>I'm trying to find information on the history/development of RP prior
>to the patent being issued for the stereolithography machine in March
>1986, and the formation of 3D systems.
I've found the postings on this subject in the last few days very
interesting, including comments taking us all the way back to the Egyptians.
In my book, I define a fabricator as a device that can make a 3-D shape
automatically, without human effort after creation of the design. The making
by skilled craftspeople of coiled pottery and laminated topographic maps are
examples of MANUAL fabrication, from which the developers of automated
fabricators have learned and modeled their technologies.
In my research, the first evidence I found of AUTOMATED fabrication was
a pantographic lathe given as a gift by Peter the Great of Russia to the
Institute of France in 1717. The famous James Watt, after retiring from
starting the industrial revolution, was reported to be working on a similar
device in 1804.
Those are subtractive processes. The first evidence that I have found of
an additive fabber process is the patent by Baese filed in 1902 and issued
in 1904. For more information on the Baese patent and other aspects of the
history of fabbers, see my talk to the 1992 Stereolithography Users Group at
www.ennex.com/publish/199203-MB-SLAPerspec.shtml. More details can be found
in my book.
I hope people find this information useful and interesting.
Ennex Corporation, Los Angeles, USA, (310) 824-8700
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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