Inventor of 3D Printing Charles Hull Recipient of 2015 IRI Achievement Award


Hull recognized for his invention of industry-transforming stereolithography technology

ARLINGTON, VA (April 30, 2015)—In an effort to recognize outstanding accomplishment in individual innovation and creativity, which contributes broadly to the development of industry and to the benefit of society, the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) presents its Achievement Award to such an individual each year. For his invention of the solid imaging process known as stereolithography, the first commercial 3D printing technology, which has transformed the design to manufacturing process, empowered makers all over the world, and opened up once-impossible applications, such as personalized medicine, that improve lives and benefit society, IRI presents the 2015 Achievement Award to Charles W. Hull, Co-Founder and CTO of 3D Systems (NYSE: DDD).

“3D printing technology is a game-changer, transforming the world around us from how we design to how we make, from how we learn to how we play and even eat,” said Ed Bernstein, IRI President. “With 3D printing making headlines daily, I can think of no better recipient of the Achievement Award than its inventor.”

Hull founded 3D Systems in 1986, initiating the 3D printing industry. He continues to lead that industry today with cutting edge innovations ranging from state of the art production 3D printers to the first home-certified 3D printer, the award-winning Cube. He is a named inventor on more than 60 U.S. patents, plus numerous patents from around the world in the fields of ion optics and 3D printing.

In 1994, Hull received the Jacquard Award from the Numerical Controls Society for his invention and commercialization of stereolithography. He received the 1995 Rank Prize from the Rank Foundation in London and the William T. Ennor Manufacturing Technology Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1996. He also received the 1997 Albert M. Sargent Progress Award by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and in 2011, along with Avi Reichental, he was named Entrepreneur of the Year for manufacturing in the Carolinas. His work history includes time with DuPont’s Photo Products Division, developing analytical equipment for chemists, and engineering work at Bell & Howell. Hull received a B.S. in Engineering Physics from the University of Colorado, as well as an honorary Doctorate in Engineering from Loughborough University in 2005. The award ceremony recognizing Mr. Hull was held yesterday evening in the Westin Seattle during IRI’s Annual Meeting.

About the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) The Industrial Research Institute (IRI) is an organization of 200+ industrial and service companies having a common interest in the effective management of technological innovation. IRI member companies span diverse industries and represent a substantial portion of our nation’s gross domestic product. IRI is the only cross-industry organization creating innovation leadership solutions and best practices in innovation management developed through collaborative knowledge creation. For more information, call 703-647-2580 or visit