The beginnings of 3D printing

The beginnings of 3D printing
3D printing was first invented in 1982 by Chuck Hull. Hull had the idea that if he could stack thousands of thin layers of plastic on top of each other and then etch their shape using light, then he could form three-dimensional objects. After a year of experimenting with these ideas, he developed a system where a focused beam of ultraviolet light, moving under computer control, hits the surface of a bucket filled with liquid photopolymer and where it hits the liquid turns into solid plastic.Hull realized that his finding was not limited to liquid elements and hence his invention was called stereolithography or 3D printing, as it covered any material capable of solidification or capable of changing its physical state. Of course, 3D printing has come a long way since then.

Additive manufacturing technology is applied to printers of various sizes and shapes, but regardless of the type of 3D printer or the material used, the 3D printing process follows the same basic steps. It starts with creating a 3D design of the object one wants to print, using digital CAD (Computer Aided Design) software. The digital model can also be generated through the use of a 3D scanner or by simply downloading a file from the online marketplace.

Preparing the printer first involves filling it with raw materials (such as plastics, metal powders). One must even choose the material with which he will best achieve the specific properties required for the object he wants to produce. The variety of materials used in 3D printers is very large, including plastics, ceramics, resin, metals, sand, textiles, biomaterials, glass and even food.

Resin 3D printing

Resin 3D printing primarily uses photopolymers which are a type of plastic that is infused with photoinitiators. It often starts as a liquid and cures into a solid form when exposed to light. Depending on the type of resin used, the end product can be rigid or flexible, and resins can vary in durability and elasticity.The most common photopolymers used for 3D printing are epoxy resins, acrylic resins, and polyurethane. Epoxy resins produce the highest resolution 3D prints and are most suitable for prototyping. They also have superior mechanical properties, such as strength and durability, making them perfect for production-grade printing. 


Acrylic resins are commonly used for producing highly detailed objects due to their low shrinkage and high print resolution. Polyurethane resins are flexible, making them ideal for printing medical devices and other high-impact parts.These resin materials make this 3D printing technology perfect for producing complex models and intricate details.