Note: This post is not displaying correctly, here is a link to the video:
Take a look at this science segment that Jeff Strain found on Stereolithography from 1989. If you ignore the hair styles (Joan Lunden rocked that helmet hair) the report isn’t that much different from news coverage that 3D Printing is getting today. But the technology has sure progressed.
To add some additional perspective, according to the 2014 Wohlers Report, 104 systems were sold in 1989. 94 SLA machines from 3D Systems and 10 systems from now defunct Japanese SLA providers.
The same report estimates that for 2013 9,823 commercial systems were sold by over 33 different suppliers. This does not include the personal printer (low cost desktop) systems, which was estimated at over 72,000 units!. That is 9,345% growth over 24 years for commercial systems. 66,702 systems have been tracked as sold.
Take a look at the video. It is truly fascinating how the message still resonates and how predictions for replacing traditional manufacturing were maybe a bit optimistic. But even in the early days, this report captured the promise of the technology.
It has been an incredible ride, and it is not over yet.