inventors

Why 3D Printing is Older Than You Think

Modern technologies tend to get the most attention and widespread fame only when they enter mass production and when average people can get their hands on it. This is more than understandable because if it does not go commercial it means it is either too expensive to mass-produce or too specific, special, or complicated to adapt for average consumers. In any case, technology is moving more rapidly all the time and we have been getting some true gems over the last few years.

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Perhaps the most popular thing you can purchase on the modern market is a personal 3D printer, a machine that allows you to practically make whatever you can dream of (and program into the accompanying software) as long as it can be made of the material the printer supports. Making things in three dimensions was the obvious next step from regular fax machines and traditional printers, but it was always viewed as science fiction. Then they became prominent and the craze has barely stopped since.

The technology has allowed a whole new range of enthusiasts and artists to show off their craft and ordinary people to make their own mementoes, figures, and useful tools for everyday use. But what would you say if you knew 3D printers were not nearly as new you think and that they have been around for decades already? Now that we have your attention, it is time to explore why this technique is quite a few years older than you probably think. If you wish to find out more about topics surrounding 3D printers, definitely check out 3dprinterworld.co.uk.

Infancy Period and Beginning

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You will be surprised and shocked to learn that the state-of-the-art technology of 3D printing is actually about four decades old. Since the start of 1980s, a form of this tech known as additive manufacturing has been around but people have not known about it or at least they have not viewed it like this. In the year 1981, a man by the name of Hideo Kodama came up with an amazing idea and published it. He spoke of a rapid prototyping system that would use photopolymers to make solid printed models made up of multiple layers. Each of the layer would correspond to a real slice of the model and give it shape and form. If it sounds familiar or if you can picture it in your head, guess why. This was the start of 3D printing.

In 1984 another genius, Charles Hull, invented stereolithography, a practice that allows us to create 3D models through digital data that serves as a guide or instruction for the machine to make a tangible object. Back then this was true science fiction as similar things were only possible in the great sci-fi movies of the time. The photopolymers mentioned above were the key element to stereolithography. Through the use of ultra violet laser beams directed at it, the photopolymer turns solid and takes the shape of the design that was made. The result is a 3D model. This technique was used with prototypes and inventors and researchers no longer needed funding and investments to test their designs.

If you are wondering what was the first stereolithographic apparatus (SLA) machine was, or the first 3D printer, it was the one made by 3D Systems in 1992, the company of Charles Hull whom we discussed earlier. This revolutionary machine did things quickly and efficiently even if the design has more complex parts. Also in 1992, a startup company by the name of DTM developed a selective laser sintering (SLS) machine, a similar device that shoots lasers at powder instead of liquid to make the models. Therefore, we can say that the year 1992 was the both the unofficial and official start of 3D printers as we know them. There were many problems along the way and numerous models came out flawed and warped, but by the turn of the millennium things were looking up.

Between 2000 and 2010

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The following decade was the adolescent period in the life of 3D printing and the time when it really came into its own. Things started changing in 1999 when the first 3D printed organ was used for transplantation in humans. The researchers managed to print synthetic human bladder scaffolds and coated them with real patient’s cells. A kidney, a prosthetic leg, and even blood vessels followed. In 2005, there was an idea by Dr. Adrian Bowyer to make a printer which could print out its own parts. His RepRap Project was launched and in 2008 a printer known as Darwin was the first self-replicating printer that can make copies of itself or birth new printers just like it. This was the first step in people owning 3D printers at home. The now-famous Kickstarter platform also helped fund numerous 3D printer projects since its launch in 2009. Innovations kept coming and the technology and science behind the models became better, faster, and more optimized.

From 2011 Onward

The market and industry reached new heights in the last ten years or so and it is now a legitimate business on its own. We have actually been living in the future for a few decades if 3D printers are the judges of anything, but people only became aware of them when they were already peaking. They are still quite pricey but nowhere near as pricey as they used to be. The best models will set you back thousands of dollars, but as a beginner or a mere techie who enjoys modern gadgets, you can find amazing models for a few hundred bucks. Best of all, the materials used for the models is quite cheap. The biggest problem could be the programming and designing needed for the software part of every model, but contemporary printers usually come with their own dedicated apps and programs and plenty of instructions. The future is very bright for this technology and the potential is limitless. It is only a matter of time before other materials become available for printing use and bigger printers step onto the scene. The whole way in which we build and design everyday things could potentially change if this technology proves even more useful than it already is.

How to Protect your Invention from Theft – 2021 Guide

Inventors are people who drive the entire human race forward with the power of their mind. Without their attention to detail and thousands of hours of experimentation and effort, we wouldn’t be where we are at right now.

Sometimes even the simplest inventions can make such a great difference in the development of our society. Just take a look at the wheel, and you’ll realize how something so simple can manage to change the way hundreds of thousands of generations live. Not that the wheel was easy to make, but only one person can come up with the idea, and the question is always who will be the first one to do it.

Modern inventors are a bit different than those in the past. Nowadays we have to focus on making much more complex inventions, or we’ll never be noticed. There are so many people working tirelessly to bring their products and ideas to life, but there’s one thing that makes things a lot more difficult, and that’s money.

Source:thenextweb.com

However, the focus on today’s article won’t be funding your invention, but something that should be done even before the funding part even begins, and that’s protecting it from theft. If you’re looking to learn some more about this, feel free to stay with us until the end. Let’s take a look.

Why protection?

You see, it’s quite easy to get your idea stolen by someone who has money and can use those funds to bring it to life a lot quicker than you can. If something like that happens, society will remember that person as the one who came up with that particular invention, even if you were the first one to think of it. It doesn’t matter who wrote it on paper first because people only remember who brought it on the market and made it available for them.

Also, idea-theft is something that happens quite a lot in these modern ages. So, with all of this out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the methods that you can utilize to protect your ideas.

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Don’t share it with anyone

It might sound a bit easier than it is, and we know that, but you should give your best to not share your invention with anyone until it’s fully protected and ready to go. Usually, people get hyped when they think of something cool and innovative, so they immediately want to tell their friends. However, this can be a huge mistake, especially if you tell it so someone who wants to abuse your creativity and use it for their cause. ThriveGlobal.com is a website where you can learn some more details about the protection of valuable ideas and achieving goals.

The reasons why people tell their ideas to others is either because they want to get feedback from them, or they’re asking for help, either in a financial form or in the form of constructive criticism. Either way, you should avoid doing it as much as possible.

Ensure that people know you as the original creator

Now, this is the part that’s helpful to all those who have to share their ideas with the public, whether because they need funding or something similar. One of these examples is crowdfunding campaigns created on sites such as Kickstarter or GoFundMe. If you decide to do something like this, we advise you to do everything it takes to let the public know that this is your idea. The internet “remembers”, so everything that’s posted there will serve as evidence for a very long time, use it to your advantage.

If the Kickstarter campaign has your name on it, and people know that you are the one who came up with that invention, idea, or whatever it is that you’re trying to get funded, it will be quite difficult for others to steal it. There will be always at least one person that will back you up and point others to the evidence.

Source:entrepreneur.com

Sign agreements with your partners

Signing agreements is a great way to ensure safety to both sides. If you are looking for a partner to help you bring your newly-crafted idea to life, or you’re just looking for funding from an investor, agreements are the way to go.

Now, we don’t say that loopholes in the law don’t exist and that hiring a very good lawyer cannot “bend” the situation in the favor of the person who has a lot of money, but, this is still a very solid protective measure. Agreements are easy to craft, you can do them all by yourself. They can be as simple as NDA’s in which both parties state that nothing private will ever come out until the product is finished and selling on the market.

Sometimes investors will ask you to sign other types of documents before they give you money for your invention. Make sure to review these thoroughly and possibly with a lawyer by your side, it can save you from getting scammed.

Do a background check on your investors

Last but not least, it is very important to do a complete background check on your investors to check if anything “shady” happened with them in the past. For example, companies such as Tencent are known for a lot of information-stealing done in the past, so other companies nowadays are quite careful when it comes to collaborating with them. We’re not bashing on anyone, just stating an obvious fact. Reputation matters, and if someone is known for stealing the ideas of others, you should avoid collaborating with them.

Source:wsj.com

Conclusion

A solid invention can help you achieve a lot of wealth, but what matters the most is to bring it to life without allowing anyone to steal it out of your hands. Things like these happened in the past, which is why we decided to inform all of you about the importance of being careful, and taking every extra step towards the perfect preventive measures. Remember to stay safe and keep inventing.