Re[2]: RE: Fwd: Rapid Prototyping-3D Modelling-Additive Manufacturing History

From: tw <>
Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 14:22:08 +0000

Regarding the STL file format, Dave Albert created it for 3D Systems in
1987 or 1988. The following makes reference to it: (published this
week) (published in April 1992)



Terry Wohlers
Wohlers Associates, Inc.

------ Original Message ------
From: "Elaine & Bill Hunt" <>
Sent: 12/8/2016 6:19:04 AM
Subject: Re: [rp-ml] RE: Fwd: Rapid Prototyping-3D Modelling-Additive
Manufacturing History

>The folks at Aries developed the first program to output an Atlanta
>file from a solid modeling program. Auto cad also had a very weak
>interface program about the same time although they did not have solid
>modeling. I began using a SLA 250 at Clemson in June of 1989. They are
>forgetting the LOM process as well..
>Unfortunately Clemson threw away all the historical collection I built
>after I retired. I had all the conference proceedings especially those
>from university of Dayton...
>Oh well that's life! Still many of the old beta users around.
>Elaine Hunt
>On Dec 7, 2016, at 9:07 PM, Joshua Harker <> wrote:
>>Have a hard look into Bill Masters & Carl Deckard's work & timelines.
>>Regardless of patent dates or who was 1st to press (no pun intended),
>>Hull's contributions arguably come after (particularly compared to
>>Masters). Certainly not a conspiracy but would be good to confirm all
>>the player's stats. Here's the obligatory Wikipedia links but there's
>>a fair amount more out there with a little searching.
>>Bill Masters:
>>Carl Deckard:
>>Also here's the link to archived Castle Island RP Patent Database
>> It would be nice to confirm it's completeness & accuracy but great
>>resource nonetheless. FYI...the entire Castle Island site from that
>>date is searchable through the archive.
>>Joshua Harker
>>fb: Facebook Artist Page
>>On Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 6:34 PM, Doug Mitchell <>
>>>Sorry, no, Chuck Hull did more than the stl file format. He was the
>>>inventor of Stereolithography. And Scott Crump was responsible for
>>>inventing FDM. Please talk to people who have been around from the
>>>early days before you make rash statements. The folks at Aries
>>>Technology of Lowell, Massachusetts were also involved with the
>>>development of stl files.
>>>Doug Mitchell
>>>>On Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 7:00 PM, Jim McMahon
>>>><> wrote:
>>>>Steve. You are not reading what I wrote. Without support you have no
>>>>3D models
>>>> All you get is 2.5 D models with support missing. 3D systems bought
>>>>the Helsinki patent in 2002. Stratasys didn't licence it till later
>>>>1990s after Model maker 6Pro. Chuck invented STL files only. This
>>>>is now accepted by everyone. Plus STL files are not a requirement
>>>>for 3D printing.
>>>>On Dec 7, 2016 5:57 PM, "Steven Adler (A3DM)" <>
>>>>>some of the notables
>>>>>3D Systems ; Chuck Hull Stereo Lithography ( SLA ) 1986
>>>>>Stratasys ; Scott Crump Fused Deposition Modeling ( FDM )1992
>>>>>Envisiontec ; Ali Siblani - Hendrick John DLP Photopolymerization
>>>>>( DLP ) 1999
>>>>>Steven Adler
>>>>>A3DM Technologies Corp
>>>>>+1 503 250.3324
>>>>>From: Jim McMahon <>
>>>>>Sent: Wednesday, December 7, 2016 08:38 AM
>>>>>Subject: [rp-ml] Fwd: Rapid Prototyping-3D Modelling-Additive
>>>>>Manufacturing History
>>>>>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>>>>>From: Jim McMahon<>
>>>>>Date: Wed, Dec 7, 2016 at 11:36 AM
>>>>>Subject: Re: Rapid Prototyping-3D Modelling-Additive Manufacturing
>>>>>To: Jan Andrzejewski <>
>>>>>Hi Jan:
>>>>>Not much response for such an interesting topic. I have spoken by
>>>>>phone to two others who commented but must not know how to reply to
>>>>>rp-ml list. Maybe they are shy. I will try to summarize what I have
>>>>>learned so far as it related to my request for input on "The Key
>>>>>areas of 3D Modelling"
>>>>>First and most importantly I need to add a new key area "Materials"
>>>>>5. Materials are basic to achieving a 3D structure. Any technique,
>>>>>system or process for three-dimensional fabrication of a part must
>>>>>have a material capable to produce the model from a computer aided
>>>>>design (CAD) data.
>>>>> We are seeing many more products these days that claim they can
>>>>>produce three-dimensional models and each one needs to be evaluated
>>>>>to prove it can do it. Inexpensive modeler products with single
>>>>>material deposition hardware needs to be capable of making any CAD
>>>>>model. If it can not do this we need to classify it in a sub-group
>>>>>(2.5D Printer) other than a 3D Printer. Today with so many CAD
>>>>>programs and file names this may get complicated. My point here is
>>>>>that a 3D model printer should be able to output a basic model. A
>>>>>basic model today is much different than it was when this
>>>>>technology began in the early days. I am interested in the history
>>>>>of early Rapid Prototyping machines as they were called when it
>>>>>I will postpone classifying systems until a basic model is defined.
>>>>>Basic models produced on Rapid Prototyping systems must have a
>>>>>source of data that can be machine controlled to produce parts more
>>>>>than once with the data without manual interruption. Start up the
>>>>>system, load a file and make it. Simple. Then repeat the same
>>>>>process again with the same data on the same machine and do it
>>>>>again. The data must be produced from any source including a CAD
>>>>>program or any file generated by some means that will be in a form
>>>>>to be sent to a Rapid Prototyping Systems. Do we all agree with
>>>>>this? The model must be something other than a 2.5 Dimensional
>>>>>model, ie., it must be as defined by the file data and include
>>>>>features normally seen in objects - overhangs are included in this
>>>>>data and hollows should be included. Three-Dimensional models were
>>>>>defined long before they were machine made from file data.
>>>>>Now it is time to look at the history of 3D model making machines.
>>>>>Guess what? The technology is not as old as we think. This leads to
>>>>>who has defined this technology. If computers, X,Y plotters, 2D
>>>>>printers and three-dimensional shapes have been defined before
>>>>>Rapid Prototyping Systems came along then these terms should be
>>>>>recognized and accepted. All we need to do is find the Rapid
>>>>>Prototyping System that can fabricate a model from data in a file
>>>>>and do it without human intervention.
>>>>>Please send the names of RP Systems that do this with the dates of
>>>>>first use. A system capable of doing this should be in museum to
>>>>>prove it really exists. There are two historical 3D museums I know
>>>>>about. 3DPmuseum and the planned museum 3Dinkjetmuseum.
>>>>>The first names I will add to the Rapid Prototyping Systems
>>>>>historical list: Please add yours.
>>>>>1. Sanders Prototype, Inc., Wilton, NH Modelmaker 6 Pro February
>>>>>1994 ( Production and sold units)
>>>>>2. Visual Impact Corporation, Windham, NH The Sculptor, Approx date
>>>>>1990 (Prototype printer for Helinski Patent -never produced)
>>>>>3. Ballistic Particle Manufacturing, Greenville, S.C. Personal
>>>>>Modeler, September 1994 (Production and sold units)
>>>>>On Sat, Dec 3, 2016 at 3:25 PM, Jim McMahon
>>>>><> wrote:
>>>>>>Glad to have someone like you with the interest in 3D modeling
>>>>>>history contributing.
>>>>>>My introduction was a bit lengthy and it should be summarized to
>>>>>>simplify it.
>>>>>>This subject with it's many names (please add Three-Dimensional
>>>>>>Printing or reproduction to the list) goes back much earlier than
>>>>>>the popular reference to the current father of 3D printing,
>>>>>>Charles Hull in 1984. My goal here was to take time now after 30+
>>>>>>years and review the history again. This should be done with
>>>>>>today's definition of 3D modeling. I contend that many 3D model
>>>>>>printers made today are lacking some details of the current
>>>>>>definition of a 3D printer. A reproduced CAD model is defined
>>>>>>precisely from a CAD program. The desired model also is assumed to
>>>>>>have materials consistent with a usable part with dimensions
>>>>>>comparable to a manufactured part. I see stories of automobile
>>>>>>engines 3D printed and I know surface finishes, material
>>>>>>composition and threaded holes can never be made with a 3D printer
>>>>>>even today. Back up to the first 3D printer in 1984 and you will
>>>>>>see it has many functions that are accepted in 3D printers
>>>>>>(support structures under overhangs) did not exist until the first
>>>>>>inkjet printer with 2 materials was manufactured in 1994.
>>>>>>My first goal is to first identify the things that are fundamental
>>>>>>components of a 3D printer.
>>>>>>This should be relatively simple since everyone today has a good
>>>>>>grasp of the concepts of a 3D printer in contrast to when people
>>>>>>defined in the 1980's.
>>>>>>Please help us make the list. It can be done one at a time with
>>>>>>discussion or all at once and then have a discussion.
>>>>>>Looking forward to your comments.
>>>>>>On Fri, Dec 2, 2016 at 5:34 AM, Jan Andrzejewski
>>>>>><> wrote:
>>>>>>>This is also very interesting to me and will help in any way that
>>>>>>>I can.
>>>>>>>It is very strange to me that 3D Systems left their wax printer
>>>>>>>(Thermojet) a while before coming into the market?
>>>>>>>Did they have to wait for a patent to end?
>>>>>>>There is a lot of Research & Development work that never got
>>>>>>>commercialised and yet ground breaking.
>>>>>>>I think James is right and the Military organisations R&D work
>>>>>>>may have paved the way.
>>>>>>>Castle Island did have a database of RP patents, I never found
>>>>>>>the time then to search all the way through but if it is still
>>>>>>>available I would gladly spend a bit of time doing this now.
>>>>>>>Some of my searches have disproved claims of being first by some
>>>>>>>bureaus and I'm sure that things that are on my website will need
>>>>>>>updating, when documented information comes to light. I may just
>>>>>>>go through and remove the word "First" with a more suitable
>>>>>>>I'm willing to work with James on this and I'm looking at what I
>>>>>>>have collected and be able to share with his Museum project.
>>>>>>>(watch this space, folks)
>>>>>>>Jan Andrzejewski
>>>>>>>On 1 December 2016 at 19:21, Jim McMahon
>>>>>>><> wrote:
>>>>>>>>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 today?
>>>>>>>>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 confusion)
>>>>>>>>(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 08 2016 - 16:22:25 EET

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