Invention of Additive Manufacturing

First commercialization of AM in the late 80s

First experimental set-ups and early machine concept developments in Additive Manufacturing go back to the 60s and 70s of the 20th century. However, the first commercial systems have only been available since the late 80s. Generally, Charles Hull is credited with the invention of the first commercialized AM technology Stereolithography (SLA) and was granted the first patent in Additive Manufacturing. Following the commercialization of SLA, DTM CORP. introduced their first Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) system in 1992. Both technologies use laser radiation to solidify polymer feedstock and are still used today in prototyping applications. Advanced development stages regarding material and machine technology of SLA and SLS are today also used in production of many polymer end use parts.