Re: 3-D Printing

From: Terry T. Wohlers (
Date: Fri Jul 18 1997 - 16:36:37 EEST

Yakov Horenstein wrote:

> I thought the term 3D Printing refers only to the processes being
> at MIT, but its use here has come to mean concept modelers in general.
> What's the take?

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe MIT has trademarked
"3DP," not "3D Printing." From the very beginning of RP -- when the SLA-1
was first introduced -- I've felt that 3D printing described the process
very well. In fact, in 1989 or 1990 in Philadelphia, we offered a
conference session titled Innovations in 3D Printing. Michael Feygin of
Helisys (then called Hydronetics) was a speaker, along with Bill Masters
(then president of Perception Systems, now called BPM Technology), Frost
Prioleau of Plynetics, a Ph.D. from DuPont (don't recall her name), and
others. The attendees got so excited about the technology, they wouldn't

The term "3D printing" didn't really catch on back then. I guess it's
because printing is usually an office function, and manufacturing types
were the customers of RP systems. And that's one reason why "rapid
prototyping" caught on, not to mention the fact that most companies using
the technology were building models and prototypes parts as rapidly as
possible. It's interesting how names develop.

Terry Wohlers
Wohlers Associates, Inc.

P.S. This message is not intended to start another debate on what the
industry should or should not call this technology. (Been there and done
that.) I learned long ago that you can attempt to name or rename
something, such as RP, but you're really fighting a losing battle.
Sometimes it's best to sit back and let nature take its course.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 22:39:54 EEST