The 30-year anniversary of the first stereolithography (SLA) 3D printed part off Chuck Hull’s very first developmental apparatus has not gone unnoticed, it seems. 3D Systems has just announced today that the man himself, who went on to found the now global corporation, was honored with the George R. Stibitz Computer and Communications Award by Montana State University in Bozeman, MT yesterday.
Hull invented the original 3D printing technology — SLA — and led the development of the .stl file format, which continues to be the most used file format for 3D printing and CAD connectivity to this day. After years of failed attempts Hull’s perseverance and inventiveness paid off when he successfully printed a teacup on March 9, 1983, and went on to file a patent for what he called Stereolithography and found 3D Systems in 1986. Hull continues to lead the 3D printing revolution as 3D Systems’ Chief Technology Officer, celebrating 30 years of continuous 3D printing innovation.
The award program was established in 1997 by George Keremedjiev, founder and director of the American Computer and Robotics Museum in Bozeman, MT. Hull is being honored along side the late Walt Disney and John Holland, an expert in complex adaptive systems. MSU will also be honoring primatologist Frans de Waal and 3M executive Jean B. Sweeney with the Edward O. Wilson Biodiversity Technology Pioneer Award.
“Seemingly a week cannot pass by without the mention of 3D printing for advanced manufacturing in both the general and technical media,” Keremedjiev said. “It is, bar none, the ‘hottest’ technology for modern and future manufacturing in the world.”
In response, Mr Hull said: “I am deeply honored to receive the distinguished Stibitz Award alongside innovators who have changed the world and improved the human condition in unimagined and powerful ways. From the get go, I imagined that 3D printing would significantly change design and manufacturing as we know it, but I could not have anticipated the profound impact the technology would have on everything in our lives. It is both humbling and exhilarating to be apart of this incredible transformation.”