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News Link • 3D Printing

Support Material: How One Company Built the 3-D Printer Market Layer by Layer

 The company just announced an 81 percent increase in sales of their 3-D printers, catapulting their market capitalization over $4 billion. Their Cube 3-D printer is the first of its kind for sale at a big box store like Staples. And while MakerBot might have snagged the sweet brand name “Replicator” from Star Trek, 3D Systems got the exclusive license to print personalized 3-D figurines of Starship Enterprise crew members coinciding with the new movie’s premiere.

This success is especially impressive since it seemed like science fiction on March 9, 1983, when Antoinette Hull got a late night phone call from her husband, Chuck, who was busy tinkering with a “3-D printer” prototype at his lab. After hundreds of failed experiments that looked like plastic spaghetti, he had finally gotten his machine to work. Dressed in her pajamas, she got in the car and drove to the lab where she saw the first 3-D print — a little plastic cup she carries in her purse thirty years later.

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