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A 20 Year Old 3D Printing Relic Rediscovered.
Posted by 3DP4E

By Noah W. | 3DP4E

While only recently capturing the limelight, 3D Printing has been around for quite a while, being invented in the 1980's, with researchers and students at MIT experimenting win the 90's. In fact, it was a MIT's Dr. Ely Sachs that first coined the phrase ’3D printing’.

Branden Gunn, a colleague of Dr. Sachs, was surprised when another colleague of theirs, Jim Serdy, gave him a relic from these early days of 3DP. As Gunn puts it:

“We were actually at a company beach party when I was talking with Jim about 3D printing in general, and he went to get the model for me from his car...I was not expecting it as a gift.”

– Branden Gunn

The actual print is of the Hagia Sophia, a church turned mosque turned museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Only 4 centimeters across, it was fabricated on the MIT Alpha 3D Printer via a dry alumina powder which was systematically bound via a special binding solution. The printer itself can be found on display at the MIT Museum.

Desipite the still incredible detail of this print, it really goes to show how far this industry has come in such a short time, from 4cm replicas to the dawn of full-scale 3D Printed Architecture!


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