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3D Printing
The process where a solid object is created from a computer model.
The term 3D printing is often used interchangeably with additive manufacturing.
Parts are made in plastic, rubber, or metal.


Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
Thermoplastic most commonly used in 3D printed parts.
Heavily used when parts need to be dimensionally accurate and durable.

Additive Manufacturing
See 3D Printing.

Additive Metal Manufacturing (AMM)
The 3D printing process which builds metal objects in layers,
by binding or fusing powdered metal together.


Another name for a 3D printer build plate.
This is the flat surface in which the parts are made.


Concept Model
A physical model of a final product which demonstrates its
form and feel but which may lack some functionality.

The process of hardening a liquid or other material to produce its final form.


Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM)
The production of final products or components using 3D printing technology.

Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS)
See Additive Metal Manufacturing (AMM)


Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
3D printing process where melted plastic material is extruded from a nozzle,
and layers of material are extruded to build parts.
Both the term and its acronym are trademarks of Stratasys.

Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
Acronym of FDM, but given its name so that would be legally
unconstrained in its use when compared to FDM.

This is the wire made from build material which enters the cold end of the extruder,
or the heated wire which exits the hot end of the extruder.


Material Extrusion
The process of pushing out a melted material (usually plastic),
in order to build up a 3D object as it cools and solidifies.


(PC)Thermoplastic commonly used in 3D printed parts.
This material is heavily used when parts need to be impact resistant, or clear.

3D printing process that builds up an object by jetting a photopolymer though a print head
before solidifying it using a UV light. Parts are printed in either a plastic or rubber material.

Polypropylene (PP)
Thermoplastic commonly used in 3D printed parts.
This material is primarily used when parts need flexibility.


Rapid Prototyping (RP)
Construction of a prototype of an object or assembly off a CAD model.
Usually done through 3D printing/additive manufacturing.


Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)
3D printing technology which uses a laser to selectively
fuse/sinter together powder to build up a 3D object in layers.

Show Model
See Concept Model.

A type of photopolymerization which used a UV laser to solidify a
photopolymer liquid in order to build up an object in layers.

File format originally developed by 3D Systems in 1987,
and used in most 3D printing processes to produce parts.


Any plastic which can be transitioned to a molten form by heating
and then which solidifies again when it cools. Common types are ABS and PLA.


FDM/FFF material that has a high heat deflection.


Measure of the resistance of flow of a fluid.