The innovation of 3D Printing

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Following the lead of the last article published on our blog, 3D Impressions and Patents, we present this week into our “Patents world” section a video showing more about this amazing technology.

The video explores the process of innovation of 3D printing, and it is developed by NBC Learn in collaboration with the National Science Foundation and the U.S Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

As the video explains, 3D printing is an innovative manufacturing technique which was created by professors Michael Cima and Emanuel Sachs, with the goal of giving people a more efficient way of creating prototypes or potential versions of a product.

Traditionally, manufacturers used a subtractive process to create prototypes.

The additive manufacturing technique of 3D printing works on the contrary:

  • A tridimensional representation of an object is created using a computer.
  • This image is then mathematically sliced into thin horizontal layers.
  • Each layers data are sent to the printer.

Without entering too much deeper, we can say that the advantage of this technique is its ability to create almost any shape or geometric feature.

In 1993, the two professors began filing a series of patents for the 3D printer in the USPTO. For the researchers, patenting their technology has given them 20 years to beneficiate and to protect their intellectual property.  

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