Alain Le Mehaute

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Alain Le Mehaute
Alain Le Mehaute.JPG
Alain Le Mehaute gives a lecture.
Born (1947-11-21) November 21, 1947 (age 71)
NationalityFrance
Known forInventions and scientific research

Alain Le Mehaute (fr. Alain Le Méhauté; born November 21, 1947) is a French engineer-chemist and inventor. He has written numerous scientific researches and academic literature on Geometry, Physics and Chemistry. Alain Le Mehaute, Olivier de Witte and Jean Claude André were the first to file their patent for the stereolithography process, but officially the title of inventor of stereolithography and 3D printing technology on the whole belongs to Chuck Hull[1]

Career[edit]

Early in his career, Alain Le Mehaute was the main engineer in the scientific center of the industrial group Alcatel-Alstrom. After that he was a professor of mathematics at the University of Nantes, France and a professor at University of Paris-Sud.[2] From 1996-2010 he was a director at the Institute of Modern Materials, ISMANS, Le Mans, France. He then took the post as a visiting professor at the University of Kazan (Russia) after he had retired.

Patents[edit]

Alain Le Mehaute has more than 100 articles published, most of them on physics. According to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Alain Le Mehaute is an author of 23 patents. Including development of Lithium based generator, a device for attenuating and filtering vibrations transmitted to a user by an item of footwear.[3][4]

Invention of stereolithography[edit]

On July 16, 1984 Alain Le Méhauté, Olivier de Witte and Jean Claude André filed their patent for the stereolithography process.[5]

It was three weeks before American Chuck Hull filed his own patent for stereolithography. Due to issues with the patent for Alain Le Méhauté, Olivier de Witte and Jean Claude André, Chuck Hall is considered to be the inventor of this technology. The application of French inventors were abandoned by the French General Electric Company (now Alcatel-Alsthom) and CILAS (The Laser Consortium).[6] The claimed reason was “for lack of business perspective”.[7]

One of the main sources about 3D printing 3dprint.com called him "the father of 3D printing".[8]

Alain Le Méhauté in his interview describes the commitment that led to the patent application as arising from a theoretical commitment: mathematical order, a passion for transdisciplinary science, and the belief in the explosive commercial potential.

“At first, the team was flying high–until they learned (through second-hand rumors) that their patent application had been abandoned because their employers could not perceive the size of the commercial potential”.[9]

Although Alain Le Méhauté expressed his regrets on the fact that the European Union awarded Chuck Hull as the sole inventor of this technology, he saluted Hull's work saying “I have great respect for Hull who had the courage to initiate the creation of 3D Systems in 1986. I also have a lot of admiration for the US’s ability to open doors to the future, even in cases where they can only understand theoretical approximations of the value. It’s something our French financial experts would laugh at doing, even today…We see the consequences of these attitudes every day and 3D technology is just one example of our collective failure”.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mendoza, Hannah Rose (May 15, 2015). "3dprint.com". Alain Le Méhauté, The Man Who Submitted Patent For SLA 3D Printing Before Chuck Hull.
  2. ^ "Biographie Alain Le Mehaute". l'Etudiant. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  3. ^ "Patenschrift DE 2746529C2". Deutsches Patent- und Markenamt.
  4. ^ "Method and device for attenuating and filtering vibrations transmitted to a user by an item of footwear". Espacenet.
  5. ^ Jean-Claude, Andre. "Disdpositif pour realiser un modele de piece industrielle". National De La Propriete Industrielle.
  6. ^ Mendoza, Hannah Rose (May 15, 2015). "3dprint.com". Alain Le Méhauté, The Man Who Submitted Patent For SLA 3D Printing Before Chuck Hull.
  7. ^ Moussion, Alexandre (2014). "Interview d'Alain Le Méhauté, l'un des pères de l'impression 3D". Primante 3D.
  8. ^ Mendoza, Hannah Rose (May 15, 2015). "3dprint.com". Alain Le Méhauté, The Man Who Submitted Patent For SLA 3D Printing Before Chuck Hull.
  9. ^ Mendoza, Hannah Rose (May 15, 2015). "3dprint.com". Alain Le Méhauté, The Man Who Submitted Patent For SLA 3D Printing Before Chuck Hull.
  10. ^ Mendoza, Hannah Rose (May 15, 2015). "3dprint.com". Alain Le Méhauté, The Man Who Submitted Patent For SLA 3D Printing Before Chuck Hull.