In the five years from 1984 to 1989, the core 4D patent technologies of 3D printing, SLA, SLS, FDM, and 3DP, were successively launched. The number of patented technologies increased significantly compared with that before 1984, and the industry entered an initial period of development. The establishment of 3D Systems, Stratasys, EOS and other companies opened the era of commercialization of 3D printing. During the same period in China, research teams represented by universities such as Tsinghua University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, and Xi'an Jiaotong University began to study 3D printing and developed a small number of rapid prototyping prototypes. The earliest university research forces in contact with 3D printing formed the “five major schools” of 3D printing in China today.


In 1986, Dr. Xiaoqin Xu went to the United States to study, joined the United States Naval Welding Institute and the world's largest 3D printing company 3D Systems, as the technical director, led the development of the SLS technology has a revolutionary impact on the manufacturing industry.

In 1988, Professor Yancheng Nian of Tsinghua University contacted 3D printing for the first time during his visit to UCLA in the United States. After returning home, he began to specialize in 3D printing. His team led many important achievements in the field of rapid prototyping.

In 1992, Professor Lu Bingheng of Xi'an Jiaotong University discovered the application of 3D printing in automobile manufacturing during his visit to the University of Michigan. Subsequently, Lu Bingheng's team developed a research and development of a photo-curable rapid prototyping manufacturing system in China, and developed an international first-rate UV rapid prototyping device.

In 1995, the team of Wei Huang Weidong of Northwestern Polytechnical University began the research of metal 3D printing. Prof. Huang Weidong first proposed the technical concept of high-performance additive manufacturing of metal in China and authorized the first batch of patents. He published the only monograph “Laser Stereo Forming” in the field in China.
In 1997, Lu Bingheng's team developed the first photocuring rapid prototyping machine in China

In 1998, the Shi Yusheng team of Huazhong University of Science and Technology began the research and development of “Powder Material Rapid Forming Technology and Equipment”. The team established a complete set of academic systems and systems for selective laser sintering rapid prototyping technology that has been widely used and has achieved significant economic and social benefits.
In 2012, Professor Wang Huaming from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics presided over the project "Laser titanium alloy large-scale complex monolithic component laser forming technology" project won the first prize of national technology invention.