Austin’s Carl Deckard, one of the Pioneers of the 3D Printing Industry, has Died

Carl Deckard

Carl Deckard, 58, one of the pioneers of 3D printing died in Austin over the holidays.

Deckard died on Dec. 23, according to his obit.

Deckard was one of the inventors of “Selective Laser Sintering,” the technology at the forefront of 3D printing.

Deckard developed the technology at the University of Texas at Austin while he was working on his undergraduate degree and later his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in the UT Mechanical Engineering Department.

Deckard eventually spun out a company, DTM, to commercialize the technology.

For years, Deckard’s patents “were some of the highest revenue-generating intellectual property out of UT Austin,” according to the university.

And Deckard’s innovation helped give birth to a new industry, the 3D printing industry, which is worth nearly $16 billion last year and is projected to reach nearly $24 billion by 2022, according to The Wohlers Report.

Today, 3D printing is used for all kinds of applications including making dental crowns, hip replacement joints, printing pizza, chocolate sculptures and other food, toys, jewelry, and even for printing human tissue and recreating human organs.

Deckard was one of Austin’s innovators who made a huge contribution to the technology industry locally and globally.


The Pioneers of 3D Printing: Terry Wohlers, industry expert, Chuck Hull, co-founder of 3D Systems, Carl Deckard, inventor of laser sintering, Lisa Crump, co-founder of Stratasys and Dave Bourell, professor of mechanical engineering at UT, photo by Laura Lorek

Silicon Hills News was lucky enough to interview him at a 25th annual International Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium, the world’s leading research-focused summit on 3D manufacturing, held at UT Austin in August of 2014. Here’s the full story from that event.

Deckard also co-founded another company in 2012, Structured Polymers, which created a proprietary scalable process for commercializing high-performance polymer powders for 3D-printing. Evonik, a German company acquired Austin-basedStructured Polymers in January of 2019 for an undisclosed amount.

“Carl held 27 patents and 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,” according to his Obit.

“He is survived by his sons, Thomas; Michael and wife Chelsea; sister, Lucy; and ex-wives Sally and Kimberly. A celebration of his life will be held in January. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Austin Pets Alive ataustinpetsalive.org/donate,” according to his Obit.