Browse Definitions :

BACKGROUND IMAGE: iSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES

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

3-D printing (additive manufacturing)

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)

Dig Deeper on Printers

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

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • quantum key distribution (QKD)

    Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a secure communication method for exchanging encryption keys only known between shared parties.

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a documented, structured approach that describes how an organization can quickly resume work ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

SearchStorage

  • logical unit number (LUN)

    A logical unit number (LUN) is a unique identifier for designating an individual or collection of physical or virtual storage ...

  • NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)

    NVMe over Fabrics, also known as NVMe-oF and non-volatile memory express over fabrics, is a protocol specification designed to ...

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

Close