Browse Definitions :
Definition

3-D printing (additive manufacturing)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: From blockchain to RPA: A look at cutting-edge tech and the enterprise

3-D printing is a manufacturing process that builds layers to create a three-dimensional solid object from a digital model.

To print a 3-D object, the manufacturer uses a computer-aided design (CAD) program to create a digital model that gets sliced into very thin cross-sections called layers. During the print process, the 3-D printer starts at the bottom of the design and builds up successive layers of material until the object is finished.

In the past, the cost of 3-D printing was expensive and the technology was only used by large corporations, but the development of desktop 3-D printers has made the technology more accessible to small and mid-sized businesses and home users. Today, 3-D printers are used to create anything from a new toy or motorcycle part to manufacturing prototypes for testing purposes. Before 3-D printers existed, creating a prototype was time-consuming and expensive, requiring skilled craftsmen and specific machinery. Instead of sending modeling instructions to a production company, advances in 3-D printing have allowed businesses to insource prototype production on a regular basis. 

Michael Feygen is credited with developing the first 3-D printer in 1985. 3-D printing is known by many names; depending upon the context, the term may also be referred to as rapid prototyping, stereolighography, architectural modeling or additive manufacturing. Different 3-D printers use different materials to build layers. Some use liquid polymer or gel; others use resin, which tends to be more expensive. 

The ZPrinter 450 is an automated 3-D inkjet printer for offices.This commercial demonstrates how it builds prototypes.

 

 

This was last updated in September 2016

Continue Reading About 3-D printing (additive manufacturing)

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Can food or rocket engine or a human organ be created using a printer?? Find out at http://scientificinnovation.blogspot.in/2013/08/another-dimension-in-printing-3-d.html ... please follow, like and comment on the blog post..
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

SearchSecurity

  • Payload (computing)

    The term payload, when used in the context of networking or telecommunications, is the data carried inside of a packet (or other ...

  • access control

    Access control is a security technique that regulates who or what can view or use resources in a computing environment.

  • ethical hacker

    An ethical hacker, also referred to as a white hat hacker, is an information security expert who systematically attempts to ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • virtual disaster recovery

    Virtual disaster recovery is a type of DR that typically involves replication and allows a user to fail over to virtualized ...

  • tabletop exercise (TTX)

    A tabletop exercise (TTX) is a disaster preparedness activity that takes participants through the process of dealing with a ...

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a data center.

SearchStorage

  • storage at the edge

    Storage at the edge is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information at the periphery of ...

  • Flash Storage

    Flash storage is any type of drive, repository or system that uses flash memory to keep data for an extended period of time.

  • optical disc

    An optical disc is an electronic data storage medium that can be written to and read from using a low-powered laser beam.

Close