The history of 3D printing can be traced back to the early 1980s, when Chuck Hull invented stereolithography. This technology uses a laser to cure layers of photopolymer resin, and was used to create prototypes and small batches of parts. In the 1990s, 3D printers began to enter the mainstream with the development of fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology. FDM printers lay down layers of thermoplastic material, which melts and cools to form solid objects. Today, there are many different types of 3D printing technologies available, each with its own unique capabilities.