Carl Robert Deckard, recognised as the inventor of Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), passed away on December 23, 2019. Along with SLS, Deckard is also credited with inventing the Deckard Engine as well as a number of polymers for use in Additive Manufacturing.
With twenty-seven patents, Deckard was profiled by Fortune magazine as one of five modern technology pioneers, inducted into the Manufacturing Hall of Fame by Industry Week, and named a Master of Manufacturing by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
Born in Houston on June 20,
He worked with Dr Joe Beaman, a young assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering, to develop the process that became known as Selective Laser Sintering, one of the earliest and most enduring forms of Additive Manufacturing. The result of his Master’s project was an SLS plastic cube within another plastic cube and with the help of a grant from the National Science Foundation, he continued working on his invention for his PhD under the direction of Dr Beaman.
Deckard’s graduate work was so successful that UT agreed to license the technology in 1988, said to be the first time that UT had entered into such an agreement. This started the process of Deckard transforming his invention into a commercial product. In recent years, Carl worked with his collaborators, Jim Mikulak and Vikram Devarajan, to invent new polymers, making it possible to make better quality additively manufactured 3D parts.