Encyclopedia of Computer Graphics and Games

Living Edition
| Editors: Newton Lee

Open Source 3D Printing, History of

  • Emily PeedEmail author
  • Newton Lee
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-08234-9_280-2



3D Printing is a form of manufacturing that adds small layers of materials together to form an object. This is in direct contrast to subtractive manufacturing, which cuts away at a material to form an object. Open source innovations have lowered the price of machinery and increased innovation in new markets.


The market for 3D Printing has an open source variation, which began with the sharing of open designs, and further increased after key patents expired for the original technology. This entry goes through the open source innovations that have occurred since the first step in 2004 with the RepRap (Replicating Rapid-Prototyper) project. Since then, larger industry players and the DIY market has thrived as more have turned towards this technology.

While many are under the impression that the 3D printing spontaneously appeared...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. About.: (n.d.). Retrieved 20 Mar 2018 from http://www.reprap.org/wiki/About
  2. All3DP.: The Official History of the RepRap Project (2016). Retrieved 28 Dec 2017 from https://all3dp.com/history-of-the-reprap-project/
  3. Benchoff, B.: The MakerBot Obituary (2016). Retrieved 20 Mar 2018 from https://hackaday.com/2016/04/28/the-makerbot-obituary/
  4. Dr Adrian Bowyer.: (n.d.). http://www.adrianbowyer.com/about.html. Retrieved 19 May 2018 from the personal website of Dr. Adrian Bowyer
  5. Hurley, S.: Autodesk Releases Ember’s 3D Printing Resin as Open Source (2015). Retrieved 28 Dec 2017 from http://autodesk.blogs.com/between_the_lines/2015/03/autodesk-releases-embers-3d-printing-resin-as-open-source.html
  6. Orf, D.: Makerbot Labs Is One Step Toward Open Source 3D Printing (2017). Retrieved 20 Mar 2018 from https://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/gadgets/a28651/makerbot-labs-open-source-experimental-extruder/
  7. Smith, Z.: Automate Everything (2012). Retrieved 20 Mar 2018 from http://www.hoektronics.com/2012/09/21/makerbot-and-open-source-a-founder-perspective/
  8. The Official History of the RepRap Project.: (2016). Retrieved from https://all3dp.com/history-of-the-reprap-project/

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute For Education, Research, and Scholarship (IFERS)BurbankUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Education, Research, and ScholarshipsLos AngelesUSA