Rapid Prototyping-3D Modelling-Additive Manufacturing History

From: Jim McMahon <jim_at_layergrownmodel.com>
Date: Thu, 1 Dec 2016 14:21:27 -0500

Dear Rp-Ml members:

I was thinking this group is a great source for unbiased information about
the origins of Rapid Prototyping. I am doing research for a future 3D
inkjet Museum that will someday open in a city in the USA. Currently it
exists as a collection of inkjet information and early printers that form a
history of 3D modelling. Inkjet printing is the technology that has the
most historical information to show the origins of print layer build up and
is one example of the first successes in printing accurate thermoplastic
models with an overhang supported by an easily removed wax material.

The 3D Modelling technology has been shown to print 100% supported models
from both facet and sliced model Cad data originating with imported DXF,
OBJ, SLC, HPGL and STL files. Actually, I think the earliest examples of
pre-3D models were slice (SLC) files or 2D single layer files added on top
of previous layers. (I have this early printer in my collection. Text and
numerical characters were printed on top of each other quite by accident to
make relief characters.) A true 3D printer as we know it today does this
automatically with support for overhangs. 3D Modelling has requirements and
most people know them today. My research is to get more information on the
earliest sightings of these basic 3D Modelling components. This will
include earliest dates, places and people who may have discovered or
invented these things first. Together the information will point to the
first "complete" 3D Modelling product that produced accurate and usable
models for customers. The date of this complete product may surprise all of
us. I want to see if this group can help point to it.

4 Key areas of this 3D Modelling search include:
1. Early CAD file invention dates. (Virtually all CAD file formats were
used in the earliest 3D Modeling System) Which format was invented first?
Was it used first in a 3D Modelling System? Who invented it? Then which
format was first used in a "complete" 3D printing systems as we know it
2. Use of support material to produce a RP models. Date of first use, where
and by whom? Is there a Patent?
3. A material deposition system with controlled position mechanics and
numerical control for a 3D Modelling system. (Hint, could it be the AT&T,
Teletype Division's Inktronic Data wax printer used in the Navy starting
around 1966?)
4. A mechanism to advance the build surface in precise steps using
numerical control for an Additive Manufacturing System. (You can easily
look up the subtractive machining tool dates)
(Note: Names of 3D printing are interchangeable - try to ignore the
(Note: Materials are evolving all the time and are not shown here but all
can be considered for making 3D models using a numerical controlled system)

I will respond to all inputs and summarize the date for all as it evolves.
The collection is available to be seen by appointment. The BPM Personal
Modeler was just added recently.

Thank you
James K McMahon
Received on Thu Dec 01 2016 - 21:21:55 EET

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