January 23, 2024 ITERATE

Top 3 Inventors of the 20th and 21st Century

Top 3 Inventors of the 20th and 21st Century

ITERATE wanted to showcase some influential pioneers whose contribution to the development of design has helped shape our innovative epoch. The regeneration of ideas and perspectives have enabled many revolutionary creations to surface and through the use of these new inventions, capabilities for design have elevated to a completely new level. Innovators of the 20th and 21st centuries have laid down an exciting path, ready for our generation to follow and expand upon. With inventions such as the 3D printer, additive manufacturing processes are redefining the way we work. We have selected three inventors/inventive processes we feel deserve recognition.


Chuck Hall 

Chuck Hall is the first creator we wanted to highlight. Hall led the invention of the 3D printer, the very first commercial rapid prototyping technology. He first developed the idea when using a UV light to harden tabletop coatings. Hull owns more than 60 U.S patents and other patents around the world, in the fields of rapid prototyping, and he even formulated the term ‘Stereolithography’. Additive manufacturing process are now being applied in many different fields of work. An organisation that has gained invaluable benefits from this process is aerospace. Through the method of 3D printing vital parts for various different machines, aerospace is able to utilise the efficient process of 3D printing and generate light weight, high strength production parts. Aerospace satellites are a great example of how 3D printing specific parts can be advantageous and lead to significant decrease in production cost.



Aerospace has adapted to 3D printing the brackets of their satellites, these brackets are vital when securing components to the satellites body, the brackets must also be able to endure vast temperature fluctuations experienced outside of the earth’s atmosphere. Due to the brackets having to endure extreme environments, titanium is used. Coherently, all the advantages of 3D printing were covered, contrasting traditional manufacturing methods. This includes utilising premium material with little waste and due to the brackets being lightweight, they ensure expensive fuel is saved throughout the life span of the project. Progression like this would not be possible without Chuck Halls contribution to additive manufacturing processes.


Ben Grossman 

The second forward-thinking innovator we wanted to mention is Ben Grossman. Grossman started off as a visual effects supervisor in LA, in 2014 he and his partners founded Magnopus, a visual effects development company. Magnopus is unique to the market as it merges augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) to develop virtual production systems that have evolved from the traditional film production process. The aim of this new production process is to blur the lines between physical and digital worlds, Grossman believes ‘the way we interact with digital information and experiences are changing’ and that a ‘new spatial something is coming’- Ben Grossman in ‘Little black book’. Studios are now turning to this technique to get film production back on track, through the combination of high-powered graphics, camera tracking and AR/VR, film makers are able to create scenes that merge physical and digital worlds that enable films to be orchestrated by people working from home. Mangnopus are rethinking the way in which their audiences interact with the digital world; Grossman describes the physical and digital as layers that can be interactive and accessible from almost any device. Grossman’s intentions are led by the questions ‘What would it be like if the audience watched the movie from the inside? What if they were characters? What would story telling become if we did that?’- Ben Grossman. Due to this innovative technique, series such Disney’s Mandalorian was able to be developed with a lower budget yet still received remarkable feedback and audience reviews.


Elon Musk-SpaceX

The third inventor we feel obliged to mention is, of course, Elon Musk and the SpaceX reusable rocket. The enticing thought of flights to other worlds being readily available, is enough to make anyone excited. The alien lands yet to be explored fascinates us all undoubtably, and the fact that Elon Musk and his team at SpaceX are working on making this fantasy a reality, most definitely earns him a spot on our top inventors list. The SpaceX reusable launch system program aims to develop a set of new technologies for an orbital launch system that may be re-used many times, similar to the reusability of aircrafts. Through several years of development, SpaceX has been working on the technologies needed to facilitate full rapid, reusability of space launch vehicles. There are multiple engineering challenges due to the vehicles travelling at orbital velocity. Overcoming these challenges are considered paramount to the plan to eventually enable a relocation to Mars. Additionally, the vehicles could be used to for rapid trips to and from different locations on Earth. The ideas and aims behind this project is innovation beyond any measure.

FEBRUARY 11, 2022


Gethin Roberts


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