Carl R. Deckard – The Inventor of Selective Laser Sintering

Even as a child, little Carl R. Deckard had set his sights on becoming an inventor. He should also achieve this goal.

Already as a student he had the idea

While studying mechanical engineering at the University of Texas in the 1980s, he attended what he called a summer camp. It was during this camp that he had the idea that changed his life.

At the time, he was working part-time at a company called TRW Mission, which made parts for oil production. Although the machines used in production were state of the art and CAD was also used, he felt that too many castings and therefore molds were used.

His idea was noticed and supported

So he spent several years tinkering with the implementation of his idea of being able to produce parts without molds. The university representatives recognized the value of his work and supported the eager inventor. He devoted his time in his master's program and then as a doctoral student to improving this technology.

In 1987, he was able to register his patent for selective laser sintering (SLS). In 1989 the patent was granted. Companies took notice and were able to license this technology. This single invention earned the University of Texas the highest revenue of any patent for years.

Carl R. Deckard patents

  • Selective Laser Sintering with Assisted Powder Handling (US4938816A)
  • Method and Apparatus for Producing Parts by Selective Sintering (US5017753A)
  • Multiple material systems for selective beam sintering (US4944817A)

Sources/Further reading