RUG/Pennsylvania/State College/RepRap Media Timeline

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This page is a summary of 3D printing stories in press/tv/etc with a focus on RepRap in particular, but with some inclusion of other similar technologies.

Another good media timeline can be found here:[[1]]

Changes to this current timeline will be made by focusing on media that directly relates to RepRaps or interesting extensions which are commercialized items, such as the chocolate 3D printer, and futuristic technologies.

The media items indicated in "italics" signify the extensions made in the 3D printing industry, while the items in regular font will be related to RepRaps.

Viewers will notice that the "2012" section has far more items than the other years. This is due to the fact that a majority of advancements took place during this year and concrete ideas began blooming as well.


1984; Charles "Chuck" Hull develops a technology to print 3D objects using digital data and terms it "Stereolithography" [2]

March 11, 1986; Chuck Hull founded 3D Systems and invents the first 3D printer [3]

1987; Selective laser sintering is developed at the University of Texas-Austin and commercialized by DTM [4]

1988; S. Scott Crump invents Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), which is the basis for 3D printing extrusion [5]


1993; MIT patents "Three Dimensional Printing Techniques" which is comparable to a regular 2D printer's methodology. [6]

1995; Z Corporation acquires a technology license from MIT and begins building 3D printers [7]

1996; The term "3D Printer" is first used to address rapid prototyping machines [8]

1996; First major release of 3D printers from Z Corp, Stratasys, and 3D Systems [9]


February; Adrian Bowyer publishes the idea for a self replicating 3D printer, and concept of the RepRap is born! More on the RepRap About Page [About]


March 9th; Spectrum Z-510 is the first high definition 3D color printer to be manufactured [10]

March 23rd; The RepRap blog started [[11]]

June 2nd; Reprap project discussed in "The Machine that can copy anything" by Simon Hooper on [[12]]

October 6th; Arduino is released [13]


February; 'Neil Gershenfeld on Fab Labs' a TED talk about a (much higher cost) mobile fabrication laboratory, and enabling consumers to produce products for a "market of one". [14]



February 9; The Darwin printer is able to print more than half of its own parts, thus self-replication is successful [15]

June 4; The Telegraph releases a science article about self-replicating robots leading into the RepRap. Parts of the article discuss the possible implications and advantages of a low cost 3D printer that can replicate its own parts and evolve. [[16]]


October 2; A second generation design, known as "Mendel", prints its first part [[17]]


April 30; 'The disruptive future of printing' an article by Bill Thompson of the BBC about RepRap and its future. [18]

November 10; 'It Will Be Awesome if They Don't Screw it Up: 3D Printing...' a whitepaper by Michael Weinberg of Public Knowledge discussing the legal implications of widespread 3D printing. [19]

December 20th; 3d printing: The state of the art. (Ciara Byrne in VentureBeat) [20] Summary: An article discussing the importance of the present technology, why usage of 3D printing has risen and what the future use of the technology could be including some inherent problem we'll have to deal with. The importance of this article lies in the clarity with which it presents some very basic ideas. The readability also allows for a wide variety of readers to appreciate the upcoming innovations.

December 31st; 11 3d printing predictions for the year 2011. (Joris Peels on TechCrunch) [21] Summary: Some extremely specific predictions and a few less specific ones having to do with well known names such as Makerbot, Adobe, Microsoft, Stratasys, Objet and a quite a few more. All predictions indicate a rather significant increase in popularity for 3D printing.


January 12; 'The Wow Factor of 3-D Printing,' an article in the New York Times about consumer 3-D printers. It mentions Reprap, MakerBot, and Bits From Bytes. [22]

January 19th; 3d printing now in Titanium! (Charlie Sorrel on [23] Summary: The article discusses the advancements in 3D printing, specifically Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) to print with titanium.

March 23; Handheld Vacuum Cleaner 3D Printed (Matthew Humphries on [24]" Summary: This article on the surface is about the ability to print out your own Vacuum. The real message behind it are the possibilities of open source programming as well as Rep Rap printers. Matthew offers his opinion on the exciting development as he puts it.

April; Copyright questions as 3d printing comes of age. [25]

June 8th; Bre Pettis, founder of Makerbot Industries, makes a guest appearance on the Colbert Report discussing the relevance of 3D printing in modern society [[26]]

July 11th; Geekteach: 3D Printing In the Classroom [27]

August 16th; How 3D printing will revolutionize everything it touches [28]

August 23rd; Makerbot announces that they are accepting $10 million in startup money[[29]]

Fall 2011; Open Hybrid Mendel Design is tested at Penn State University Park Campus.

September 9; An excellent YouTube video highlighting the amazing capabilities of 3D printers (by Fun Theory)' [[30]]

September 16; BBC News article on a new application of 3D printing 'Artificial Blood Vessels Created on a 3D Printer' [[31]]

September 20; Article on the Make blog about a working AR-15 magazine on thingiverse. [32]

September 20; 3d printer for kids in the works! [33]

October 3rd; Albensi Labs use 3D printing for dental restoration making the turnaround time drop from 7 days to 2 days. [34]

November 14th; 3D printing: coming to a library near you [35]

Unknown; "Academic paper released investigating the effects of structure and orientation on the strength of 3D printed materials. [36]


January 25; Physibles @ The Pirate Bay [37]

February 6; Transplant jaw made by 3D printer claimed as first [38] (for BBC)
Summary: A lower jaw, created from 3D printed titanium powder heated and fused together with a laser. This jaw was fitted to an 83-year-old woman’s face, and is said to be the first patient-specific implant in the replacement of the entire lower jaw. -kwc5097

March 6; The CADspan Plugin for Google SketchUp allows generation of solid, 3D printable STL files [39] (Cantos for CADspan)
Summary: Describes the CADspan Plugin for SketchUp which eases the process of creating a model for 3D printing. Popular tools in SketchUp are listed and their functions are explained. -kwc5097

March 10; 3D printing from an Android device [40] (Benchoff for Hack a Day)
Summary: This article discusses an Android app, Makerdroid, which was designed to get South African students excited about technology and desktop fabrication labs. This app allows the user to create .STL files on an Android device and generate Gcode with Skeinforge in order to print 3D objects directly from their Android devices. -kwc5097

April 15; Integrated 3D-printed reactionware for chemical synthesis and analysis [41]

May 6; STEMulate Learning integrates 3D printing into classroom [42]

May 21; Working Lathe Made with 3D Printing [43]

June 15; Guitar manufacturing is revolutionized by 3D printing [44]

July 2; Possibilities of printing dinosaur fossils [45]

July 4; Researchers create artificial liver from 3D printed sugar lattice [46]

July 6; New Innovations in printing Aluminum [47]

July 7; Burritobot: Mexican Cuisine and 3D Printing [48]

July 11; Building Planes with Giant 3D Printers [49]

July 12; The next generation RepRap prints PLA at tremendously high speeds [50]

July 16; 3D printed keys used to hack high security handcuffs [51]

July 17; 3D Printers In The Library; Toward a FabLab in the Academic Library [52]

July 18; 3D printing services being offered at universities for the first time [53]

July 22; Printing out your own prescription meds [54]

July 25; 3D printing market set to hit $3 billion by 2018 [55]

July 26; World's first 3D Printed Gun [56]

July 30; Printing Unammed Aerial Vehicles [57]

August 6; 3D Printed Exoskeleton aids in Arm Usage [58]

August 8; Focus Feature's stop motion movie ParaNorman uses 3D printed facial parts to "push facial performance to new levels" [59]

August 17; US company wants to make 3D bio-ink printed meat for human consumption (Merco Press) [60]
Summary: A US start-up company has a solution for people who want to eat meat, but don't want to harm animals either: 3D printed meat.

August 29; NASA funds Tethers Unlimited Inc. to work on its SpiderFab orbital 3D printer [61]

September 19; Software to Detect Stress in Objects Before Print [62]

September 21; 3D Print Wood with Laywood Filament [63] (Walters for
Summary: 3D printers don't just print plastic, they can apparently print a wood-like material called 'Laywood' which feels, smells, and looks like real wood. This material consists of 40% recycled wood, and a polymer binder. This material won't warp, it doesn't experience shrinkage, and it doesn't require a heated bed for production. -kwc5097

September 27;3D Printer Form 1 Gets 6X Its $100K Funding Goal On Kickstarter… In One Day [64]

October 1; 3-D Printer Company Seizes Machine From Desktop Gunsmith [65]

October 3; Army researchers use cutting edge 3D printers [66]

October 5; Seeing Is Believing, Disney Crafts 3D Printed Optics [67] (Hearn for Engadget)
Summary: A group of engineers from Disney are using 'printed optics' to create interactive objects using 3D printing. This technology uses the 3D model to guide the light from LEDs to potentially replace the use of LCD and LED screens in displaying information on smaller interactive devices. -kwc5097

October 10; CNBC Reports on Various Entities utilizing Bio-3D printing [68]

October 10; 3D Printing (Additive Manufacturing) Is Turning the Impossible Into the Possible [69] (Burrus for The Blog)
Summary: This article describes the process of 3D printing and its applications as of recently. In the future, it can be used to deliver products to customers as soon as they are manufactured; like shoes, dresses, parts for jet engines, or even human bones. -kwc5097

October 18; New Patent Could Saddle 3D Printers With DRM [70]

October 18; Spice Up Your 3-D Prints With Custom Plastics [71]

October 18; Guitar Printer Makes Functioning Instrument [72]

October 19; The Future of Higher Education: Reshaping Universities Through 3D Printing [73]

October 19; Formlabs FORM 1 high-resolution 3D printer [74]

October 22; 3D Bio-Printing Proposed to Send Vaccines and Medicine Via Email (Debora MacKenzie for New Scientist) [75]
Summary: A man who sequenced the human genome using his own DNA, then made "synthetic life" by outfitting a gutted bacterium with homemade genes, says his next trick will be emailing biological molecules, using 3D biological printers. The move could revolutionise healthcare - and biological warfare.

October 23; UVA Undergraduates Print 3D Plane [76]

October 25; EFF Fights To Protect 3D Printers From Illegitimate Patents [77]

October 25;With ‘Safe Haven,’ Desktop Weaponeers Resume Work on 3D-Printed Guns [78] (Beckhusen for WIRED)
Summary: A group's efforts to create a 3D printed pistol looks promising. Efforts were halted when the group's printer was taken away and now they are currently applying for a gun license. Companies have been contributing to the development by volunteering manufacturing space and providing support in the group's vision. -kwc5097

October 30; 3D printing- a new industrial revolution [79]

November 2; Wired CEO Chris Anderson leaves Wired to start 3D Robotics company [80]--dwj131

November 4; Turning your thoughts into actual 3D objects [81]

November 9; 3D-Printed Rockets Help Propel NASA's Space Shuttle Launch (Philippa Warr for Wired) [82]
Summary: Parts for the rocket engines of NASA’s Space Launch System will be created using a method of 3D-printing known as selective laser melting.

November 9; Researchers at Purdue develop a program to automatically tweak designs for 3D printed parts to improve strength [83]

November 11; Next Generation 3D Printing: Highter Resolution, Tastier, and Super Cute [84]--djb5469

November 12; Portable 3D Printer for the Military [85]

November 12; 3D-Printing Photo Booth Makes You Into an Action Figure[86] [87](Warr for WIRED)
Summary: A photo booth in Japan will scan your body and create a figurine of you. It can be a maximum of 8 inches tall and doesn't have the precision yet to pick up on shiny jewelry, earrings, mesh items, or glasses. Customers must pose for about 15 minutes for the machine to collect their body data. -kwc5097

November 12; Scientists reveal new insights on nano 3D printing[88]

November 12; Voxeljet 3D printer used to produce Skyfall's Aston Martin stunt double[89]

November 14; Minecraft Creations Become Real! [90]

November 19; 3D Printer Powered by Heart Cells (Walton on WebProNews)[91] Summary: Researchers at The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have developed a mobile 3D printed robot powered by rat heart cells. They hope that one day, these robots can be used to detect and/or neutralize specific chemical and toxins found in our environment.

November 21; 3D Systems sues Formlabs and Kickstater for patent infringement and promotion respectively [92]

November 22; Scientists develop 3D tissue printer that prints cartilage[93] (Star Staff for The Star)--dwj131
Summary: A 3D tissue printer was developed by scientists at Wake Forest University, which uses a traditional inkjet printer combined with an electrospinning machine. This was a proof of concept study which was successfully tested on mice with cartilage cells from a rabbit's ear. -kwc5097

November 23; EDSGN 497D is Mentioned in an Article in Onward State[94] (Sami for Onward State)
Summary: Penn State’s EDSGN 497D course was featured on Onward State’s website. The article describes the open source RepRap technology, as well as the course structure in order to inform the surrounding community. -kwc5097

November 24; GE Is So Stoked About 3D Printing, They're Using It To Make Parts For Jet Engines[95]

November 26; 3D printers to print out electronics in the near future[96]

November 26; Fancy 3D printer spits out 'replacement parts' for humans[97]

November 26; 3D Printing Satellites[98]

November 27; Customized Toy Records [99]

November 27; Get a 3-d print of your unborn child [100]

November 28; Virginia Tech: Interactive 3-D printing station [101] --Nop5031 16:45, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

November 29; Staples to offer 'Easy 3D' printing service (Sharif Sakr in engadget) [102] Summary: The service, first starting in Belgium and the Netherlands, will eventually expand to all Staples stores. You'll be able to upload your file and then have it printed as fragments of paper arranged in 0.1mm layers up to a maximum height of six inches.

November 29; 3D printers could use Moon or Mars rocks as raw materials (BBC) [103] Summary: The article discusses the possibilities of using Moon rocks to create tools or spare parts. Prof Amit Bandyopadhyay is quoted backing the possibility and he is supported by David Woods (author of How Apollo Flew). Prof Colin Pillinger offers quotes claiming that it is a nice theory however not all that practical or worth it.

December 3; 3-D Printed Gun Only Lasts 6 Shots (Robert Beckhusen in Wired) [104] and (Andy Greenberg in Forbes) [105] Summary: Only one part, the lower receiver, was printed out in the gun. This is a very important part since it is heavily regulated and carries the serial number of the weapon. It was expected to break, but in something closer to 20 rather than only 6 shots.

December 3; Merger Creates World's Largest 3-D Print Company (Daniel Ferry, The Motley Fool.) [106]--djb5469 Summary: Two of the three biggest 3D printing companies, Stratasys and Objet, have merged to create the world's biggest 3D printing company. The new $3 billion company will face difficulties in integrating the separate companies, but the potential benefits of combining resources far outweigh the risks. The company will still be named Stratasys, and Stratasys shareholders control 55% while Objet controls 45%.

December 3; Arcam AB is an undervalued 3D printer manufacturer (David Allen, Seeking Alpha) [107]--djb5469 Summary: While Arcam AB may not have as many sales as 3D Systems or Stratasys, it does have a much high return on equity while maintaining a strong profit margin. Arcam AB focuses on working with expensive metals like Titanium and Cobalt Chromium, where the reduced waste of additive manufacturing leads to significant profits. The Swedish company is begin to gain momentum in the United States but selling printers to Oak Ridge National Labatories.

December 4; A discussion of the entrepreneurial spirit of DIY RepRap users (The Engineer). [108]

December 6; Why 3D Printing Matters for "Made in the USA." (Jeremy Hsu, TechNewsDaily and LiveScience.) [109]--djb5469 Summary: The manufacturing capabilities of the United States have been declining for decades, but 3D printing might be able to reverse that trend. A government grant of $30 million created The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute, which focuses on promoted the development of 3D printing. While this technology would not be suited to produce 10 million units of trash cans, it would be perfect for making 50 to 100 military aircraft.

December 6; 3D Printer Could Transform Moon Dirt Into Lunar Base (Megan Gannon, [110]--Nop5031 22:01, 6 December 2012 (UTC) Summary: Researchers have developed a method of using simulated moon dust to create 3D printed objects. While the technology is still in rudimentary stages, this proof of concept experiment shows that lunar astronauts could replace broken tools or even create new structures using just the available materials. Considering the cost of transportation to the moon, this technology could create extensive cost savings and improve the feasibility of a long term moon base. Eventually, this technology could even by expanded to be used on Mars.

December 6; Discussion of 3D printers being developed to print medical (and recreational) drugs (Beta Beat). [111]--Nop5031 22:03, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

December 6; A 3D-printing popup store (3DEA) opens in NYC for the holidays. Attractions include a body scanner and ornament design competition [112]

December 7; Manufacturing the future: 10 trends to come in 3D printing. (Eric Savitz, Forbes Magazine.) [113]--djb5469 Summary: This article predicts 10 uses of 3D printers for that will start becoming widespread next year. Some examples include 3D printing shops at the mall that will allow manufacturers to only ship designs and 3D printed medical implants that will help save lives. The bottom of this article also features slideshow gallery of ten cool things that can be printed, such as glasses frames and engagement rings.

December 7; Harvard’s Semitic Museum Is Using 3D Printers To Restore An Ancient Statue [114]--Wjf5042

December 8; Are personal 3D printers the next personal computers?(Rob Enderle on Digital [115]--djb5469 Rob discusses the basics of 3-D printing, what some of the hopes and end goals of the industry are as well as arguing that 3-D printing is ready for a revolution. He also gives some guesses as to who will capitalize on these possibilities.

December 10 Wireless 3D printer "vending machine" can be controlled from iDevices or Android phones [116]

December 10 The Plant of the Future: 3D Printing [117]--snb5148 This article talks about how 3D printing could have a real place in manufacturing by the end of the decade.

December 10; Staples Plans to Enter 3-D Printing Scene, Shapeways Keeps Calm [118]--snb5148 The office supply chain Staples plans to bring 3D printing to some of its overseas stores in the first quarter of 2013.

December 11; The Undetectable Firearms Act and 3D printed guns. [119]--snb5148 This article asks a great question; Is renewing the act really just a stealth attempt to regulate 3D printing?

December 11; Homemade 3D-printed gifts (Travis Andrews in DVice)[120] Summary: A list of 15 gifts you can print out yourself including a large range of things as simple as chess sets and cookie cutters to more complicated ones such as an RC planes and working pencil sharpeners. A good look into the future of gift giving.

December 11; Musings on the potential for 3D printers to be the next big thing in home electronics (Digital Trends). [121]--Nop5031 20:06, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

December 11; The Army is Deploying 3D Printers to Afghanistan [122]--snb5148 The army is setting up mobile labs in Afghanistan that will include CNC machines and 3D printers.

December 11; A few weeks with a 3D printer[123]--Nop5031 20:15, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

December 11; Brand NEW Gyro Cube [124]--Nop5031 22:37, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

December 12; 3D Printer Makes Medical Models (Video):[125]--snb5148 This article contains a cool video showing a 3D printer printing a model of a human heart.

December 12; What is True Colour 3D Printing? [126]--snb5148 A look at the technology to blend filament colors.