Dr. Hideo Kodama of the Nagoya Municipal Industrial Research Institute in Japan was one of the first to explore the principle of curing by the use of a laser beam.
As early as 1980, he filed a patent (JPS56144478A) and described his system as follows: “A vat of photopolymer material is exposed to UV light. This light hardens the material in the vat, creating a model layer by layer.”
This is exactly the principle on which the SLA process works. Unfortunately, due to problems with funding, he was unable to fully file his patent within the one-year deadline after submission, denying him a place on the podium of 3D printing history.
Further steps/work by Dr. Hideo Kodama:
- A car designer named Hideo Kodama once worked for Opel. If you search for Hideo Kodama in combination with 3D Printing or similar, various Hideo Kodamas are shown as inventors of 3D printing among the pictures. (Wikipedia entry about the designer)