desktopmachine,atechnologythatlaminatesthinsheetsofPVCplastic.
Thecompanywasslowtoshipmachinestocustomers,eventobetatest
sites,andhadplannedtosellmachinesin2002,butdidnot.Finally,in
2004,itsolditsfirstmachinestocompaniesinJapan.Alsoin2001,
AaroflexandCubitalquietlydisappearedfromtheindustry.Israel‐based
Cubitalwasoneofthefirstcompaniestocommercializeanadditive‐
manufacturingprocessandsold33systemsoveraspanofeightyears.
InFebruary2001,3DSystemsacquiredOptoForm,aFrenchcompanythat
developedastereolithographymethodofusingnon‐liquidphotocurable
materials.TheOptoFormtechnologyiscapableofusingceramics,metals,
andvariouscompositematerialsintheformofpastes.
InMarch2001,ObjetGeometriesbegantoshipabetaversionofitsQuadra
3Dprinter.InMay2001,Solidicadisclosedtechnicaldetailsonits
ultrasonicconsolidationprocess,andbegantoshipmachinestobeta
customersinlate2001andearly2002.Thetechnologycombines
ultrasonicweldingandCNCmachiningtoproducealuminumparts.In
September2001,StratasysbeganthecommercialshipmentofitsFDM
Titan,amachinecapableofproducingpartsinpolycarbonate,ABS,
polyphenylsulfone,andapolycarbonate–ABSblend.
InAugust2001,3DSystemscompleteditsacquisitionofDTM.Themerger
sparkedanintenseinvestigationbytheAntitrustDivisionoftheU.S.
DepartmentofJustice.InSeptember2001,3DSystemsacquiredRPCLtd.,
asmallstereolithographyresinproducerinSwitzerland.Thisoccurredon
theheelsofHuntsman(thenVanticoandformerlyCiba)severingitslong‐
termdistributionrelationshipwith3DSystems.
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History of Additive Manufacturing
AtEuroMold2001inlateNovember,EnvisiontecofGermanyshowedits
Perfactorymachine.Thetechnologyusesacrylatephotopolymerand
digitallightprocessing(DLP)technologyfromTexasInstrumentsto
hardenanentirelayeratonce.AlsoatEuroMold,ZCorp.introducedits
Z810,asystemthatprintspartsina500x600x400mm(20x24x16
inch)buildvolumeusing1,800jetsfromsixHPprintheads.
In2001,GenerisGmbHofGermanycommercializeditslargeGS1500
system.Thesystemusesaninkjet‐printingtechniquetofusetogethersand
toproducesandcoresandmoldsformetalcastings.Laterintheyear,
ProMetalinstalleditsfirstRTS‐300machineinEurope.
AlsoatEuroMold2001,ObjetGeometriesintroduceditsQuadraTempo
product,animprovedversionofitsQuadramachine.EOSannouncedits
DirectSteel20‐V1product,asteel‐basedpowderconsistingofparticles20
microns(0.0008inch)insize.Thepowderisusedtoproducemetalparts
inlayersthatare20microns(0.0008inch)inthickness.Ataroundthe
sametime,thecompanyintroduceditsEOSINT380,alaser‐sintering
machinethatofferedspeedimprovements.
ConceptLaserGmbH,aHofmanncompanyinGermany,introducedanew
systematEuroMold2001thatcombineslasersintering,lasermarking,and
lasermachining.Themachineusesanyttrium‐aluminum‐garnet(YAG)
laserandstainlesssteelpowdertoproducefullydenseparts.Shanghai
UnionTechnologyCo.,Ltd.(alsoknownasUniontech)ofShanghai,China,
begantosellitsSLmachinesinChinain2001.
In2001,RSPToolingLLCwasformed.RSPstandsforrapidsolidification
process,asteelspraytechniquedevelopedattheIdahoNational
EngineeringandEnvironmentalLaboratory(INEEL).InJanuary2002,RSP
Toolingannouncedthatithadreachedanagreementtoobtainan
exclusivelicensefortheRSPtechnology.Analphatestmachinewas
completedinFebruary2002.Ohio‐basedBelcanservedasadevelopment
partnerandinvestor.
Inearly2002,StratasysintroduceditsDimensionproductatapriceof
$29,900.TheDimensionmachine,whichdepositsABSplastic,isbasedon
theformerProdigyproduct.Thesameyear,ConceptLaserGmbHbeganto
sellitsM3Linearmachine.Alsoin2002,EnvisiontecGmbHbegantosell
itsPerfactoryandBioplottermachines.TheBioplotterproducesscaffold
structuresfromvariousbiomaterialsfortissueengineering.
WuhanBinhuMechanical&ElectricalCo.,Ltd.ofChinabegantosell
lamination,lasersintering,stereolithography,andplasticextrusion
(similartoFDM)systemsin2002.Thesameyear,Solidscapeintroduced
itsT66product,alower‐pricedversionofitsdrop‐on‐demandinkjet‐
basedmachine.PhenixSystemsofFrancesolditsfirstPhenix900system
in2002.Themachineusessolid‐phasesinteringtoproduceceramicand
metalparts.
Aftermorethantwoyearsofofferingservicesonly,POMbegantosellits
directmetaldepositionmachinein2002.ItusesaCO2laser,a3‐axis,
overheadgantryCNC‐motionsystem,andmetalpowderstorepairtooling
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History of Additive Manufacturing
andaidintheproductionoftoolingcomponents.Meanwhile,Schroff
Developmentstoppedsellingitsinexpensivepaperlaminationmachines.
Menix,Co.,Ltd.ofKoreasolditfirstVLM300variablelaminationmachines
in2002.Thissystemusesa4‐axis,hot‐wirecuttertoslicethroughhigh‐
densitypolystyrenesheetsatanangletominimizestairstepping.The
machineiscurrentlypricedatabout$18,000.
InFebruary2003,ZCorp.introduceditsZPrinter310system.Theproduct,
thenpricedat$29,900,usestechnologysimilartothecompany’sother
powder‐based3Dprinters.ItreplacedtheZ400product.Thesamemonth,
EOSannouncedthatithadsolditsfirsttwoEOSINTlaser‐sintering
machinesinNorthAmerica.
InMay2003,SonyPrecisionTechnologyAmericabegantomarketthe
SonystereolithographymachinesintheU.S.Aspartasettlementbetween
3DSystemsandtheU.S.DepartmentofJustice,Sonypurchasedalicense
from3DSystemstosellstereolithographyinNorthAmerica.Activesales
ofthemachineoccurredlaterthatyear.
Inmid‐2003,SolidscapeintroduceditsT612systemformakingwax
patternsforinvestmentcastings.Thebasictechnologyissimilarto
Solidscape’sprevioussystems,althoughtheT612isfasterandbuilds
muchbiggerparts.Aroundthesametime,Envisionteclaunchedthesaleof
itssystemsintheU.S.
InSeptember2003,itwasannouncedthatStratasyswouldserveasObjet
Geometries’exclusivedistributorforitsEdenproductsinNorthAmerica.
ThedistributionagreementendedinDecember2006.
Inlate2003,3DSystemsbegantosellandshipitsInVision3Dprinter,a
machinethatjetsandhardensphotopolymer,similartoObjet’smachines.
3DSystemspricedthemachineat$39,900.Thecompanyintroducedthe
InVisionHR(highresolution)versionofthemachineinApril2004for
$59,900.Chubunipponbegantosellitslow‐costWizaray
stereolithographysystemin2003.Themachinebuiltacrylatepartsthatfit
insidea100x100x100mm(4x4x4inch)buildvolumeandsoldfor
about¥998,000(~$10,184).
AtEuroMold2003,EOSintroduceditsEOSINTM270directmetallaser‐
sinteringmachine.ThesystemusesafiberlaserratherthanaCO2laser,
whichisusedintheEOSINTM250Xtendedmachine.AnotherGerman
company,Trumpf,introduceditsTrumaFormLFandTrumaFormDMD
505machinesatEuroMold.TheLFmachineusesa250‐wattlaserand
fiberopticcabletodirectlightontoabedofpurepowdermetal.Trumpf
partneredwithPOMtoproducetheDMD505machine.The505includesa
5‐axismotionsystem.
InMarch2004,Stratasysintroducedthe“Triplets,”whichconsistedof
threevariationsoftheFDMVantagemachine.Pricesrangedfrom$99,000
to$195,000.ThemachinesarecapableofprocessingbothABSand
polycarbonatematerials.
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InQ22004,EnvisiontecintroducedtheVanquishphotopolymer‐based
system.TheVanquishmachineusesdigitallightprocessingtechnologyto
solidifyanentirelayeratonce.Unlikethecompany’sPerfactorysystem,
Vanquishworksinasimilarwaytotraditionalstereolithographysystems,
withthebuildplatformmovingdownwardwitheachlayer.
DSMSomosintroducedseveralnewresinsattheApril2005SLA/SLSuser
conference,includingananocompositematerial,ahigh‐elongation
material,alow‐durometermaterial,aUL94V0flame‐retardantmaterial,
andamaterialthatcanwithstandrelativelyhightemperatures.
InJuly2004,theProMetaldivisionofExOne(thenExtrudeHone)
introducedthesmallRX‐1metal‐basedmachine.Maximumpartsizeis40
x60x25mm(1.6x2.4x1inch).TheRX‐1istargetedateducationaland
researchcustomers.
AlsoinJuly,3DSystemsannouncedtheBluestonenanocompositeSLresin.
Thesamemonth,3DSystemsbegantoshiptheInVisionHR,ahigh‐
resolution3Dprintertargetedatthejewelrymarket.TheSinterstation
HiQ,alsoreleasedinJuly,addednewclosed‐loopthermalcontrolsand
scanningoptionsaimeddirectlyatprocessimprovementforpart
productionapplications.Thistechnologywasalsoofferedasanupgradeto
theSinterstation2500plusandVanguardsystems.
Solidicasoldandinstalledanewversionofitsultrasonicconsolidation
system,calledFormation,inSeptember2004.Thesystemwaspricedat
about$400,000.Thefollowingmonth,3DSystemsintroduceditsdual‐vat
ViperHAstereolithographysystemforthehearingaidindustry.In
November,ObjetintroduceditsVeroFullCure800seriesopaque‐colored
materials.Theyofferimprovedmechanicalpropertiesandbetterdetail
visualization.
AtEuroMold2004,EOSintroducedtheEOSINTP385,aplasticmaterial
systemcapableofthinnerlayersthanwerepossiblewithitspredecessor,
theEOSINTP380.AlsoatEuroMold,ConceptLaserofGermany
introducedtheM1cusinglaser‐meltingmachine.Themachinecanprocess
allofthemetalsoftheM3Linearbutitdoesnotsupportlasererosionor
lasermarking.NextFactory(nowDWS)introducedtheDigitalWax010
andDigitalWax020systems.Bothuseasolid‐statelasertoharden
photopolymer,andwerepricedat€25,000and€35,000,respectively.
AlsoinDecember2004,SolidscapeintroducedtheT66BenchtopandT612
Benchtopsystemsfor$40,000and$50,000,respectively.Thesystemsdo
notrequireair‐conditioningunits,sotheyaresmallerandlighterthanthe
previousmachines.
InMarch2005,ZCorp.releaseditslatestcolor3D‐printingsystem,the
SpectrumZ510.Itoffersalargerbuildvolume,producesbetterquality
partsthantheZ406,andislessexpensiveat$49,900.Thesamemonth,
StratasysdroppedthepriceoftheDimensionSSTfrom$34,900to
$29,900.Themachineoffersasolublesupportremovalsystemthat
automatestheprocess.
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History of Additive Manufacturing
InApril2005,3DSystemsunveiledtheSinterstationPro,alarge‐frame
laser‐sinteringmachinewithpartbreakout,powderhandling,and
recycling.ItisbuiltontheHiQtechnologyandincludesremovablebuild
modulesanddigitalscanning.TheInVisionLD,manufacturedbytheIsraeli
companySolidoandrebrandedby3DSystems,wasintroducedataprice
of$22,900.ThissystembuildspartsbyselectivelylaminatingPVCsheet
material.
InJune2005,AspectInc.ofJapanshoweditsSEMplicelaser‐sintering
machineatalargeexhibitioninTokyo.Thesamemonth,DSMSomossold
itslaser‐sinteringtechnologyandpatentportfoliotoValsparCorp.,alarge
manufacturerofcoatingsandlaser‐sinteringpowdersinSwitzerland.A
monthlater,ContexScanningTechnologies,aDanishmanufacturerof
wide‐formatdocumentscanners,acquiredZCorp.InAugust2005,Objet
GeometriesintroducedtheFullCureTangolineofflexiblematerialsforits
PolyJetsystems.
October2005wasanactivemonth.StratasyslauncheditsRedEyeRPM
paidpartsservicebusinesswithonlinequotingand60FDMandPolyJet
machines.ObjetGeometriesintroducedtheEden500V,alarge‐format
PolyJet3Dprinterfor$170,000.ZCorp.introducedthe$25,900ZPrinter
310Plus,whichreplacedtheZPrinter310.3DSystemsannouncedthe
largeViperProSLA,amodularsystemcapableofrunningsingleordual
vatsofresin.
InNovember2005,3DSystemsannouncedthatitwouldrelocateits
headquarterstoRockHill,SouthCarolina.Thecompanyalsoannounced
itsnewDuraFormEXpolyamidematerialforitsSinterstationProsystems.
Thesamemonth,ExOne’sProMetaldivisionintroducedthesand‐basedS‐
Printmachineatabasepriceof$500,000.Envisionteclaunchedanew
versionofitsPerfactorymachine.Meanwhile,MCPToolingTechnologies
(nowMTTTechnologiesGroup)introducedtheSLMReaLizer100
selectivelaser‐meltingmachine.
VoxeljetTechnologyGmbHofGermanyintroduceditsVX800machineand
showedpartsfromitatEuroMold2005.Thelargepowder‐basedsystem
uses3DPtechnologyoriginallydevelopedatMITandcommercializedby
ZCorp.Thecompanysolditsfirstmachinein2005.
InDecember2005,AeroMet,adivisionofMTSSystemsCorp.,ceased
operations.MTSsaidinanannouncementthatmakingtitaniumpartsfor
theaerospaceindustrywasnotaprofitablebusinessmodel.
TheSwedishcompanySpeedPart(nowSintermaskGmbHofGermany)
begantoshipitssysteminearly2006.Themachineusesinfraredlampsto
projectlightthroughamasktosinteranentirelayerofpowder.Thecycle
timeforeachlayerisreportedlylessthan10seconds,regardlessofthe
areasintered.
InJanuary2006,StratasyssignedanagreementwithArcamtobethe
exclusivedistributorinNorthAmericaforelectronbeammelting(EBM)
systems.Meanwhile,StratasysloweredthepriceofitsDimensionBSTand
SSTmachinesfrom$24,900and$29,900to$18,900and$24,900,
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respectively.Inresponsetotheselowerprices,ZCorp.loweredtheprice
ofitsZPrinter310Plusfrom$25,900to$19,900.
AlsoinJanuary,ObjetGeometriesintroduceditsEden350/350Vplatform,
whichreplaceditspopularEden330/333system.Atthesametime,the
companyintroduceditsEden2503Dprinterfor$60,000.Soligenshut
downitsoperationthesamemonthaftermorethan12yearsinbusiness.
InFebruary2006,3DSystemsannounceditsInVisionDP(dental
professional)systemthatincludesanInVision3Dprinterand3Dscanner
forthedentalmarket.StratasysaddedtheVantageXsystemsstartingat
$99,000andreducedthepriceofitsVantageimachineto$85,000.
3DSystemsreducedthepriceofitsInVisionLD(plasticlamination)
productfrom$22,900to$14,900inMarch2006.AlsoinMarch,the
companyfiledapatentinfringementlawsuitagainstEnvisiontecandSibco.
InQ22006,EOSintroducedstainlesssteelandcobalt–chromematerials.
InApril2006,StratasysintroducedtheDimension1200BSTandSST
systemspricedat$21,900and$29,900,respectively.Thefollowingmonth,
DesktopFactory(Pasadena,California)announcedthatitwasdeveloping
a3Dprinterpricedinthe$5,000to$7,000range.Thedeviceusesan
inexpensivehalogenlightsourceanddrum‐printingtechnologytobuild
partsadditivelyfromplasticpowder.
InMay2006,DSMSomosshoweditsNanoTool,ananoparticle‐filled
photopolymerforSLwithhigh‐heat‐resistantcapabilities.DSMalso
introducedProtoCastAF19120,acompletelyantimony‐free,low‐ash‐
contentSLresintargetedatinvestmentcasting.DSMSomosalsounveiled
itsnewhigh‐accuracy,ABS‐likeSLmaterials,ProtoGenO‐XT18120andO‐
XT18420.
AlsoinMay2006,SonyManufacturingSystemsendedits
stereolithographysalesinNorthAmerica.Underalicensingagreement
with3DSystems,SonybegantoestablishanSLsalesorganizationin
CaliforniainQ32002.Inaspanofmorethanthreeyears,thecompany
soldfoursystems.
Thesamemonth,3DSystemsreleaseditsAccura60photopolymer,which
issaidtomimicpolycarbonate.Thefollowingmonth,thecompany
announcedtwoauthorizedserviceproviders:IntegraServicesforitslaser‐
sinteringequipmentandTotalCSTeamforSLequipment.
TheGermancompanyTrumpfdiscontinueditsTrumaFormLFmachinein
Q22006.Themachineconstructspartsinapowderbedbyselectively
meltingpowderwithaTrumpfdisklaser.
InAugust2006,EOSlauncheditscobalt–chromepowdermaterialforthe
EOSINTM270systems.Thesamemonth,ZCorp.introduceditsZScanner
700handheld3Dscannerfor$39,900.InOctober2006,EOSannounced
thecommercialavailabilityof17‐4stainlesssteelforusewithitsEOSINT
M270equipment.
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InNovember2006,3DSystemsopeneditsnewheadquartersinRockHill,
SouthCarolina,andStratasysopenedanewofficeinShanghai,China.
AtEuroMold2006,severalnewproductswereintroduced.EOSunveiled
theFormigaP100laser‐sinteringsystem,anewmachinethatwas
designedfromthegroundup.Itcurrentlysellsfor€150,000to€170,000.
EOSalsointroducedtwonewhigher‐throughputmachines,theEOSINTP
390andEOSINTP730.VoxeljetTechnologyshoweditsVX800machine,
whichusesPMMAthermoplasticpowder.Envisiontecintroduceditssmall
PerfactoryDesktopSystem.MTT(thenMCPToolingTechnologies)
introduceditsnewSLMReaLizer100selectivelaser‐meltingmachine.
NextFactory(nowDWS)introducedafasterstereolithographymachine,
aswellasamuchlargersystem.
AspectInc.ofJapanshippeditsfirstSEMplicelaser‐sinteringmachinesto
customersinQ42006,aproductitintroducedmorethanayearearlier.
SpeedPartofSweden(nowSintermaskofGermany)solditsfirstsystems
in2006.InQ42006,MeikoofJapanstoppedmanufacturingandsellingSL
systems.Neartheendof2006,TrumpfendeditsagreementwithPOMto
sellthelargeDMD505machineinEurope.Attheendoftheyear,Stratasys
stoppedthedistributionoftheEdenPolyJetproductsforObjet
Geometries.Meanwhile,
ObjetopenedasalesandsupportofficeinBillerica(nearBoston),
Massachusetts.InDecember2006,StratasysinstalledthefirstArcamEBM
machineintheU.S.
InJanuary2007,3DSystemsannouncedtheV‐Flash3Dprinter.Ituses
filmtransferandflash‐imagingtechnology.Themachinewasexpectedto
sellandshiparoundmid‐2007atapriceof$9,900.Thesamemonth,
StratasyslaunchedthenewDimensionElite3Dprinterfor$32,900.
Solidscapereleasedtwomarket‐specificmodelsofitsT66machine,the
D66fordentalapplicationsinFebruaryandtheR66forthejewelry
applicationsinMarch.Botharecurrentlyabout$36,000.Aroundthesame
time,DesktopFactoryreceived“pre‐sales”formostofthe200unitsthatit
hadplannedtodeliverin2007.The125ci3Dprinterwasexpectedtobein
fullproductioninJulyorAugust2007.
InMarch2007,ZCorp.introducedtheZPrinter450,thefirstcolor3D
printertobreakthe$40,000pricepoint.Themostinterestingfeatureof
thesystemisitsautomatedremovalandrecyclingofloosepowder.The
ZPrinter450isthefirstproductfromZCorp.tobetrulyofficefriendly.
AlsoinMarch,SonyManufacturingSystemsstoppedmanufacturingthe
SolidCreationSystemforD‐MECofJapan.Thiscameafter18yearsof
manufacturingthefamilyofstereolithographysystems.
Atthe20073DSUGUsersConference,DSMSomosintroducedtheDMX‐SL
100high‐impact‐resistancematerialforrigorousprototypingand
manufacturingapplications.ItalsointroducedWaterClearUltrawithABS‐
likeproperties,resistancetowater,andimprovedclarity.Huntsman
releasedaresin,initiallynamed71640,forHeCd‐basedSLsystemsthat
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offeredlowviscosityandgoodimpactresistance.3DSystemsannounced
theAccura55resinthatmimicsABS.
Alsoatthe3DSUGevent,AdvancedLaserMaterialsreleasedanewfire‐
retardantpolyamideforlaser‐sinteringsystems.Itpassedthe60‐second
verticalburntestandoffersNylon11‐likeproperties.Thecompanyalso
showedahighlyrecyclablepolyamidecompositematerialforLS.
SLAMaterialsintroducedthreeSLresins:aclearmaterialcalledHi‐Rezz
ICE,Hi‐RezzMEDformedicalapplications,andHi‐RezzX‐factorthatoffers
highstrengthandhigh‐temperaturecapabilities.
InApril2007,ArcamintroduceditslargerbuildvolumeA2electronbeam
melting(EBM)machine.EOSintroduceditsFormigaP100laser‐sintering
systemtotheAmericanmarketthefollowingmonth.Stratasysannounced
itsFDM200mcmachineandtheABSplusmaterial.ZCorp.announcedthe
zp140compositewater‐curingmaterialthatrequiresnosecondary
infiltrationorcoatingandthezp131,awhitermaterialforfinerfeatures.
ConceptLaserintroducedtheM2cusingsystemforprocessingreactive
materials(i.e.,aluminumandtitaniumalloys).
InJuly2007,3DSystemsintroducedtheAccuraExtremeSLresinwith
improveddurabilityandelongation.CRPTechnologyreleaseditsmore
flexible,impact‐resistantWindformFXmaterialforlasersintering.The
samemonth,StratasysintroducedtheFDM400mcandM30ABSmaterial.
Thefollowingmonth,Stratasysopenedanewglobalheadquartersfacility
inEdenPrairie,Minnesota.
InSeptember2007,DesktopFactoryacceptedadvancereservationsforits
$5,0003Dprinter.Thesystemwasoriginallyexpectedtobecomeavailable
in2007,butshipmentwasdelayed.AlsoinSeptember,3DSystems
introducedtheDuraFormHSTfiber‐filledpolyamideforlasersintering,as
wellastheAccura48HTRhigh‐temperatureSLmaterial.Meanwhile,Objet
Geometriesintroducedarubber‐likematerialcalledTangoPlus.
InOctober2007,VoxeljetintroduceditsVX500system,asmallerversion
oftheVX800,for€270,000.DSMSomosintroduceditsWaterClearUltra
materialinNovember2007.Thesamemonth,Envisiontecissuedapress
announcementstatingthatthe3DSystemsV‐FlashinfringesonitsGerman
patents.AccufusiondelivereditsfirstcommercialsysteminNovemberto
ExeterAdvancedTechnologies(UK),anorganizationthatisapartofa
consortiumledbyAirbus.
December2007wasamonthfullofintroductions.Stratasysannounced
theavailabilityofitslarge‐frameFDM900mc,whichincludes32partsthat
weremanufacturedwithFDMtechnology.3DSystemsannouncedanew
nanocompositeSLresincalledAccuraGreystone.EOSintroducedan
impact‐resistantLSmaterialcalledPrimePartDCandahigh‐elongation,
flexiblematerialcalledPrimePartST.
AtEuroMold2007inDecember,Envisiontecintroducedthe
PerfactoryXede,amachinethatisdramaticallylargerthanitsprevious
Perfactorysystems.Thecompany’sVanquishsystembecamethe
PerfactoryXtremewithanew“skin.”ThecompanyalsointroducedSI500,
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amaterialthatissaidtohaveABS‐likeproperties.Thesamemonth,
AdvancedLaserMaterialsannouncedthecommercialavailabilityofits
flame‐retardantFR‐106laser‐sinteringmaterial.
AlsoatEuroMold2007,ObjetGeometriesdebuteditsmulti‐material
Connex5003D‐printingsystem.Themachineiscapableofprintingtwo
buildmaterialssimultaneously.ItisbasedonObjet’sPolyJetMatrix
technology.Thecompanycoinedtheterm“digitalmaterial”todescribethe
resultofproducingacompositesubstanceusingPolyJetMatrixtechnology.
AtEuroMold,SintermaskshoweditsPollux32selectivemask‐sintering
system,whichsintersentirelayersatonce.
InDecember2007,McorTechnologiesofIrelandinformallyintroducedits
newMatrixsystemthatusesabladeandadhesivetolaminateA4sheetsof
paper.Thesystemwasexpectedtosellfor€18,900.AlsoinDecember,
formerMicrosoftvicepresidentEdFriesannouncedFigurePrints
(Redmond,Washington).Thecompanyproducescharactersfromthe
wildlysuccessfulWorldofWarcraftvideogameusingcolorAMfromZ
Corp.
InJanuary2008,TangibleExpressfiledalawsuitagainst3DSystemsand
shutdownitsoperationsinSpringville,Utah.Thefollowingmonth,3D
SystemssettledthesuitbypurchasingalloftheequipmentfromTangible
for$5.3million.StratasysandArcamterminatedthedistribution
agreementthatallowedStratasystodistributetheEBMproductsinNorth
America.Subsequently,Arcamsetupitsowndirectsaleschannelinthe
U.S.
Thesamemonth,StratasysintroducedtheFDM360mctoreplacethe
Vantagemachines.3DSystemsreleasedthenextversionofitsMulti‐Jet
Modelingmachine,theProJetHD3000.
InFebruary,3DSystemsandMTT(thenMCPToolingTechnologies)
announcedaprivatelabelagreementinwhich3DSystemswould
distributetheselectivelaser‐meltingsystemsintheU.S.Stratasys
announceditsDimension1200es3DprinterwithABSplusmaterial.Also,
thecompanyannounceditsRedEyearchitecturalmodelingdivision—
RedEyeARC.
StratasysunveiledabiocompatibleFDMmaterial,ABS‐M30i,inMarch
2008.Thesamemonth,3DSystemsannouncedacollaborativematerials
agreementwithTrialCorp.ofJapantodevelopnewLSmaterials.DSM
Desotech(a.k.a.DSMSomos)filedalawsuitagainst3DSystemsalleging
anticompetitiveconductandpatentinfringement.JohnKawola,alongtime
ZCorp.employee,replacedTomClayasCEOofZCorp.MCPTooling
TechnologieschangeditsnametoMTT.
InApril2008,3DSystemsbegantoshipitsV‐Flashdesktopmodeler,but
thensoonstoppedshipment.Salesandshipmentswerestillonholdasof
April2009.Thesamemonth,SolidscapeintroduceditsT76precisionwax‐
printingsystem.
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InQ22008,Netherlands‐basedShapeways,acompanythatisapartofthe
PhilipsElectronics’incubatorprogram,rolledoutitsservicetotheworld.
Thecompanygivesconsumersarelativelyeasywaytoconvert3Ddesigns
intopartsorproducts.Shapewaysoffersarangeof“creator”toolsthat
simplifiestheprocessofdesigningcustomproductsforconsumers.
InMay2008,EOSofGermanyintroduceditshigh‐elongationpolyamide
PrimePartDCforplasticlasersinteringandStainlessPH1foritsdirect
metallaser‐sinteringplatforms.Optomec(Albuquerque,NewMexico)
releaseditsnewLENSMR‐7machinewithafiberlaser,dual‐powder
feeder,andintegratedthermalimagerforprocessmonitoring.Optomec
alsoenteredintoanagreementwithManzManufacturingofGermanyfor
usingtheM3DAeroselJetdepositionsystemforprintingphotovoltaic
cells.
ArcamofSwedenreleasedtheTitaniumGrade2materialforitselectron
beammeltingsystemsthesamemonth.3DSystemsannouncedan
agreementwith3Mtocombineitsdental‐scanningsystemsasoptions
with3DSystems’3D‐printingsystems.InJuly2008,3DSystems,Boeing
(USA),EOS,EvonikofGermany,andMTTcreatedaDirectManufacturing
ResearchCenterwiththeUniversityofPaderborn(Germany).Objet
GeometriesannouncedtheDurusWhiteFullCure430polypropylene‐like
material.3DSystemsintroducedtheiPro9000SLACenter
stereolithographysystemasareplacementtoitsViperProinAugust2008.
ThecompanyalsointroduceditsProJetSD30003Dprinter.
InSeptember2008,Nuvotronics(Blacksburg,Virginia)announcedthe
commercialavailabilityofitsPolyStratamicrofabricationtechnologyfor
verysmallelectronicandsensingdevices.MilwaukeeSchoolof
EngineeringlicenseditsTetraLatticeTechnology,developedin
conjunctionwithMaterialiseofBelgium,toDSMSomos.
At3DSystems’WorldConferenceinOctober2008,thecompanyshowed
thelarge‐frameiPro9000XLSLACenterandtheiPro8000MPSLACenter,
whichhasa50mm(2inch)buildheightandtargetsthehearingaid,
dental,andmedicalindustries.Anewultra‐clearSLmaterial,Accura
ClearVue,wasalsoshown.TheProJetCP300RealWax3Dprinteranda
large‐formatProJet5000werereleased.ThesPro140and230SLSCenters
wereshownandhavereplacedtheSinterstationProseries.Thecompany
alsoannouncedtheavailabilityofitspolypropylenelaser‐sintering
material,DuraFormPP100,developedjointlywithTRIALCorporationof
Japan.
AttheOctoberTCT2008eventinCoventry,England,MTTreleaseda
largerselectivelaser‐meltingmachine,theSLM250‐300.Themachine
offersa250x250x300mm(9.8x9.8x11.8inch)buildvolumewith
automatedpowderhandlingandrecycling.Alsoattheevent,Mcor
TechnologiesofIrelandofficiallylauncheditsMatrix3Dprinter.Ituses
standardA4sheetsofpaper,awater‐basedadhesiveforbondingthe
sheets,andamechanicalbladeforcuttingthecrosssections.Itispricedat
about€25,000.
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AlsoatTCT2008,HuntsmanAdvancedMaterialsofSwitzerland
announcedthedevelopmentofanentirelynewadditive‐manufacturing
processbasedonMLSMicroLightSwitchtechnology.Ituses40,000
microshuttersandarasterapproachtodirectUVlightontothesurfaceof
photopolymer.OctoberwasthemonththatZCorp.chosetoreleasethe
high‐resolution,24‐bitcolorZPrinter650for$60,000.Objetintroduced
the$40,000Alaris30PolyJetmachinethatproduces28‐micron(0.0011‐
inch)layersusingtheVeroWhiteFullCure830material.
FigurePrintsproduced1,700customproductsusingAMforplayersof
WorldofWarcraftinOctober2008.Thiscameonly10monthsafterthe
companylaunchedthemanufacturingservice.InNovember,another
consumer‐orientedservice,JuJups.combyGenometriofSingapore,began
makingcustomChristmasornaments.ThecustomersubmitsaJPGimage
ofaface,whichisthenusedtoproduceanangelincolorusinga3Dprinter
fromZ.Corp.Thesamemonth,ObjetreleaseditsEden260Vmachine
capableofrunningarangeofmaterials,includingtheVero,Tango,and
DurusWhite.
AtEuroMold2008inDecember,HuntsmanAdvancedMaterialsintroduced
theAralditeDigitalis,amachinebasedonMLSMicroLightSwitch
technology.Thechemistrygiantbelievesthatitisfasterandmoreaccurate
thanstereolithography.Huntsmanalsoannouncedanewmaterial,SL
7820.Itiswhiteinitsuncuredform,butturnsblackuponexposuretoUV,
resultinginblackSLpartswithoutsecondarypainting.
AlsoatEuroMold,EOSunveiledanewlarge‐frame,high‐temperature,
laser‐sinteringplatform,theEOSINTP800.Itiscapableofprocessing
polymersuptoatemperatureofabout385°C(725°F).ThisexpandsAMto
anewrangeofthermoplastics,suchasPEEK,whichEOSalsointroducedat
EuroMold.StratasysannouncedthatitwouldofferULTEM9085forits
FDM900mcand400mcmachines.Thematerialiswidelyusedinaircraft
interiorsforitsflameredundancyandlowsmokeemissions.Concept
LaserofGermanyreleasedanupdatedM1cusingsystem.Thenew
machinehasamorepowerfullaseranda250x250x250mm(9.8x9.8x
9.8inch)buildvolume.
AlsoinDecember2008,Stratasysintroducedavapor‐honingproduct
calledFortusFinishingStationsforfinishingFDMpartsmadeinABS.
ElectronicArtsofRedwoodCity,CaliforniaandZCorp.announcedthe
availabilityofSporeSculptor,aserviceforprintingmodelsofSpore
creatures.Neartheendof2008,3DSystemssolditsGrandJunction,
Coloradofacility.
InJanuary2009,70individualsfromaroundtheworldmetattheASTM
InternationalheadquartersnearPhiladelphia,Pennsylvaniatoestablish
ASTMCommitteeF42onAdditiveManufacturingTechnologies.The
committeewascreatedtoproducestandardsontesting,processes,
materials,design(includingfileformats),andterminology.Thesame
month,theDimension3DPrintingGroupofStratasysintroducedthe
uPrintPersonalPrinterfor$14,900.ThemachineusestheABSplus
materialandsolublesupports.
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AlsoinJanuary,Shapeways(Eindhoven,Netherlands)introduced
ShapewaysShops.Itallowsartists,designers,oranyonetosetup
“storefronts”andupload3Dmodelstoselltothepublic.Theproductsare
manufacturedonanAMsystemandshippeddirectlytotheconsumerby
Shapeways.Productsincludesculptures,jewelry,figurines,andawide
rangeofotherconsumer‐orientedproducts.Pricesstartatafewdollars.
InFebruary2009,JérémiePierreGayfoundedCreateItReal(Aalborg,
Denmark).Hewasplanningtooffera3DprintercalledthePlatonin2010.
AlsoinFebruary,EOSandVictrexoftheUKannouncedanewPEEK
material,PEEKHP3,foruseinthehigh‐temperatureEOSINTP800
machine.StratasysannouncedapricereductiononitsEliteandBST
1200esDimensionmachinesinMarch2009.3DSystemsformedan
alliancewithDreveGmbHofGermanytodevelopandmarketdental
applicationsolutions.
FigurePrintsannouncedtheavailabilityofitscustomadditive‐
manufacturingserviceinEuropeinMarch2009.Thesamemonth,
ReaLizerGmbHofGermanyintroducedtheSLM50,thefirstselective
laser‐meltingmachinethatfitsonabenchtop.Thesystemmeasures800x
700x500mm(31.5x27.6x19.7inches)andprocessesstainlesssteel,
toolsteel,cobalt–chrome,andgold.
InApril2009,EOSboughtacontrollinginterestinAdvancedLaser
Materials,adeveloperandmanufactureroflaser‐sinteringmaterials.EOS
andTrumpfofGermanywithdrewtheirU.S.lawsuitagainstMTT
TechnologiesafterMTTagreedtolicensecertainlaser‐sinteringpatents
ownedbyEOSandTrumpf.
AlsoinApril,BitsfromBytesofEnglandreleasedtheRapMan3Dprinter
kit(£750)basedontheRepRapopen‐sourcesystemlaunchedatBath
UniversityofEngland.ItusesanextrusionheadsimilartoFDM,includes
softwareforslicingSTLfiles,andsendsthedatatothemachineinG‐code
format.Thesamemonth,StratasysreleaseditsnewSR‐30support
materialforitsABSM‐30material.Thematerialdissolvesabout50%
fasterthanitspredecessor.
InApril2009,MakerBotIndustriesintroduceditsCupcakeCNCproduct
basedontheRepRapopen‐sourcesysteminApril2009.Kitsareavailable
for$750.ProMetalRCT,adivisionofExOne,wasnamedtheNorth
AmericandistributorfortheVoxeljet3D‐printingprocess.
InMay2009,EOSsolditsfirstEOSINTP800laser‐sinteringmachinefor
processingPEEKandotherhigh‐temperaturematerials.Envisiontec
introduceditsULTRAbench‐topDLP‐basedsystemfor$35,000.
SolidscapeunveileditsPreXactolineof3Ddentalprintersanditsnew
DentaCastmaterial.3DSystemscommencedshipmentofits$9,900V‐
Flash3DprinterthatwasannouncedinJanuary2007.
InJune2009,ZCorp.releaseditsnewwater‐curablezp150composite
buildmaterial.3DSystemsreleasedDuraFormFR100,ahalogen‐free,
flame‐retardantmaterialforlasersinteringthatmeetsaerospacesmoke
andtoxicityrequirements.AlsoinJune,ObjetGeometriesannouncedits
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Connex350systemforabout$200,000.LiketheConnex500,itusesthe
PolyJetMatrixtechnologytoprintmultipledigitalmaterialswithdifferent
properties.
AlsoinJune,FujifilmDimatixunveileditsnewDimatixMaterialsPrinter
DMP‐3000,whichoffersaprintareaof300x300mm(11.8x11.8inches).
Ituseshigh‐definitionprintheadsthatuserscanfillwiththeirownfluids.
TheprinterissimilartoOptomec’sAerosolJetnon‐contact,maskless
systemfordirect‐writeelectronics.TheDimatixsystemistargetedatthe
printedelectronicsmarketforresearchanddevelopment.
InAugust2009,3DSystemsacquiredtheassetsofDesktopFactoryfrom
Idealab(Pasadena,California).DesktopFactorycreatedanindustrybuzz
whenitannounceda$5,000machineinMay2006.Thesystemusesan
inexpensivehalogenlightanddrum‐printingtechnologytobuildpartsin
plasticpowder,butthecompanywasunabletocommercializeit.Stratasys
announcedthecompatibilityofitslarge‐frameFortus900mcmachine
withULTEM9085,PC‐ABS,PC‐ISO,andABS‐M30iinAugust.
ObjetannouncedanewmaterialpackinOctober2009foritsConnexline
ofPolyJetMatrixprintersthatgaveusers18additionalmaterialswith
ShoreAhardnessfrom27to95.TangoBlackPlusFullCure,amaterialwith
rubber‐likeproperties,wasalsoreleased.Thesamemonth,Materialise
andothervolunteercompaniesturnedovertheRP4Baghdad
humanitarianprojecttoDoctorsWithoutBorders.Theeffortprovided
medicalassistancetociviliansinIraq.
Thesamemonth,ASTMInternationalCommitteeF42onAdditive
ManufacturingTechnologiespublishedstandardterminologyforthe
industry—thefirststandardproducedbythegroup.3DSystems
purchasedAcu‐CastTechnologies(Lawrenceburg,Tennessee)and
launchedit3DpropartsservicebureauinOctober2009.Asthefirstof
severalserviceprovideracquisitions,3DSystemsmarkedtheentrance
intothepaidpartsbusiness,effectivelycompetingagainstitsown
customers.
ZCorp.announceditsautomatedmonochromeZPrinter350machinewith
automatedmaterialloadingandintegratedmaterialrecyclinginOctober
2009.DSMSomosannouncedthatitsWaterShedXC11122andProtoGen
18420materialshavebeenISO10993certifiedforinvitrocytotoxicityand
sensitivity.InNovember2009,3DSystemsacquiredAdvaTech
Manufacturing(Goodland,Indiana).
AtEuroMold2009inDecember,EOSannouncedtwonewplasticlaser‐
sinteringmachines:theEOSINTP395andEOSINTP760.Thelarge‐frame
P760machinecanmonitorlaserpowerduringthebuild.EOSreleased
NickelAlloyIN718(anInconelalloy)andAl‐Si10‐Mg(analuminumalloy)
foritsMseriesmetals‐basedmachines.3DSystemsannouncedtheProJet
5000,withabuildvolumeof550x393x300mm(21.7x15.5x11.8
inches).ItusestheVisiJetMXphotopolymermaterialwithawaxsupport
material.
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AlsoatEuroMold,Solidorelauncheditsplasticlaminationsystemand
createdalotofattentionintheprocess.TheSD300Prosystemispriced
from$2,950to$9,950intheU.S.,alongwiththe$2,950purchasepricefor
requiredsupplies,bringingthetotalto$14,950.CarimaofSouthKorea
introducedafamilyofthreeDLP‐basedvisiblelightphotopolymer3D
printers.Theyarepricedfrom$57,000to$59,000andbuildpartsupside
down,similartothePerfactorysystemfromEnvisiontec.Voxeljetreleased
itsnewlarge‐framemachine,theVX800HP,withincreasedthroughputand
higherresolution.3DSystemsexpandedits3dpropartsservicetoEurope.
Neartheendof2009,StevenAdlerofA3DMformedanindependent
Solidscapeusersgroupforjewelrydesignersandmanufacturerswhouse
theSolidscapeequipment.Anonlineforumwasestablishedat
solidscapeusergroup.com.Meanwhile,adesign‐your‐owntoywebsite,
MAQET(maqet.com),waslaunchedbyartistKeithCottingham.
InJanuary2010,StratasysandHPsignedanagreementforStratasysto
manufactureanexclusivelineofHP‐branded3Dprinters.AlsoinJanuary,
StratasysannouncedthenewuPrintPlus,whichoffersaslightlylarger
buildvolumecomparedtouPrint.AlsoincludedareSMARTSupports,
whichreducetheuseofsupportmaterialbyupto40%.Thesamemonth,
OptomecreleaseditsAerosolJetDisplayLabSystemfortouchscreensand
displayapplicationsusingdirect‐writetechnology.
InFebruary2010,3DSystemsacquiredMoellerDesign(Seattle,
Washington)toexpand3Dproparts.OptomecwasawardedaNavy
contracttocontinuedevelopingtheLENSprocessforaircraftengine
repair.MaterialisereleaseditsMagicsMetalSGsupportgeneration
softwareformetaladditivemanufacturing.CRPTechnology(Italy)
introducedanewlaser‐sinteringmaterial,WindFormLX2.0.EWIhosted
thestartupmeetingforanewAdditiveManufacturingConsortium.
InMarch2010,StratasysextendeditsSMARTsupportscapabilitytoits
entirelineofDimensionandFortusmachines,allowingforbuildtime
reductionsofupto14%andreductioninsupportmaterialby40%.
NetfabbreleasednetfabbEngineforRapManBasic.RapManisa3Dprinter
fromBitsfromBytes,basedontheRepRapopen‐sourcedevelopment.In
April2010,3DSystemsacquiredDesignPrototypingTechnologies(East
Syracuse,NewYork).Thesamemonth,Materialisecelebratedits20th
anniversarywithitsWorldConference2010inLeuven,Belgium.
Additionaldevelopmentsin2010includedtheintroductionofcometruejet
fromMicrojetTechnologyofTaiwan.Thecompanyofferstwocolorinkjet
3DprintersusingtechnologythatisverysimilartothatfromZCorp.Irepa
LaserformedEasyCLADSystemstomarketitslasermetaldeposition
equipmentusingapowderfedthroughanozzlesimilartoLENS.The
equipmentcanbeusedforlasercladdingorpartconstructionandhasthe
capabilityofmulti‐axisandmulti‐materialdeposition.
By2011,severalindustrieswereadoptingAMastheirmainmethodof
manufacture.Manufacturersofin‐the‐earhearingaidswerefirsttoadopt
AMtechnologyindustrywidefortheproductionofcustom‐fitshells.The
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dentalindustrybeganexperiencingthesamepervasivegrowthintheuse
ofAMsystems.Thedentalmarket,however,ismanytimeslargerthanthat
ofhearingaids.
Thedirectmetalsprocessingtechnologiesgarneredsignificantinterest
andgrowth.Itisbelievedthatthepossibilityofnoveldesigns,combined
withmechanicalpropertiesequivalenttowroughtalloyswithwhich
designersarefamiliar,mayspeedtheadoptionofmetal‐basedAMata
muchfasterratethanpolymer‐basedAM.Biomedicalandaerospace
applicationshaveledthewayinthisarea.
WhenakeyFDMpatentexpired,inexpensiveequipmentintheformofkits
andfullyassembledmachinesbasedontheRepRapopen‐sourceproject
becameavailable.Sincetheirintroduction,theselow‐cost“personal”
systemshaveexperiencedverystronggrowth.Whencritical
stereolithographyandlasersinteringtechnologypatentsexpire,expect
individualsandorganizationstotakeadvantageofsimilaropportunities
withtheseprocesses.
TheASTMInternationalCommitteeF42onAdditiveManufacturing
Technologiesprogressedimpressively.Theterminologystandardwasthe
firsttobecompleted,in2009.TheF42mainballottitledSpecificationfor
DataExchangeFormatforAdditiveManufacturingstandardwasballoted
andapprovedinMay2011asthefirstnon‐terminologystandard.InJuly
2010,theASTMF42designsubcommitteereleaseditssurveyonAM
designrules.ThisworkisseenascriticaltocontinuedadoptionofAMfor
end‐useproductionparts.
InApril2010,Renishawplc(UK)openedadentalmanufacturingfacility
basedoncobalt–chromiumDMLSforcopingsandframeworks.Shapeways
(TheNetherlands),anonlineproviderofconsumer‐orientedproducts,
begantoofferAMpartsmadefromglass.AlsoinApril,Stratasysbeganto
delivershipmentsoftheHP‐brandedFDMmachines.
InMay2010,ZCorp.(Burlington,Massachusetts)announceda
distributionagreementwithEnvisiontecforitsUltraDLP‐basedmachine.
ItwasmarketedastheZBuilderUltra.3DSystemsannouncedtwonewSL
resinsforitslaser‐basedsystems:AccuraPEAK,apolycarbonate‐like
material,andAccuraCeraMAX,astiff,ceramic‐filledmaterial.AlsoinMay,
DSMSomosreleasedNeXt,anABS‐likephotopolymerthatisdurableand
waterresistant.
InJuly2010,DeltaMicroFactoryCorp.(Beijing,China)introducedits
extrusion‐basedportablepersonalUP!3Dprinter.Themachinewas
offeredforlessthan$3,000.ItisasinglespoolsystemwithaWindows‐
basedinterfaceandautomaticsupportgeneration.Thepartqualityis
amongthebestofthesystemsinthisclass.
3DSystemsacquiredtwoFrenchserviceproviders,CEPandProtometal,in
July2010.Thesepurchasescontinuedthebuyingspreeof3DSystemsand
theexpansionof3DpropartsinEurope.3Shape(Denmark),adeveloperof
automatedsoftwaretoolsfororthodonticsandhearinginstruments,and
ObjetteamedtoofferadentalsolutionforusersofObjet’sPolyJet
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technology.ZCorp.releasedtwolow‐costprinters,themonochrome
ZPrinter150atjustunder$15,000,andthecolorZPrinter250atjust
under$25,000.Thiscontinuedtheindustrytrendtowardlowercost3D
printers.
Solidscape(Merrimack,NewHampshire)signedadistributionagreement
withHainanGikingTechnologyCompanyinChinaforitswaxdrop‐on‐
demandprintersfordentalapplicationsinAugust2010.Thatsamemonth,
HarvestTechnologies(Belton,Texas)openedalargerfacility,anindication
ofthestrengthofusingAMforpartproduction—anichethatHarvesthas
developed.BitsfromBytes(UK)announcednewsoftware,calledAxon,to
driveitskit‐basedRapManandBFB‐3000machine.EOSandGF
AgieCharmillespartneredtocreateacompletetool‐makingprocessbased
ondirectmetallasersinteringforcreatingtoolswithconformalcooling
andwire/ramEDMforfinalfinishingofthetool.AlsoinAugust2010,
Quickpartsannouncedtheavailabilityofanewonlinequotingsystem,
QuickCutCNC,fortraditionallymachinedparts.
InSeptember2010,Objet(Rehovot,Isreal)reducedthepriceofits
Alaris30printerto$24,900.AlsoinSeptember,INUS(SouthKorea)started
aservicenamedInvisHandstocreatetrueCADdatafrom3Dscanpoint
clouds.AlocallyinstalledapplicationuploadsthescandatatoINUSwhere
companystaffcreatestheCADmodel.ThefinishedCADmodelcanbe
viewedusingthelocalapplication,andiftheuserissatisfied,themodel
canbepurchasedanddownloaded.3DSystemsacquiredserviceprovider
ExpressPattern(VernonHills,Illinois).ExpressPatterniswellknownfor
creatinginvestment‐castingpatternswithSL.Shapewaysreceived$5
millioninventurecapitalfunding.
3DSystemsboughtBitsfromBytes(UK)inOctober2010.BitsfromBytes
offerslow‐cost,extrusion‐basedsystemsinkitandassembledforms.This
gave3DSystemsafootholdinthehobbyistandeducationalmarkets.3D
SystemsacquiredtheserviceproviderProvelofItalythesamemonth.
Rhodia(France)announcedtwonewLSmaterials,PA11andPA6.
InNovember2010,SpanishresearchcenterIQSannouncedtwonew
Hydroxyapatite(HA)formulationsforusein3Dprinters.HAisacalcifiable
materialoftenusedinbiomedicalanddentalapplications.3Dprintingis
usedforthecreationoftheshape,whilesecondarysinteringisrequiredto
formthefinalpart.
EuroMoldinDecember2010broughtmanynewproductannouncements.
EOSintroducedtheEOSINTM280system.Themachine’sdual‐mode
systemcanruninnitrogenorargonenvironments,enablingcustomersto
usematerialssuchasstainlesssteelandcobalt–chrome,aswellas
titaniumalloys.NickelAlloyIN625wasannouncedforusewiththenew
EOSequipment.Twonewpolymermaterialswerealsoreleased:theflame
retardantPrimePartFRandtheflexiblePrimepartST.
AlsoatEuroMold,ObjetreleaseditsObjet243Dprinteratalistpriceof
$19,900.3DSystemsannouncedtheHD3000plusandtheCPX3000plus
systems,whichofferanincreasedbuildsizeinthexdirection,aswellas
thinnerlayers.AnewProJetofferingcalledtheProJet6000,whichlooks
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History of Additive Manufacturing
likearepackagedViperstereolithographysystemwithvariousbuild
depths,wasalsoannouncedAlsoinDecember,Shapewaysmovedits
headquarterstoNewYork,NewYork.
MeetingswereheldinMay2010andatEuroMold2010thatinvolvedthe
CEOsofcompaniesintheAMindustry.InJanuary2011,theCEOsdecided
tofundaninitiativethatwouldattempttobrandadditivemanufacturing
toabroaderaudience.Thesamemonth,itwasannouncedthatSolidohad
laidoffitsworkforceof30employeesandenteredreceivership.Thiscame
afterFortissimoCapitalsaiditwouldprovideSolidowith$8.5millionin
financing.Solidosoldalow‐costmachinethatproducedpartsinPVCby
sheetlamination.TheassetsandactivitiesofSolidowereabsorbedbya
newcompanynamedSolidModelLtd.
AlsoinJanuary2011,MTTTechnologiessplitintotwocompanies:MTT
TechnologiesLtd.(UK)andSLMSolutionsGmbH(Lübeck,Germany).Both
companiesareprovidingselectivelasermeltingequipment.3DSystems
purchasedNationalRPSupport(Pella,Iowa),aproviderofSLequipment
maintenanceandhardwareupgrades.Meanwhile,BotMill(BocaRaton,
Florida)releasedtheAxis2.1kitfor$1,065andapreassembled,
extrusion‐basedmachineGlider3.0for$1,395.Botharesingleextruder
headmachinesbasedontheRepRapopen‐sourcework.
InFebruary2011,CRPTechnology(Italy)introduceditsnextgenerationof
carbon‐fiber‐filledmaterial,WindformXT2.0,withincreasedstrengthand
greaterelongation.Materialiseannouncedanewmaterialwithhigh
stiffnessandgoodimpactstrength,TuskSolidGrey3000.Thematerialwas
developedbyDSMSomosforMaterialise’slargeMammothSLmachines.
AlsoinFebruary,3DSystemsacquiredQuickparts(Atlanta,Georgia),ane‐
commerceserviceproviderthathadrevenuesof$25millionin2010.
InMarch2011,3DSystemsacquiredtheserviceproviderAccelerated
Technologies(Austin,Texas)andannouncedanewVisiJete‐stone
materialfordental‐specificapplications.Ajudgmentinfavorof3D
SystemsagainstEnvisiontecforpatentinfringementwasenteredinMarch,
aswell.
InApril2011,the3DSUG,ausersgrouppreviouslyonlyavailableto
ownersof3DSystemsequipment,openeditsannualconferencetoObjet
andEOSusers.The3DSUGmembershipvotedtorenamethegroup
AdditiveManufacturingUsersGroup(AMUG)andallowownersandusers
ofothertechnologiestoalsobecomepartofthegroup.AdvancedLaser
Materials(ALM),astrategicpartnerofEOS,tooka51%stakeinIntegra
Services.Integraprovideshardwaremaintenance,upgrades,and
developmentofpolymerLSsystems.ObjetannouncednewDigital
MaterialsinApril,includingVeroClear,aclear,ABS‐likematerial,and
VeroWhitePlus,amultipurposematerial.
AlsoinApril2011,Renishawplc,knownprimarilyforitsmeasurement
equipment,acquiredMTTTechnologiesLtd.Materialisepurchased
MarcamEngineering(Germany),asoftwaredeveloperforAMthatis
specifictometals.3DSystemsannouncedatwo‐for‐onestocksplitthe
samemonth.3DSystemsacquiredSycodeSoftwareSolutions(India),a
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History of Additive Manufacturing
smallcompanythatdevelopsplug‐insforCADsystems,andPrint3D
(India),whichhasanAMquotingplug‐inforCADsoftware.
InMay,StratasysacquiredSolidscape,acompanythatoffershigh‐
resolution3Dprintersforcreatingwaxpatternsforinvestmentcasting,
particularlyforthejewelryanddentalmarkets.3DSystemsacquired
The3dStudo.com,aproviderof3Dmodels,textures,plug‐ins,galleryart,
andstockphotosandimages.Thesamemonth,3DSystemsacquired
FreedomofCreation(FOC),anAmsterdam‐basedcompanythatprovides
printablecollectionsand3Dcontent.FOC’sprojectshavereceivedagreat
dealofattentionoverthecompany’s10+yearsinoperation.InMay,3D
SystemsenteredintoadistributionagreementwithVoxeljetTechnology
GmbHforNorthAmerica.
AlsoinMay,ObjetreleasedanABS‐likedigitalmaterialandaclear,
transparentmaterial,VeroClear.AttheannualRAPIDconferencein
Minneapolis,Minnesota,WilfriedVancraenwasrecognizedwiththe
IndustryAchievementAwardforhisextensivecontributionstoAMas
founderandCEOofMaterialise(Belgium).3DSystemstransferredfrom
theNASDAQtotheNewYorkStockExchangeunderthetickersymbol
DDD,followinga2‐for‐1stocksplitearlierthatmonth.3DSystemsalso
releasedanewmaterialcalledAccuraCastProforinvestmentcasting
patterns.
Optomec(Albuquerque,NewMexico)releasedanewwide‐areaAerosol
Jetprintheadforuseinprinting3DandconformalelectronicsinJune
2011.WhileknownmainlyintheAMindustryforitsLENSequipment,
Optomec’sAerosolJetprintinggrewoutoftheDARPAMesoscopic
IntegratedConformalElectronics(MICE)program.Itisusedinthe
printingof3Delectronics,solarcells,anddisplays.
InJuly2011,ObjetreleasedtheObjet260Connex,asmallerbuildvolume
multi‐materialprinterusingitsdigitalmaterialstechnology.Solidscape
(Merrimack,NewHampshire)announcedanewmaterial,plusCAST,which
providesamoredurablepatternforlostwax‐castingapplications.Delcam
(UnitedKingdom)acquiredaportionofAMsoftwaresolutionsprovider
FabbifySoftware(Germany).ItisexpectedthatFabbifySoftwarewill
assistinintegratingmoreAMapplicationsintotheDelcamdesignand
manufacturingsoftware.
InJuly2011,StratasysannouncedanewcrossoverAMmachine,theFortus
250mc,whichrunstheABSplusmaterialwithasolublesupportmaterial.A
newstaticdissipativematerial,ABS‐ESD7,wasreleasedforuseonthe
Fortus400mcand900mcplatforms.AlsoinJuly2011,3DSystems
purchasedtheparametricCADsoftwarecompanyAlibre,Inc.(Richardson,
Texas).3DSystemshadpreviouslypartneredwithAlibretoofferaCAD
and3Dprinterbundle.TheASTMInternationalCommitteeF42on
AdditiveManufacturingTechnologiesreleasedthespecificationforits
AdditiveManufacturingFile(AMF)format.Thenewformatsupports
textures,functionallygradedmaterialinformation,color,curvedtriangles,
andotherelementsnotsupportedbytheSTLfileformat.
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InAugust2011,KelyniamGlobal(NewBritain,Connecticut)announced
thatitwasshippingcustom‐madepolyetheretherketone(PEEK)skull
implants.Stereolithographymodelsoftheskull,madefromCTorMRI
medicalscandata,areprovidedtothesurgeontoallowforpre‐surgery
planningwhilethePEEKimplantsarebeingmachined.Itisestimatedthat
thiswillreduceoperatingroomtimebyupto85%.AlsoinAugust,Objet
announcedthatRedingtonIndiawouldbeitsmasterdistributorforIndia.
BuildatronSystems(NewYork,NewYork)announcedtheavailabilityof
itsRepRap‐basedBuildatron13DprinterinSeptember2011.Thesingle‐
materialmachineisofferedasakitfor$1,200andasanassembledsystem
for$2,000.Objetintroducedanewbiocompatiblematerial,MED610,
whichcanbeusedwithallofitsPolyJetsystems.Therigidmaterialis
targetedatthemedicalanddentalmarkets.Inthesamemonth,3D
SystemsacquiredtheAustralianserviceproviderFormeroPty,Ltd.,a
companywithoperationsinChina.3DSystemsreleasedtheProJet1500,a
machinebasedonfilmtransferimaging,aswellastheBitsfromBytes
3DTouchproduct.
IrishsheetlaminationsystemmanufacturerMcorTechnologiesunveileda
newyearly,flat‐feeoptioninanattempttoexpanditsinstalledbase.
Solidoodle(Brooklyn,NewYork)introduceditsRepRap‐basedSolidoodle
3Dprinterfor$699.ThefounderofSolidoodleisthepreviousCOOof
MakerBot,SamCervantes.
InOctober,ASTMInternationalandtheInternationalOrganizationfor
Standardization(ISO)announcedacooperativeagreementbetweenASTM
InternationalCommitteeF42andISOTechnicalCommittee261on
AdditiveManufacturing.Theagreementwillreduceaduplicationofeffort.
ASTMF42releasedastandardterminologyforcoordinatesystemsand
testmethodologies.AlsoinOctober,3DSystemspurchasedDutchservice
providerKemoModelmakerijB.VandreleasedtheUSPclassVImaterial
VisiJetClearforuseintheProJet6000.Fabrisonic,LLCintroducedanew
lineofultrasonicadditivemanufacturingequipmentthesamemonth.
FabrisonicisajointventurebetweenSolidica(AnnArbor,Michigan)and
EWI(Columbus,Ohio).
EOS(Germany)announcedthatithadsurpassed1,000installedlaser‐
sinteringmachinesinNovember2011.EarlyinNovember,3DSystems
announcedthepurchasethephotopolymerbusinessandDigitalisAM
machineassetsofHuntsmanCorp.(TheWoodlands,Texas).Laterinthe
month,3DSystemsannouncedthatitwouldacquire3Dprinter
manufacturerZCorp.(Burlington,Massachusetts),apurchasethatwas
financedthrough$152millioninseniorconvertiblenotes.
ArcamannounceditsexpansionintoAsiawithasupportoperationin
China.Objetreleaseditsfirsthigh‐temperaturematerial,RGD525,foruse
initsConnex500andEden500Vsystems.
InNovember2011,StratasysextendeditsWaterWorkssolublesupport
materialtoworkwithitspolycarbonatebuildmaterial.Tinkercad
(Finland)raised$1millioninseedfundingtocontinuedevelopmentofits
web‐baseddesignsoftwareandprintingservice.The3Dcontentandon‐
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History of Additive Manufacturing
demandservicescompanyShapeways(NewYork,NewYork)announced
itsplanstoopenamanufacturingfacilityjustoutsideofNewYork.
Kraftwurx(Houston,Texas)unveileditsonlinedigitalmanufacturingand
socialnetworkthatallowsuserstobuyandsellonlinedigitalcontentand
havepartsprintedandshippeddirectlytoconsumers.
AtEuroMold,SLMSolutionspresenteditsSLM280HL,whichhasabuild
heightof350mm(13.8inches).ArkemalauncheditsNylon11‐based
RilsanInventNaturalmaterialforlasersintering.Asiga(AnaheimHills,
California)releaseditsFreeformPico,asmallUVLEDmachinefor$6,990.
Itfeatureslayersasthinas1micron(40micro‐inches)andapixelsizeof
33microns(0.0013inch).CRPTechnology(Italy)announcedWindform
GF2.0,aglassbead‐andaluminum‐filledpolyamide.3DSystemsunveileda
smallerfilmtransferimaging3Dprinter,theProJet1000,for$10,900.Also
atEuroMold,Matsuura(Japan)displayedahybridmachinetargetedat
toolingapplications.TheLUMEXAvance‐25combinesmetallasersintering
andCNCmachining.
InJanuary2012,MakerBot(Brooklyn,NewYork)releasedtheMakerBot
Replicator,withalargerbuildvolumethanitspredecessor,for$1,749.A
secondextruderheadoptionisavailabletorunmultiplecolorsofABSor
PLA.3DSystemsannouncedasub‐$1,300,single‐material,consumer‐
oriented3DprintercalledtheCube.Themachinehaswireless
connectivity,and3Dmodelsthatcanbedownloadedfrom3DSystems’
digitaldesignlibrary.TheDepartmentofDefenseplaceda$1millionorder
withStratasysforitsuPrint3DprinterstosupportDoD’sSTARBASE
program.Itaimstoexposeat‐riskyouthtoscience,technology,
engineering,andmathandtheroleofAMinadvancedmanufacturing
technology.
EasyClad(France)introducedtheMAGICLF600large‐frameAMmachine
inFebruary2012.Withalargebuildvolumeanduptotwoindependent5‐
axiscontrolleddepositionheads,themachinecanbeusedfortooling,
repair,andfunctionallygradientmaterialdeposition.3DSystems
announcedPrint3D,aplug‐inforCADprogramssuchasSolidworksand
Pro/Engineer.Itgivesdynamicpartcostingforpartsandassemblies
through3DSystems’ProPartsserviceorganization.Thecompanyalso
releasedZoom,afast‐curephotopolymerfortheProJet1500filmtransfer
imagingprinters.
InMarch2012,BumpyPhoto(Portland,Oregon)launchedcolor3D‐
printedphotoreliefs.Startingwithadigitalphotograph,a3Dheightfield
isgeneratedwithoperatorinputandthenprintedin24‐bitcolorona
ZPrinter.Pricesstartat$79fora3Dphotoand$89fora3Dcutout.The
foundersofMakerBotappliedforthreeseparatepatentsdescribinga
conveyor/transportsystemforthecontinuousoperationofa3Dprinter.
Inthesamemonth,StratasysandOptomecdisplayedaparthighlighting
thecombinationofanFDM‐printedwingstructurewithconformal
electroniccircuitsprintedusingOptomec’sAerosolJettechnology.
InApril2012,StratasysandObjetannouncedtheirintentiontomerge.The
combinedcompanywillbecalledStratasysLtd.,andwillhavedual
headquartersinEdenPrairie,MinnesotaandRehovot,Israel.Theall‐stock
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History of Additive Manufacturing
transactionisexpectedtoresultinacompanyvaluedat$1.4billion.David
Reis,currentCEOofObjet,willbetheCEOofthemergedcompany,while
ScottCrump,currentCEOofStratasys,willserveaschairman.
AlsoinApril2012,3DSystemspurchasedtheserviceproviderParamount
Industries(Langhorne,Pennsylvania)andtheonlinedigitalcontent
providerMyRobotNation.EOSfiledaU.S.patentinfringementsuitagainst
PhenixSystems(France)topreventthemarketinganddistributionofthe
PhenixequipmentintheU.S.Aseriousindustrialaccidenttookplaceatan
Evonik(Germany)plantthatmakesacriticalcomponentforpolyamide12
laser‐sinteringpowders.Themanufacturingdisruptioncouldresultin
supplychainissuesthroughtheendof2012.
Justfivemonthsafterintroducingitsfirst3Dprinterfor$699,Solidoodle
announceditssecond‐generationmachinefor$499inApril.TheAdditive
ManufacturingUser’sGroup(formerly3DSUser’sGroup)heldits
conferenceinCostaMesa,California.Withtheopeningofthegroupto
usersofallAMtechnologies,attendancemorethandoubledover2011.
StratasysintroduceditsnewMojo3DprinterinMay2012.Thesystem,
engineeredfromthegroundup,combinestheextrusionheadandmaterial
intoasingleconsumableprintengine.Thenewdesignhaseliminatedthe
needtoreplacetipsandheads,whichcanbeexpensive.TheMojoPrint
Packispricedat$9,900andincludestheMojoprinterwithbuildtrays,the
WaveWash55supportremovalsystem,andtwoPrintEngines(onebuild
andonesupport).
May 2012 through
October 2012
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InMay2012,Objet(Israel)releasedtheObjet30Pro,asub‐$20,000
machinecapableofrunningsevendifferentObjetmaterials,includingthe
transparentVeroClear.Solidscape(Merrimack,NewHampshire)
announcedthatitsoldits1,000thT76Pluswax‐based3Dprinter.Atthe
RAPID2012event,DeltaMicroFactoryCorp.(China)releaseditsnew
UP!Mini,whichfeaturesaheatedenclosure.3DSystemsacquired
FreshFiber(Netherlands),anonlineconsumergoodswebsite,and
BespokeInnovations(SanFrancisco,California),whichdesignscustom
fairingsforprostheticlimbs.3DSystemsalsoreleasedtheProJet7000
stereolithographymachine.TheDesktopFactoryCompetitionwasalso
announcedinMay.Entrantscompetedfora$40,000prizeawardedby
theKauffmanFoundationtocreateaninexpensive,open‐sourceABSand
PLAfilamentextruder.
InJune2012,EOS(Germany)andCooksonPreciousMetals(UK)createda
partnershiptodeveloppreciousmetalalloysforcreatingjewelryinEOSM
seriesmachines.MCorTechnologies(Ireland)releaseditsIrisfull‐color,
paper–based,sheetlaminationsystem.Shapeways(NewYork,NewYork)
announcedthatithadreceivedanadditional$6.1millioninventure
capitalfunding.
InJuly2012,Solidscapeintroducedthe3Zlineofhigh‐precisionwax3D
printers.Italsoreleasedastrongerbuildmaterial,3ZModel,anda
dissolvablesupportmaterial,3ZSupport.3DMTP(IsraelandBethesda,
Maryland)announcedacloud‐basedserviceforautomatically
manipulatingarchitecturalmodelsfor3Dprinting.3DSystemsacquired
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November 2012
to May 2013
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History of Additive Manufacturing
ViztuTechnlogies(Cambridge,Massachusetts)anditsHypr3Dsoftware
thatcreates3Dmodelsfromphotos.
StratasysandHPagreedtodiscontinuetheirmanufacturingand
distributionagreementinAugust2012.HPhadsoldStratasysequipment
undertheHPnameinEurope.AlsoinAugust,theU.S.government
announcedthewinningteamfortheNationalAdditiveManufacturing
InnovationInstitute(NAMII).Thepublic–privatepartnershipwasfunded
with$30millionoffederalfundingandanadditional$39Mprovidedas
costshare,mostlyfromindustryandthestatesofOhio,Pennsylvania,and
WestVirginia.
InSeptember2012,ExOne(Irwin,Pennsylvania)introducedthemid‐
rangebuildvolumeFlexPlatform,whichisuptotentimesfasterthanits
predecessor.MakerBotIndustries(Brooklyn,NewYork)announcedits
Replicator2and2Xplatforms.Forthesenewmachines,MakerBotchoseto
moveawayfromopen‐sourcecapabilitytoproprietarycontrol.Mcor
introducedthelowcost,non‐colorMatrix300+machine.Alsoin
September,SigmaLabs,Inc(SantaFe,NewMexico)releasedits
PrintRite3Dhardwareandsoftwaretoolsforqualifyingprocessesand
certifyingaerospacepartsproducedinmetalAMprocesses.Envisiontec
(Germany)announcedtwonewABS‐likematerials,ABflexandABStuff.
CRPTechnology(Italy)releasedacarbon‐filledpolyamide,WindformSP,
whichoffersbetterelongationthantheWindformXTcarbonfiber‐filled
material.
Formlabs(Cambridge,Massachusetts)introduceditssub‐$3,000laser‐
basedvatphotopolymerizationsystem,theForm1,onKickstarterin
September2012.Itraisednearly$3millioninfundingandmachine
purchasecommitments.Soonafter,3DSystemsfiledapatentinfringement
lawsuitagainstFormlabsandKickstarter.Formlabsbeganshipmentsin
May2013.
InOctober2012,3DSystemspurchasedInus(SouthKorea),themakerof
RapidFormscandatamanipulationandfeaturerecognitionsoftware.It
alsoannouncedthereleaseofitsVisiJetJewelmaterial,alowashcontent
castingpatternmaterialforuseintheProJet6000and7000machines.
Shapewaysdetailedthe“FactoryoftheFuture”plannedforitsNewYork,
NewYorkmanufacturingfacility.Thefactoryisexpectedtohouseupto50
AMmachinesandwillbeabletoprintfivemillionproductsayear.
StratasysaddedblackULTEM9085toitsmateriallineup.
Solidoodle(Brooklyn,NewYork)releasedtheSolidoodle3Dprinter,
sellingfor$499,inNovember2012.Materialise(Belgium)released
Magics17,thelatestversionofitssoftwarethatiswidelyusedintheAM
industry.3DSystemsreleaseditsVisiJetPearlStonematerialforthe
ProJet3500seriesaimedatdentalapplications.Staplesannouncedit
wouldoffercolor3DprintsusingMcorIrismachinesatsomestoresand
onlineinpartsofEurope.GEAviationpurchasedMorrisTechnologies
anditssistercompanyRapidQualityManufacturing.Theacquisitionwas
significantbecausethetwocompanieshadmorethan20metal‐based
machines.
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History of Additive Manufacturing
AtEuroMold,Objetlauncheditslarge,wide‐formatObjet1000system.The
systemiscapableofPolyJetmulti‐materialprintingfoundintheConnex
lineofequipment.Voxeljet(Germany)showeditsnovel,continuousprint
VXC800machine.Ratherthanprintingontoahorizontalsurface,the
VXC800printsonanangledbuildplanethattranslatesonahorizontal
conveyoruntilitexitsthemachine.Thiscouldconceivablyallowfor
unlimitedpartlengthandcontinuousoperation.EOSreleaseditsFormiga
P110laser‐sinteringmachineandannouncedtwonewlaser‐sintering
materials:PrimePartPlus,withsuperiorrecyclability,andpolyamide11‐
basedPA1101.3DSystemsreleasedtwonewhigh‐resolution,largebuild
areaProJetmachines,theProJet3500HDMaxandProJet3500CPXMax.It
alsointroducedanewABS‐likematerialfortheProJet3500series,
VisiJetX.
InDecember2012,OrgonovoHoldings(SanDiego,California)and
Autodesk(SanRafael,California)announcedacollaborationtocreatethe
first3Dbioprintingsoftware.Thefirsttestfor3D‐printedtissueswillbe
onOrgonovo’sNovoGenMMXbioprinter.StratasysandObjetcompleteda
much‐anticipated,long‐delayedmerger.Itisoneofthelargestmergersin
thehistoryofadditivemanufacturing.Ultimaker(Netherlands)announced
theavailabilityofitsfullyassembledUltimaker3Dprinter.Previously,it
wasonlyavailableinkitform.
TheUnitedStatesPatentandTrademarkOfficehostedanAdditive
ManufacturingPartnershipmeetinginJanuary2013.3DSystems
purchasedGeomagic(Morrisville,NorthCarolina),ascandata
manipulation,inspection,andmodelingsoftwarecompany,andtheFrench
onlinecontentcompanyCoweb.3DSystemsalsoreleasedtheCubeXmulti‐
head3Dprinter.Optomec(Albuquerque,NewMexico)releasedanew,
high‐resolutionmeltpoolthermalimagingcapabilityforitsLENS
equipment.DM3DTechnology(AuburnHills,Michigan)purchasedPOM
Group,whichhaddevelopedthedirectmetaldepositionprocessand
equipment.
InearlyFebruary2013,theinitialpublicofferingofExOneopenedwith
thesale5.3millionsharesat$18pershare,raisingover$95million.The
companyistradedonNASDAQasXONE.3DSystemsannouncedathree
fortwostocksplit.OxfordPerformanceMaterials(SouthWindsor,
Connecticut)receivedFDA510(k)approvalforitsOsteoFabpatient‐
specificcranialimplants.Envisiontecreleasedthe3Dentprinter,targeting
thedentallabmarket.Fabulonia(Estonia)unveiledanewonlinecapability
forartistsanddesignersthatissaidtoofferintellectualproperty
protectiontothedesigners.Fabuloniaplansfortheportaltobeprinter
independentandallowforseverallevelsofcopyrightprotection.
Arcam(Sweden)releaseditsArcamQ10machine,whichspecifically
targetsthemedicalimplantmarket,inMarch2013.ItreplacestheArcam
A1.MakerBotandAutodeskenteredintoanagreementtojointlymarket
theReplicator2withAutodesk123Dsoftware.Materialiseannouncedthe
HeartPrintservice,whichcanprintpatient‐specificcardiovascularmodels
foruseinpre‐surgeryplanningandmedicaldevicetesting.
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Other developments
History of Additive Manufacturing
InApril2013,VoxeljetacquiredGlobalTCT,AUKserviceprovider.The
AdditiveManufacturingUser’sGrouphelditsannualmeetingin
Jacksonville,Floridawithover370attendees.3DSystemsintroducedits
ProJetx60familyofmachinesbasedontheZPrintercolormachines
originallydevelopedbyZCorp.Shapewaysreceived$30millionin
investmenttoincreaseitscapabilitiesinprintingequipmentand
manpower.RapidManufactorybecamethefirstserviceprovidertoopenin
Lebanon,offering3Dscanning,modeling,andlasersintering.
Anestimated3,000peopleattendedthefirstInside3DPrintingconference
andexpositioninAprilattheJavitsConventionCenterinNewYork,New
York.AdditionalInside3DPrintingeventswereannouncedforChicago,
Illinois;SanJose,California;Singapore;andMunich,Germany.
3DSystemsacquiredtheserviceproviderRapidProductDevelopment
GroupinMay2013.AlsoinMay,Staplesbegansellingthe3DSystemsCube
machineonlineandinselectstoresintheU.S.
Severaltechnologiesandcompanieshaveemergedandvanishedover
theyears,includingLightSculpting(U.S.),SparxAB(Sweden),Laser3D
(France),BMT(Germany),Röders(Germany),SchroffDevelopment
(U.S.),DesktopFactory(U.S.),andChubunippon(Japan).Allofthemhave
developedAMsystems,buthavehadlittleornocommercialimpact.
FewmachinesfromAsiaareavailableforsaleintheU.S..Oneofthefew
exceptionsisthelow‐costUP!3DprinterfromDeltaMicroFactoryCorp.of
Beijing,China.ThestereolithographymachinesfromSonysoldintheU.S.
fromQ42002toQ22006.KiraCorporationsolditspaperlamination
machinesintheU.S.forashortperiodbeginninginJanuary2001.
Early research and
development
by Terry Wohlers
Thefirstattempttocreatesolidobjectsusingphotopolymersusingalaser
tookplaceinthelate1960satBattelleMemorialInstitute.Theexperiment
involvedintersectingtwolaserbeamsofdifferingwavelengthinthe
middleofavatofresin,attemptingtopolymerize(solidify)thematerialat
thepointofintersection.Thephotopolymerresinusedintheprocesswas
inventedinthe1950sbyDuPont.
In1967,WynK.SwainsonofDenmarkappliedforapatenttitledMethod
ofProducinga3DFigurebyHolographyonasimilarduallaserbeam
approach.Subsequently,SwainsonlaunchedFormigraphicEngineCo.
(Bolinas,California)inhopestofurtherdevelopandeventually
commercializehistechnology.Reportedly,workwasstillunderwayin
1994,althoughitneverledtoacommerciallyavailablesystem.
Intheearly1970s,FormigraphicEngineCo.usedthedual‐laserapproach
inthefirstcommerciallaser‐prototypingproject,aprocessitcalled
photochemicalmachining.In1974,Formigraphicdemonstratedthe
generationofa3Dobjectusingarudimentarysystem.Later,Formigraphic
becameOmtecReplication,apparentlyatatimewhenanalliancewas
formedwithBattelle(Columbus,Ohio).Dr.RobertSchwerzel,thenwith
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Development of
stereolithography
Work in the U.S.
and France
COPYRIGHT © 2014
History of Additive Manufacturing
Battelle,ledthedevelopmentofsimilartechniqueswiththehelpofDARPA
funding.Co‐developerDr.VincentMcGinnisswasoneoftheteam
membersemployedbyBattelle.
Inthelate1970s,DynellElectronicsCorp.wasassignedaseriesofpatents
onsolidphotography.Theinventioninvolvedthecuttingofcrosssections
bycomputercontrol,usingeitheramillingmachineorlaser,andstacking
theminregistertoforma3Dobject.DynellmergedwithUnited
TechnologiesCorp.inlate1977.Asaresult,anindependentcompany
calledSolidPhotographywasformedandanaffiliatedretailoutletnamed
SculpturebySolidPhotographywasopened.Inmid‐1981,Sculptureby
SolidPhotographychangeditsnametoRoboticVision.SolidPhotography
andanothercompany,SolidCopier,operatedassubsidiariesofRobotic
Visionatleastuntilmid‐1989.
HideoKodamaoftheNagoyaMunicipalIndustrialResearchInstitute
(Nagoya,Japan)wasamongthefirsttoinventthesingle‐beamlaser
curingapproach,accordingtoseveralsources.InMay1980,heapplied
forapatentinJapan,whichlaterexpiredwithoutproceedingtothe
examinationstage,arequirementoftheJapanesepatentapplication
process.Kodamaclaimedtohavedifficultyinsecuringfundsfor
additionalresearchanddevelopment.
InOctober1980,KodamapublishedapapertitledThree‐DimensionalData
DisplaybyAutomaticPreparationofaThree‐DimensionalModelthat
outlinedhisworkindetail.HisexperimentsconsistedofprojectingUV
raysusingaToshibamercurylampandaphotosensitiveresincalled
TevistarmanufacturedbyTeijin.Themethodinvolvedblackandwhite
filmusedtomaskandcontroltheregionofexposure,correspondingto
eachcrosssection.Thepaperalsodiscussestheuseofanx‐yplotterdevice
andopticalfibertodeliveraspotofUVlight.CMETusedaversionofthis
techniqueinitsSOUP530,600,and850machines.
KodamapublishedasecondpaperinNovember1981,titledAutomatic
MethodforFabricatingaThree‐DimensionalPlasticModelwithPhoto
Hardening.
InReviewofScientificInstruments,Kodamadescribesthreebasic
techniquesheusedtocreateplasticpartsbysolidifyingthin,consecutive
layersofphotopolymer.Inthepaper,Kodamaclaims,“Ifthesolidified
layerisimmersedintotheliquidwiththetopatadepthequaltothe
thicknessofthelayertobesolidified,itstopsurfaceiscoveredwith
unsolidifiedliquidpolymer,”essentiallydescribingakeyelementofthe
stereolithographyprocess.Kodama’sexperimentswiththethree
techniqueswereperhapsthefirstevidenceofworkingadditive
manufacturing(AM)techniquesintheworld.
InAugust1982,AlanHerbertof3MGraphicTechnologiesSector
LaboratorypublishedapapertitledSolidObjectGenerationinthe
JournalofAppliedPhotographicEngineering.Inthispaper,Herbert
describedasystemthatdirectsanArgonIonlaserbeamontothesurface
ofphotopolymerbymeansofamirrorsystemattachedtoanx‐ypen
plotterdevice.Withthesystem,Herbertwasabletocreateseveralsmall,
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Formation of
3D Systems
History of Additive Manufacturing
basicshapes.Theprimarypurposeofthework,however,wastodevelop
anunderstandingoftherequirementsofarealsystem,accordingto
Herbert.
In1989–1990timeframe,WohlersAssociatesreceivedahandwrittennote
fromAlanHerbert,attachedtoacopyofhis1982paper,sayingthat,
unfortunately,hiscompanyelectednottocommercializehiswork.Hewas
apparentlyverydisappointedwith3M’sdecision.Hisinterestinthe
developmentofAMtechniquescontinued,asindicatedbyhisAugust1989
papertitled“AReviewof3DSolidObjectGeneration”publishedinthe
JournalofImagingTechnology.
InJuly1984,Jean‐ClaudeAndre,nowwiththeFrenchNationalCenterfor
ScientificResearch(CNRS)inNancy,France,andcolleaguesworkingfor
theFrenchCilasAlcatelIndustrialLaserCompany,filedapatenttitled
ApparatusforFabricatingaModelofanIndustrialPart,involvingasingle‐
beamlaserapproach.TheFrenchpatentwasgrantedinJanuary1986.
Laser3D,alsoofNancy,France,triedtocommercializethetechnique
outlinedinthepatentonaservicebasiswithnoplanstosellsystems.
Inthelate1980s,Andreexploredthedual‐beamapproach.Hefoundthat
manyproblemsexistedwithit,yetateamatCNRScontinuedtoresearch
thetechnique.AndreledthedevelopmentofstereolithographyatCNRSfor
Laser3D.
InAugust1984,CharlesHull,co‐founderandchieftechnicalofficerof3D
Systems(atthattime,inValencia,California),appliedforaU.S.patent
titledApparatusforProductionofThree‐DimensionalObjectsby
Stereolithography,whichwasgrantedinMarch1986.Atthetimeofthe
patentapplication,HullwasworkingforUVP,Inc.(SanGabriel,
California)asvicepresidentofengineering.InMarch1986,Hulland
RaymondFreedco‐founded3DSystemsInc.AccordingtoAlanHerbert,
publishedillustrationsshowimpressivedetailedpartsproducedby
Hull’searlysystem,muchmoresothanthoseshownbyKodamaor
himself.
Hull’s1986patentdescribesaprocessofphoto‐hardeningaseriesofcross
sectionsusingacomputer‐controlledbeamoflight.Alsoin1986,Yehoram
Uziel,thenofOperatech(Israel)hadinventedabasicmachineresembling
stereolithography.UzielhadreadaboutHull’swork,sohetraveledtothe
U.S.tovisithimandRayFreed.InJanuary1989,hejoined3DSystemsas
vicepresidentofengineering.Inlate1987,3Dshippeditsfirstbetaunits
tocustomersitesintheU.S.,followedbyproductionsystemsinApril1988.
Thesewerethefirstcommercialadditive‐manufacturingsystem
installationsintheworld.
Uzielleft3DSystemsin1991toformSoligen,Inc.(Northridge,California).
AroundthetimeUzielfoundedSoligen,helicensedMIT’sinkjetprinting
techniqueforexclusiveuseinthemetal‐castingindustry.Soligenused
MIT’stechnologyinitsDirectShellProductionCasting,aprocessthat
createdceramicinvestmentcastingshells(molds)byadheringtogether
thinlayersofceramicpowdermaterialusingdropletsofliquidbinder.
Soligenwentoutofbusinessin2006.
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Osaka Prefectural
Industrial Research
Institute
COPYRIGHT © 2014
History of Additive Manufacturing
In1986,Hullwasnottheonlyonewithpatentactivityonhismind.The
sameyear,TakashiMoriharaofFujitsuLtd.patentedtwoelementsof
stereolithography.Oneoftheminvolvedpassingabladeoverthesurface
ofanewlayerofresintospeedthelevelingofthelayer.Thistechniqueis
especiallyimportantwhentheresinisviscous.Formanyyears,3D
SystemsusedthislevelingtechniqueinitsSLAfamilyofstereolithography
products.AnotherapproachdevelopedbyMoriharainvolvedthe
dispensingoftheresinfromaslotmovingabovethesurfaceoftheresin.
Fromearly1990toearly1992,QuadraxLaserTechnologies(Portsmouth,
RhodeIsland)usedthisresindepositiontechniqueinitsfastresin
applicator,afeaturecontainedinitsMark1000stereolithography
machine.
QuadraxdevelopedandsoldtheMark1000systemuntilFebruary1992,
whenitstechnologywasacquiredby3DSystemsafterpatentlitigation
thatbeganinSeptember1990.Underthetermsofthesettlement,Quadrax
transferreditslasermodelingpatent(grantedinDecember1991)and
relatedtechnologyto3Dinexchangefor130,000sharesof3Dcommon
stock.Atthetime,thestockwasworthabout$325,000.Aspartofthe
agreement,QuadraxwasrequiredtodiscontinuemarketingitsAMsystem.
FormeremployeesofLaserFareLtd.(Smithfield,RhodeIsland)developed
someofQuadrax’soriginaltechnologyandlaterbecameemployeesof
Quadrax.LaserFaresoldthetechnologyrightstoQuadraxin1990.
In1984,YojiMarutanioftheOsakaPrefecturalIndustrialResearch
Institute(OPIRI),alsoreferredtoastheOsakaInstituteofIndustrial
Technology,developedanddemonstratedastereolithographyprocess.
It’snotclearwhetherhisworkwasconnectedwithKodama’searlywork,
althoughthere’saverygoodchancethatMarutaniatleaststudied
Kodama’sMay1980patentapplicationandhisOctober1980and
November1981technicalpapers.It’salsopossiblethatMarutani
obtainedacopyofHerbert’s1982paper,butit’sdoubtfulthatMarutani
knewaboutHull’sandAndre’sworkin1984.
Marutani’spatentdocument,titledOpticalMoldingMethod,datedMay23,
1984,describeshisinventionindetail.Thedocumentdescribesmanykey
elementsofstereolithography,includingtheuseofphotocurableliquid
material,focusingraysoflightontothesurfaceoftheliquidresinand
presentingafreshlayerofmaterialontopofthehardenedlayer.
Marutanicontinuedhisresearchanddevelopmentofstereolithography,at
leastuntilmid‐1987.InapaperdatedAugust7,1987,TakashiNakaiand
YojiMarutaniexplainedthattheyhaddevelopedanewtypeofsystemfor
constructing3DmodelsusingaUVlaserandliquidpolymer.Ratherthan
discussingthedevelopmentofanewtypeofsystem,however,thepaper
discussesrefinementstoalreadyknownprocesses—refinementsthat
increasespeedanddimensionalaccuracy.Atthetimeofpublication,both
NakaiandMarutaniwereworkingintheDepartmentofElectronicsatthe
OPIRI.Kodama’s1981paperandHerbert’s1982paperwereincludedas
references.ItisbelievedthatMarutaniisstillinvolvedwithAMtoday.
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Commercialization of
OPIRI technology
Sony and Mitsui
enter the picture
History of Additive Manufacturing
OPIRI,operatedbytheMinistryofInternationalTradeandIndustry
(MITI),licenseditsstereolithographytechnologytoagroupofJapanese
companies,includingMitsubishiHeavyIndustries,NTTData
Communications,AsahiDenkaKogyo,ToyoDenkiSeizo,andYAC.
TogethertheyformedComputerModelingandEngineeringTechnology
(CMET)todevelop,manufacture,andsellAMsystems.Theexact
licensingdateisnotknown,althoughMitsubishiannouncedinJuly1988
thatitwouldsellastereolithographymachinedevelopedjointlywith
OPIRI.Ithasbeendocumentedthatthesefivecompaniessupportedthe
developmentandcommercializationofthetechnologyin1989,leading
totheintroductionoftheSOUPsystemin1990.AdatedSOUPproduct
brochure,publishedbyCMET,statesthatthe“producthadbeen
developedontheinventionofOsakaPrefecturalIndustrialResearch
Institute.”
Mitsubishi,witha54%stake,wasresponsibleforplanningand
development;NTTDataCommunications,with20%,wasresponsiblefor
softwaredevelopment;AsahiDenkaKogyo,20%,photosensitiveresins;
ToyoDenkiSeizo,3%,developmentofthex‐yplottermechanismand
otherhardware;YAC,3%,precisionmachinemanufacturingtechnology.
MitsubishiHeavyIndustriesreportedlyspent3billionyenonfurther
developingtheOPIRItechnology.At40–50millionyenperunit,Mitsubishi
reportedlysoldnineSOUPsystemsfromearly1989toearly1990.
In1989,Design‐ModelandEngineeringCenter(D‐MEC)waslaunchedas
ajointventurebetweenSonyandJapanSyntheticRubber(JSR).In
April/May1989,D‐MECintroduceditsSolidCreationSystem(SCS)for
53millionyen.Thesystemwascapableofbuildingurethaneacrylate
resinpartsupto1000x1000x750mminsizefromlayersatthinas50
microns(0.002inch).Accordingtoonereliablesource,thesystemwas
developedbehindcloseddoorsanddetailsaboutitsoriginshavebeen
keptquiet.Clearly,SonyhadknowledgeofOPIRIandCMET’stechnology,
aswellasthetechnologydevelopedby3DSystems.
3DSystemsbegantoestablishapresenceinJapaninearly1988whenthe
companyformedajointventurewithJapanSteelWorks,Ltd.(JSW),a
Mitsuicompany.3DexecutivessignedtheagreementwithJSWinMarch
1988.Thenewcompany,JSW‐3DCo.,Ltd.(Tokyo),servedasasales,
marketing,andserviceorganizationfor3DSystemsinJapan.SLA
machinesweremadeavailabletotheJapanesebythethirdorfourth
quarterof1988.Neartheendof1989,3Dterminatedtheagreementand
formedawhollyownedsubsidiary,3DSystemsJapan.
MitsuiEngineeringandShipbuildingCompanyannounceditsCOLAMM
systeminMarch1991andintroduceditinJuly1991whenitoffereda
seriesofintroductoryseminars.Mitsui’sapproachtostereolithographyis
differentthanthesystemsfrom3DSystems,CMET,andSony/D‐MEC.
Ratherthanbuildinguplayersfromthetop,alaserbeamispresented
throughatransparentplateatthebottomofthebuildchamber.Eachnew
layerofresinrestsbetweenthepreviouslycuredlayer(whichisabovethe
resin)andthetransparentplate(whichisbelowtheresin).Witheachnew
layer,thepartmovesupwardintoairspace,ratherthanbeingsubmerged
inresin.
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History of Additive Manufacturing
MitsuisoldoneunittoanautomobilemodelingcompanyinKyotoin
December1991,buthasnotreportedanysalessincethen.Thecompany
hadhopedforsalesof20–30unitsinfiscalyear1992.Theoriginal
COLAMMsystem,equippedwithanengineeringworkstation,soldfor41
millionyen.ThecompanyworkedwithSanyoChemicalIndustriesto
developanimprovedresinwithreducedshrinkproperties.
InJanuary1989,MitsuiandNipponSteelannouncedtheirplanstoform
ajointventurecalledPlamediaResearchCorp.Thecompanywoulddesign
anddevelopmetalmoldsforproducingpartsmadefromplastics.It’snot
clearwhetherthisventurewasrelatedtothedevelopmentofMitsui’sAM
system.
TheJune92issueofJetroexplainsMitsui’sAMapproach,verbatim,asa
recentinventionbyprofessorsN.NakajimaandT.TakagioftheFacultyof
Engineering,UniversityofTokyo.Accordingtothearticle,theprocesscan
buildmechanicalpartswith8‐micron(0.00032‐inch)featuresatan
accuracyof±1micron(0.00004inch).Yetthearticledoesnotmentionthe
MitsuiCOLAMMsystem.
Teijin Seiki enters
with DuPont’s help
COPYRIGHT © 2014
In1989,DuPontannouncedthedevelopmentofitsSomos1000Solid
ImagingSystem,atechnologysimilarto3DSystems’SLA.Becauseof
theirsimilarities,DuPontpetitionedtheU.S.PatentOfficeinSeptember
1988forareexaminationofHull’s1986patent.DuPontmadethePatent
OfficeawareofKodama’spublications,aswellasthoseofothers.Seven
monthslater,thePatentOfficetold3DSystemsthatithadrejectedall
claimsinHull’spatent.ThiswasaboutthetimeDuPontchosetogo
publicwithitsSomossystem,whichoccurredaroundJune1989.Inlate
1989,theU.S.PatentOfficereverseditsdecisionafter3DSystems
producedstrongevidencetosupporttheclaimsinHull’spatent,but
requiredtheadditionofnewlanguagethatnarroweditsscope.Thiswas
aturningpointforDuPont.
TeijinSeikiacquiredDuPont’sSomosstereolithographytechnology
throughalicensingagreementinlate1991.InMarch1992,atthe
OptomechatronicsShow’92,TeijinSeikiannouncedtheavailabilityofits
SoliformAMsystemfor50millionyen.Themachinewasanenhanced
versionofDuPont’soriginalSomossystem,accordingtoTeijinSeiki.With
itsimpressivelaserdrawspeedofupto2,400cm(945inches)persecond,
thecompanyconsidereditasecond‐generationAMsystem.TeijinSeiki
hadintroducedtwoversionsofitsSomostechnology,theSoliform300
(300‐mmbuildchamber)andtheSoliform500(500‐mm),andhadmade
themavailableforsaleinAsia.
TeijinSeikiobtainedtheexclusiverightstomanufactureandsellDuPont’s
Somostechnology,althoughitwaslimitedtoAsia.TheJapanesecompany
paidapproximately700millionyentoobtainthelicense,includingthe
system’sblueprints,operatingknowledge,andpatentandsalesrights.
AftersecuringtheSomostechnology,TeijinSeikimoved10researchers
fromtheelectromechanicaldevelopmentdepartmentofitsIwakuniplant
toitKanagawaScienceParklaboratoriestoworkontheSomosproject.In
1991,Teijinprojectedannualsalesof10billionyenin3–4years.
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Others jump in
Non-stereolithography
approaches
COPYRIGHT © 2014
History of Additive Manufacturing
In1989,DuPontfiledseveralpatentapplicationsrelatedto
stereolithography.Fourofthemconcentratedonphotopolymer
developments.Inthemid1990s,DuPontsuppliedresinstoTeijinSeiki,
ElectroOpticalSystems(Germany),andusersof3DSystems’SLA250and
SLA500models.
Inearly1989,HansJ.Langer,formallyofGeneralScanning(German
branch),andafewassociatesstartedElectroOpticalSystems(EOS).By
mid‐1990,BMWordereditsfirstsystemfromEOS,andlaterasecondfor
aboutDM1million.EuropeanTechnologyHolding,aventurecapital
companyinAmsterdam,providedthebasicfinancialsupportforLanger
togointobusiness.LangeralsosecuredDM1millionfromtheGerman
FederalGovernment’sprogramforyoungtechnologyentrepreneurs.
Betweenmid‐1991andJuly1993,EOShadshipped15STEREOS
stereolithographysystemstositesinEuropeandJapan.Another
customer,HitachiZosenInformationSystems,hadbeguntomarketthe
EOSsysteminJapan.
In1991,NisseiSangyoCompanyannouncedtheavailabilityofanAM
product,acombinationofelementsfromMatsuoSangyoand3DSystems
Japan.Duringthefirstyear,NisseiSangyoexpectedtosell15units,priced
atabout100millionyen.Littleisknownaboutthisdevelopment.
Inearly1993,DenkenEngineering(OitaCity,OitaPref.,Japan)and
AutostradaCorp.jointlyintroduceda7.8millionyenstereolithography
systemcalledtheSolidLDPlotterSystem,SLP‐3000.Theunitusesvisible
lightandalaserdiode,ratherthanexpensivelasersusedinother
stereolithographysystems.AccordingtoDenken,theoverallsizeofthe
SLP‐3000issmallcomparedtocompetitivesystems,yetitiscapableof
producingpartsupto200x400x300mm(about8x16x12inches).The
companyhopedtosellabout50unitsperyear,manygoingtoJapanese
governmentlabs.
WhiletheJapaneseconcentratedonthestereolithographyprocess,
companiesandindividualsintheU.S.andIsraelweredevelopingother
approachestoadditivemanufacturing.
InJune1986,ItzchakPomerantz,founderandformerpresidentofCubital
(Raanana,Israel),filedforanIsraelipatent.Atthetime,Pomerantzwas
workingforScitexCorporation,anIsraelicompanythatownedasmall
percentageofCubital.Pomerantz’patent,titledThree‐Dimensional
MappingandModelingSystem,laidthegroundworkfortheSolider5600,
whichCubitalintroducedinJuly1987.InMay1988,Cubitaland3D
Systemscross‐licensedcertainpartsoftheirtechnologiestominimizethe
possibilityofsubsequentlegalconflicts.
In1986,RussianimmigrantDr.EfremFudimofLightSculpting
(Milwaukee,WI)offeredoneofthefirstcommerciallyavailablepart‐
buildingservicesusinganAMtechnologyheinvented.Hissystemprojects
afloodoflightfromaUVlampthroughamaskontothesurfaceof
photopolymer.ThismaskapproachwassimilartoCubital’sphotomask,
althoughCubitalhadautomatedtheprocess.WithFudim’ssystem,
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History of Additive Manufacturing
individualmaskswereproducedonaGerberphotoplotterandmanually
positionedoverthebuildchamberforeachnewlayer.Thislaborintensive,
time‐consumingapproachdidnotwintheheartsofbuyers.Consequently,
Fudimdidnotsellasinglesystem.
MissingfromFudim’smachinewasafastwaytotransferthecrosssection
informationtothebuildchamber.InOctober1991,SanyoElectricapplied
forapatentinvolvingaflatLCDpanelasamaskthroughwhichUVlight
wouldshineontothesurfaceofphotopolymer.Tests,however,indicated
thattheUVlightwoulddeterioratetheliquidcrystal,shorteningits
effectivenesstohours.Fudimhadalsoconsideredthisapproach.
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