RE: Who coined the term "3D printing"?

From: Marshall Burns <>
Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2017 07:20:44 -0800

Thank you Terry,


                Are you aware whether you coined the term or saw it somewhere else before you wrote that article?




From: tw []
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 09:27
To: Marshall Burns;; Elly Sachs; Norman Kinzie
Subject: Re: Who coined the term "3D printing"?


The article is attached, in case anyone is interested in a slice of 3D printing history. I don't recall whether the rp-ml supports attachments, so I hope you receive it.




Terry Wohlers
Wohlers Associates, Inc.




------ Original Message ------

From: "Marshall Burns" < <>>

To: <>; "Elly Sachs" < <>>; "Terry Wohlers" < <>>; "Norman Kinzie" < <>>

Sent: 2/13/2017 3:34:20 PM

Subject: Who coined the term "3D printing"?


Hi RP World,


                I used to think that the term “3D printing” originated at MIT for describing their process that was later commercialized by Soligen and Z Corp. Elly Sachs wrote a paper about the process that was published in June 1990 with the title, “Three-Dimensional Printing: Ceramic tooling and parts from a CAD model.” In my 1993 book, I applied the term only to that technology.


                However, I have now become aware of two earlier uses of the term:


                * Terry Wohlers wrote an article for the May 1988 issue of “Computer Graphics World” with the title, “3d printing: From CADD model to prototype.”


                * Norman Kinzie has told me in recent correspondence that he coined the term and used it in the title of a document he distributed in early 1988 or in 1987. My records show a document by Kinzie with the title “introduction to: Three-Dimensional Printing” and dated June 2, 1988. Unfortunately, I no longer have the paper files with that document. In any cases, it is dated after Wohler’s article. Kinzie tells me that he has in his possession an earlier version of the document, dated April 27, 1988, and that he believes there were versions prior to that but that he cannot find them at this time. Since magazines usually come out in advance of their cover dates, it is likely that Wohler’s article was on shelves prior to the earliest available date of Kinzie’s document.


                According to the above, it appears that the earliest known use of the term “3D printing” was by Terry Wohlers. Does anyone have any information to either support or refute that?





Received on Wed Feb 15 2017 - 17:20:50 EET

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