- Hull invented and commercialized the first 3D printing technology, Stereolithography, which gave birth to the 3D printing industry
- Adoption of additive manufacturing transforming how products are developed, healthcare is delivered
- Hull and fellow laureates honored at ceremony at The White House on October 24, 2023
3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced Charles (Chuck) Hull, its co-founder and chief technology officer for regenerative medicine, has received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation (NMTI). Established in 1980, the NMTI is the United States’ highest honor for technological achievement, awarded by the President of the United States for outstanding contributions to America’s economic, environmental, and social well-being. Mr. Hull is being honored for the invention, development, and commercialization of Stereolithography (SLA), which launched the 3D printing industry, and for continuing innovation and leadership in additive manufacturing technology. He received the honor from President Joseph Biden at a ceremony held at The White House on Tuesday, October 24, 2023.
Mr. Hull was Vice President of Engineering at UVP, Inc. (now owned by Analytik Jena), a company that manufactures ultraviolet light sources for industrial and scientific applications when he began working on a way to fuse UV resins into three-dimensional structures to create product prototypes. In 1983, he produced the first 3D-printed part, an eye wash cup, using Stereolithography. Mr. Hull applied for a patent for this technology, and in 1986 he co-founded 3D Systems through which the SLA-1, the first 3D printer, was commercialized. With the founding of 3D Systems, he initiated the 3D printing industry.
In 2014, Mr. Hull was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame at the United States Patent and Trademark Office for his globally impactful and transformative work inventing and pioneering 3D printing. The same year, he received the European Patent Office’s prestigious European Inventor Award in the non-European countries category for his contributions to technological progress and the advancement of society. In 2016 Mr. Hull received the Manufacturing Leadership Lifetime Achievement Award from Frost & Sullivan’s Manufacturing Leadership Council, and The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) honored him and named the SLA-1, the first commercial 3D printer, a Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark. He also received The Economist’s prestigious 2013 Innovation Award, recognizing significant contributions across the fields of science and technology. Mr. Hull is a named inventor on 85 United States patents, plus numerous other patents around the world in the fields of ion optics and 3D printing.
3D Systems remains a leader in innovation with state-of-the-art production 3D printers, materials, software, and application experts that have changed how products are manufactured and healthcare is delivered. As 3D Systems’ Chief Technology Officer for Regenerative Medicine, Mr. Hull continues to bring his pioneering spirit to the next frontier of 3D printing — bioprinting. He leads the 3D Systems team collaborating with United Therapeutics in a joint development program to establish an unlimited supply of human lungs, requiring no immunosuppression, potentially allowing patients with end-stage lung disease to benefit from an unlimited supply of tolerable, transplantable organs.
“On behalf of the entire company, I congratulate Chuck as a recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation,” said Dr. Jeffrey Graves, president & CEO, 3D Systems. “He has had a remarkable career with his efforts not only changing the trajectory of manufacturing but also impacting the human condition by changing how healthcare is delivered. Chuck’s invention of Stereolithography gave birth to an industry and since that time, the number of 3D printing technologies has proliferated, as have the applications for which they are used. Advancements in applications such as satellites, electric vehicles, medical implants, dental aligners, chip manufacturing, carbon capture — 3D printing is playing an integral role in each one — all made possible by Chuck taking the first step with SLA. I’m inspired by his passion and believe we’ll see the possibility of bioprinted human organs becoming a reality in his lifetime. It’s a pleasure to collaborate with Chuck and I am so very grateful and privileged to call him a colleague and friend.”
About 3D Systems
More than 35 years ago, 3D Systems brought the innovation of 3D printing to the manufacturing industry. Today, as the leading additive manufacturing solutions partner, we bring innovation, performance, and reliability to every interaction – empowering our customers to create products and business models never before possible. Thanks to our unique offering of hardware, software, materials, and services, each application-specific solution is powered by the expertise of our application engineers who collaborate with customers to transform how they deliver their products and services. 3D Systems’ solutions address a variety of advanced applications in healthcare and industrial markets such as medical and dental, aerospace & defense, automotive, and durable goods.