History

 The history of 3D Printing started in the early 1980s, when the inventor, Charles Hull, originally called it "stereolithography". Hull was working for a company that manufactured ultraviolet lamps into a layer of plastic to put on surfaces used for household use. He thought of the idea to use the UV light in a new way; to turn parts created by a computer-aided design software into 3-D objects, and he as given permission to use their laboratories at night and on the weekends. Hull discovered with photopolymers, which are acrylic based substances that harden when they are exposed to UV light. Once he discovered this, he built a machine that had a UV laser to engrave the layers of acrylic into shapes and stacked the layers up to form an object. One of the main challenges for Hull was writing the code to tell the printer how to engrave the acrylic layers, so he stuck to mostly simple shapes. After years of research and experimentation, Hull sold his first 3D Printer for $100,000 in 1988.

                    3D Printing was first used for medical purposes as dental implants and custom prosthetics in the 1990s. Eventually, scientists were able to grow organs from patient’s cells and used a 3D printed scaffold to support them. As the technology evolved even more, a miniature kidney, and the doctors start to aim for making full functioning organ without a scaffold for support. Eventually, in 2008, scientists were able to produce the first 3D prosthetic leg. As recently as 2012, there was a 3D printed jaw in Holland by a manufacturing company, LayerWise. Now, 3D printers have become fairly inexpensive, and a common use in hospitals. 3D-Printers have evolved to make things such as vital to human life, as organs. Charles Hull originally designed the 3D Printer to advance the performance of manufactured items, but had envisioned his invention to do much more. I imagine that Charles never thought that his printer could save thousands of lives. Charles's invention not only changed the face of medicine, but he is changing the lives of thousands of terminally ill patients around the world.
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