3-D movies are making a huge come-back. With amazing technology breakthroughs, we find ourselves in a world quickly filling up with 3-D inventions. But, where did 3-D come from, and how does the technology work?

The History of 3-D Technology 

It all began at the dawn of the photographic age in the mid 19th century. In 1844, a man named David Brewster invented the Stereoscope, which could take photographic images. At the Great Exhibition in 1851, a man named Louis Jules Duboscq improved the technology and took a picture of Queen Victoria. The Stereoscopic camera gave way to Kinematascope, a stereo animation camera, and the first 3-D movie,  The Power of Love, in 1922.

The 1950s saw a comeback with this technology in the world of cinema. Several classic movies that required special glasses, such as House of Wax and Alfred Hitchcock’s Dial M For Murder were popular, but not all movie theaters had the technology to show such films. The 1960s and 70s introduced Space-Vision 3-D and Stereovision, both of which improved the original concept. 3-D technology continued to evolve throughout the 1980s, particularly in horror films such as Jaws and Friday the 13th.

Many big studio movies were made using 3-D technology well into the 2000s, many using HD video cameras. These included: Aliens of the Deep and The Polar Express. In 2010, 3-D television began to take hold, resulting in an increase of educational and animated shows, sporting events, documentaries, and musical performances.

What is 3-D Technology?

In order to understand how 3-D technology works, one must first comprehend how human sight works. Simply speaking, it places two slightly diverse images over each other, or in alternating succession. Our eyes are set approximately three inches apart, and this distance transmits two slightly different images to the brain. 3-D technology tricks the brain into seeing two different images from the same source and then making a space where distance and depth can be perceived.

The 3-D glasses we wear while viewing a 3-d image help dissect the image and transmit it to the correct eye. 3-D glasses are either active or passive. If they are active, they have electronics that change the display; if they are passive, they lack electronics and rely on a different way to dissect the images.

3-D printing technology

3-D printing  refers to a manufacturing process that converts a digital file into three-dimensional solid objects. With this technology, additive processes are utilized, which involve laying down successive layers of material, until the entire object, whatever it may be, is created. Each layer is a thinly sliced horizontal cross section of the object-to-be.

The future of 3-D technology and 3-D printing

Almost every walk of life as we know it now, and in the near future, will be able to benefit from the powers of 3-D technology. An increasing number of televisions, cameras, camcorders, and laptops are relying on 3-D technology earning the process a well-deserved place as a widely accepted entertainment technology.

With effects on energy use, waste reduction, customization, product availability, medicine, art, construction, and sciences, 3-D printing could change the manufacturing world as we know it, affecting energy use, waste reduction, health care, architecture, customization, medicine, art, construction, fashion, and science.

Some advocates of additive manufacturing believe 3-D printing technology will change the nature of commerce as well, because end users will be able to do much of their own manufacturing rather than buy products from other people and corporations.

And to think it all started with a picture taken of Queen Victoria back in 1851.


How has 3-D technology affected your life? Do you believe 3-D technology has changed the world as you know it?

Additional Image: MaximumPC






M. Dee Dubroff
M. Dee Dubroff
My name is Marjorie Dorfman and I am also known as M Dee Dubroff. I am a freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of New York University, I taught in New York City schools for a few years before finding my true calling as a writer. I now live in Doylestown, PA with one cat named Mr. Biscuit and my significant other, a graphics artist and former designer of postage stamps, both of whom keep me on my toes at all times.