Chuck Hull, the founding father of 3D printing and of one of the industry's most prolific businesses, has been nominated for the European Patent Office's (EPO) European Inventor Award.
Hull, who established 3D Systems in California in 1986, has been recongised within the Non-European category as "an outstanding inventor working outside of Europe who has been granted a European patent".
The inventor is known for being prolific, with no fewer than 76 US patents and an additional 18 patents and 14 patents - brainchildren than have since spawned an entire industry that is changing the face of design and manufacturing forever. All this from tinkering with a hot glue gun back in 1983, when he made a small cup by layering glue.
Hull's shortlisting by the EPO recognises his invention of the original 3D printing technology, stereolithography. He is also the co-creator of the .STL file format, which remains something of a universal standard in high-definition 3D printing connectivity with all CAD formats.
Today, stereolithography is used to print everything from custom, in-ear hearing aids and professional music devices to automotive and aerospace parts.
Hull continues to lead the 3D printing revolution as 3D Systems' Chief Technology Officer, celebrating three decades of continuous 3D printing innovation and presiding over seven different 3D print technologies, more than 100 materials and 1,700 patents.
Hull said: "I am deeply honored to be considered by the EPO among the other high calibre innovators who have transformed the world and improved the human condition in tangible and powerful ways.
"I always knew that 3D printing had the capacity to change the entire design-to-manufacturing process, but could not have anticipated the full impact that my work would have on every facet of our lives. It is incredibly humbling and exhilarating to be a part of this transformation."
Earlier this month, Hull was inducted into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame for his globally impactful and transformative work inventing and pioneering 3D printing. With this induction, Hull joins the ranks of the likes of electric light inventor Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, whose research brought about the telephone. Hull also received The Economist’s prestigious 2013 Innovation Award, which recognises significant contributions across science, technology and society.