Carl R. Deckard

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Carl Robert Deckard, Ph.D, ME (1961 - December 23, 2019) was an American inventor, teacher, and businessman, best known for inventing and developing Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), a method of 3D printing.[1] He died at the age of 58, on 23 December 2019.[2]


Deckard initially came up with the idea for SLS as an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin).[3] He continued developing the technology as a Masters and PhD student with the help of Dr. Joe Beaman, a professor at UT-Austin.[4] After several years of trial-and-error, Deckard's machine was capable of manufacturing real parts. He licensed the technology from UT-Austin and co-founded Desk Top Manufacturing (DTM) Corp. in 1987.[4] DTM Corp. specialized in rapid prototyping and manufacturing systems for manufacturers and service bureaus. DTM Corp. was acquired by 3D Systems in 2001 at a $45 million valuation.[5] Deckard became an engineering professor at Clemson University after DTM's acquisition.[4] After three and a half years, Deckard returned to Austin to work on the Deckard Engine, a four-stroke engine aimed at replacing emission-emitting two-stroke engines in small, hand-held products.[3]

The majority of Deckard's work was in the additive manufacturing industry.[4] In 2012, Deckard co-founded Structured Polymers LLC, a company that develops novel polymers for SLS machines.[6]


  • Selective Laser Sintering with Assisted Powder Handling (U.S. 4,938,816)[7]
  • Method and Apparatus for Producing Parts by Selective Sintering (U.S. 4,863,538)[8]
  • Multiple Material Systems for Selective Beam Sintering (U.S. 4,944,817)[9]


  1. ^ Lorincz, Jim. "Masters of Manufacturing: Carl R. Deckard PhD". Manufacturing Engineering Magazine. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  2. ^ Carl Robert Deckard, inventor of SLS, dies at 58
  3. ^ a b Lorenz, Jim. "Masters of Manufacturing: Carl R. Packard, PhD". Manufacturing Engineering Magazine. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d Lou, Alex. "Selective Laser Sintering, Birth of an Industry". University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  5. ^ "3D Systems and DTM Corporation Announce Plans to Merge". NetComposites. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  6. ^ "IT/Wireless". Austin Technology Incubator. Archived from the original on 12 January 2014. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  7. ^ "Patent US4938816-Selective laser sintering with assisted powder handling". Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  8. ^ "Patent US4863538". Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  9. ^ "Patent US4944817-Multiple material systems for selective beam sintering". Retrieved 2 January 2014.

External links[edit]

  1. ^ "Carl Deckard, Inventor of Selective Laser Sintering, has died". Inovar Communications Ltd, 11 Park Plaza, Battlefield Enterprise Park, Shrewsbury SY1 3AF, United Kingdom. 9 January 2020. Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  2. ^ "Masters of Manufacturing: Carl R. Deckard, PhD". SME - 1000 Town Center, Suite 1910 Southfield, MI 48075. Retrieved 11 January 2020.
  3. ^ "Tributes paid to Selective Laser Sintering inventor Dr Carl Deckar". Rapid News Publications Ltd. A Rapid News Communications Group Company. 8 January 2020. Retrieved 12 January 2020.