Va an email from Paul, from a forwarded email (
I’m not certain of the whole email chain or original source, but it’s interesting. UPDATE: The note was written by Stan Sieler, and posted on a mailing list called “classic computers”, a list for hobbyists interested in old computer technology and/or the restoration and operation of old computers. Old, as in anywhere from 20 to 50 or more years old.):
Back in 2017, I posted something about seeing a possible first-ever
reference to the idea of 3-D printing in a 1951 issue of Galaxy Science
I stumbled over an even earlier one tonight…
The September, 1941, issue of Astounding Science Fiction magazine has a
story called “Elsewhere” by Caleb Saunders (a pseudonym of Robert A.
Heinlein). On page 118 we see:
[They used] a single general type of machine to manufacture almost
anything. They fed into it a plan which Igor called, for want of a better
term, the blueprints. It was, in fact, a careful scale model of the device
to be manufactured; the machine retooled itself and produced the artifact.
A three-dimensional pantograph, Igor called the machine, vaguely and
inaccurately. One of them was, at that moment, molding the bodies of
fighting planes out. of plastic, all in one piece and in one operation.