Press release of June 24, 2014

This year’s winner of the EPO’s “European Inventor Award 2014” in the category “Non-European countries” is Charles W. “Chuck” Hull, inventor, patent-holder of the first stereolithography rapid prototyping system and founder of market leader 3D Systems, Inc., founded in 1986 in Valencia, California.

3D printing, the additive-manufacturing technology Chuck Hull developed, has made rapid prototyping possible and opened up new applications across countless industries. The technology could one day become one of the biggest advances in manufacturing since the industrial revolution, according to the EPO’s appraisal.

In the early 1980s, Chuck Hull set out to improve the tedious process of creating small plastic parts for prototyping involved in testing new product designs. Only one year after he had developed the first model of his 3D printer, Hull applied for a patent for his invention: a machine that could perform in a matter of minutes what would normally take several weeks of moulding and casting, according to the EPO’s official statement.

BARDEHLE PAGENBERG has been successfully representing the corresponding EP 0 681 906 (Stereolithographic Construction Techniques), EP 1 946 910 (Imager Assembly and Method for Solid Imaging) and many other patents and patent applications for 3D Systems before the EPO.