With all of its recent headlines and technological leaps, additive manufacturing can feel like a very new field. But in fact, 3-D printing has been slowly evolving in labs and in the market since Chuck Hull invented stereolithography back in 1980.
In the 30 years since, additive manufacturing has evolved from Hull's original concept into a thriving, diverse collection of techniques and technologies that fall under the "3-D printing" umbrella. These include fused deposition modeling, ink jet printing and laser sintering – technologies that have brought the power of 3-D printing everywhere from the home workshop to the factory floor.
This gallery traces the history of that development, marking some milestones along its slow evolution.
See IndustryWeek's full collection of additive manucturing stories and galleries here.