- is a DIY kit that has all the parts of a 3D printer, allowing a person to assemble it themselves.
- is an object digitally created with CAD software.
- shaped like a regular pen, and extrudes filament to create drawings or shapes.
- a device, using additive manufacturing, creates a 3D object by place a layer of material on top of the previous layer.
- a process to capture the physical properties of a 3D object to convert it into a digital model.
- a company that is committed to bringing the world of 3D design to everyone by providing the tools, training and education to learn 3D design in minutes. Great for schools, parents and teachers.
- (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) a thermoplastic polymer commonly used in FDM type 3D printing. An original plastic used in industrial 3D printing. Has a higher glass transition temperature, meaning a higher melting point.
- ABS filament dissolved in acetone. The mixture is applied to the print bed to bond with the print thus avoiding warping.
- similar to ABS Juice but a higher density of ABS making it thicker. Works to help stick larger objects to the print bed. Also, used to bond separate objects together, repair damaged objects, or smooth objects surfaces.
- is when the extruder changes speed during a direction change.
- a chemical used to smooth ABS printed objects post print.
- (Additive Manufacturing) – a form of manufacturing that applies material a thin layer at a time to create an 3D object. Also known as 3D printing.
- is metal that are break resistant yet light, flexible and strong.
- is a property of a 3D part that is stronger in the x,y direction rather than the z direction.
- imperfections on a 3D printed object caused by incorrect settings or faulty processes
- is 3D printer part that controls the tension on the filament as it passes through the extruder.
- automatic adjusting of height based on auto detection of all parts on the print bed.
Bed adhesion material
- is a tape or other adhesive attached to the print bed to prevent warping or movement.
- is part of the pulley system controlling movement of extruders.
- is short for benchmark. It is a small boat design with geometry such that it is used to test 3D printers
- is a process that combines a binder with powder to form layers upon layers to form a 3D object.
- is printing between to support structures to bridge a gap, and provide a base to further print on.
- a layer of filament printed around the base to help with adhesion and ensure proper filament flow.
- ceramic and chalk are examples of brittle material that can easily break with no real deformation.
- the maximum volume a 3D printer can print. Determined by the size of the build plate, and the x,y,z axis dimensions the extruder can reach.
Build plate (bed)
- a flat surface in with the 3D printer extrudes the material to build an object.
- is the quality of the 3D print, smaller movements higher resolution.
- total time required to complete a 3D print.
- thin plastic sheet that attaches to the print bed to improve adhesion of the object. Think of double-sided sticky tape. It also allows for easy remove of the object once printed.
- (Computer Aided Design) – is the generic name for 2D and 3D modeling software. There are a lot of CAD software applications to choose from.
- is a small cube design used to test settings and materials.
- (Computer Aided Manufacturing) – is the application of software and technology to automate the manufacturing process.
- (Computer Based Additive Manufacture) – is a patented printing process designed to produce high performance composite parts.
- is the center hole on a spool of filament. Fits on the spool holder.
- (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic) – is a material with more elasticity and strength, matching that of metal, but lighter.
- (Continuous Liquid Interface Process) – is a 3D printing process that creates smooth, solid shaped objects of resin using photo polymerization.
- is when the extruder is blocked from free flow of material.
Closed Loop System
- an ensemble of a physical device, a control and a power driver. Commands are sent, then a sensor ensures the commands are carried out. This process is called a closed loop.
- (Computerized Numerical Control) – motion-controlled manufacturing using g-code. Some dispute whether 3D printing is CNC. They both operate using g-code and motion control to produce objects. The difference is CNC removes material from a block, “Subtractive” manufacturing. 3D printing adds material, “Additive” manufacturing.
- is the brains of 3D printers and controls accuracy, detail, and functionality.
- is the tendency of a 3D printed object to deform due to continual stress or pressure.
- is a solid that the molecules are formed in a lattice pattern.
- is the result of resin being sucked up into a hollow section during 3D printing.
- is the hardening of resin or photopolymer by a UV light.
- is caused when printed layers separate because of poor bonding.
Desktop 3D printer
- a 3D printer that is small enough to sit on your desktop giving it practical application at home.
- is a substance that helps filament remain dry by absorbing humidity.
- is a design and manufacturing workflow process. Digital data directs the manufacture of objects by communication through g-code to a 3D printer or CNC milling machine.
- is a mixture of citrus oils and helps dissolve 3D support structures.
- (Direct Metal Laser Sintering) – a form of 3D printing, that uses a laser to sinter (make solid) a metal powder into layered cross sections one at a time, ultimately forming a 3D object.
- is a gear that pushes filament into the hot end by gripping it.
- are two extruders on a single printer, used to print multi-color.
- is the ability of an object to change shape, yet retain its strength. Like a wire.
- (Drawing Interchange Format) – is a CAD data file format that can be shared between different CAD software. It was created by Autodesk, and can also be converted into an STL file.
- (Electronic Beam Melting) – is a 3D printing technology that uses an electronic beam, instead of a C02 laser, along with conductive metal instead of thermoplastic polymer.
Empty spool weight
- is the weight of an empty filament spool. Knowing this weight helps determine amount of filament used.
- is a sensing device that ensures 3D printing components are in the correct position relative to the work surface.
- is the component of a 3D printer that ejects the material (filament or other) forming the layers of an object. In the case of filament, it would heat up and liquify the filament to allow it to flow.
Extrusion / Retraction
- extrusion is the process of feeding filament into the extruder. Retraction is the process of retracting filament preventing it from touching a print while moving.
- (Fused Deposition Modeling) - is a trade name of FFF, but that are the same form of 3D printing. See below.
- (Fused Filament Fabrication) - or called Filament Freeform Fabrication. This is a form of 3D printing that uses a continuous flow of thermoplastic filament to form an object.
- is the thermoplastic material used in the FDM/FFF form of 3D printing. It comes in long thin strands, have many types with different properties and generally come in 1.75 mm or 2.85 mm thickness.
- TPU is a common flexible filament and is not as rigid as ABS or PLA filament.
- is a computer language used to tell machines how to do something like print. It is the language of 3D printers.
- is when vibrations in the printer bed cause ripple lines in the printed object.
- (Glow in The Dark) – a type of filament that glows in the dark.
- is the shine on printed objects.
- is a single layer of graphite (carbon atoms) arrange in a honey-comb latticework. It is stronger than steel and most flexible. Anticipated it will change the world of 3D printing.
- (Heated Build Plate) – is a build plate that is heated to help adhesion and keep the object from moving.
- (High-Density Polyethylene) – is a type of plastic filament material, often used in place of ABS due to lighter color and stronger.
- is the platform on which the printed object is built. Not all platforms are heated. A heat bed improves the quality of the print by controlling the cooling of the object, improving the objects adhesion to the bed, and minimizing warping.
- is the area just before the hot end, and keeps the filament cool and from melting before entering the hot end.
- is the component that keeps the temperature constant while extruding.
- (High Impact Polystyrene) – is a solution that can dissolve support structures leaving no marks.
- a 3D object that has no infill. Quicker to print, but not as strong.
- is the process a 3D printer goes through to bring the extruder into a starting position. This process occurs before every print.
- is the component that melts filament before it passes through the nozzle.
Hybrid / Multitool 3D Printer
- a hybrid 3D printer can 3D print and CNC mill. A multitool 3D printer can 3D print, CNC mill, laser engrave and extrude paste.
- is the component that pushes the filament to the drive gear and into the hotend.
- is the filling inside an empty 3D object. In more technical terms it is a repetitive pattern of material that takes ups space. Like a honeycomb pattern inside a beehive. It adds weight and strength to the object. Infill can be anywhere from 0% (hollow) to 100% (solid)
- are cross sectional areas that are not connected.
- are vibrations when the printer head changes directions.
- is a quality tape that is heat resistant which is perfect to stick to a heat bed to help with adhesion of the object during printing.
- is the height, usually in microns, of each 3D layer.
- (Laminated Object Manufacturing) – a form of 3D printing in which layers of plastic or paper are fused, laminated together with heat and pressure then cut to shape by laser.
- is the area the filament begins to melt, part of the hotend.
- is the structural build of a 3D model. It is defined by polygon shapes each with x,y,z axis measurements.
- are filaments that have metal contents.
- (Multi Jet Fusion) – is an industrial form of 3D printing, producing functional nylon prototypes. It belongs to the powder bed fusion family, and unlike SLS which uses a laser to scan and scinter (solidify), MJF diffuses an ink fusing agent on the powder allowing absorption by an infrared light.
- is the rate at which a 3D printer will extrude and affects the quality of the print.
- also considered the tip of the extruder and is made of brass or stainless steel. It controls the flow of the material.
- is the material diameter being extruded from the nozzle.
- is a generic term for a family of synthetic polymers. It is considered a thermoplastic.
- is a file format used in 3D printing or 3D graphics programs. Similar to a STL file format.
- is a layer that is not lined up evening on the previous layer.
- fits into the family of raft, brim or skirt. It is the first layer or outer edge of the object and helps with adhesion and warping.
- any part of the 3D object that hangs over the previous layer and has not support. The greater the overhang the more difficult it is to print.
- (Polyamide) – is a nylon polymer material. It comes in a filament or powder.
- (Polycarbonate) – is a material with strength, durability, and heat resistance.
- (Polyether Ether Ketone) – is a semi-crystalline thermoplastic responsive to high heat with good mechanical properties.
- (Polyetherimide) – is an amorphous thermoplastic, produced in sheets and rod shapes. PEI has a high mechanical strength.
- is a small bead form of material rather than strands of filament.
- a process where a personal computer, digital data and personal 3D printer is all that is needed to produce a 3D object. Similar to digital fabrication.
- (Polyethylene Terephthalate) – a thermoplastic polymer and very common.
- (Polytetrafluoroethylene) – is Teflon.
- is a polymer, when exposed to light, changes from liquid to hardened.
- (Plastic Jet Printing) – is a form of 3D printing using heat and pressure. Only thermoplastics are used.
PLA – (Polylactic Acid)
- is a vegetable based thermoplastic material. A popular material in 3D printing as it can be produced very economically.
Polar 3D printer
- is a type of 3D printer that uses a single arm that moves up and down, while the printer bed rotates.
- is a technology that produces accurate and smooth objects.
- is a molecular structure of similar units like synthetics and plastics.
- is anything done to a 3D object, after printing, that improves the appearance.
- is a dry solid compound made up of very small particles.
- a group of defined parameters that influence the generation of g-code, improving the quality of 3D prints.
- is the assembly of components, including the extruder, and nozzle that extrude the material from a 3D printer.
- is measured in mm/s and relates to the movement of the print head around the build plate.
- is the melting point of material before it is extruded.
- is the maxim print dimensions of a 3D printer.
- is an early sample of a digital object.
- (Polytetrafluoroethylene) – is a common material used in tubes that guide filament toward the extruder. You might know it as Teflon.
- (Polyvinyl Acetate) – is a biodegradable, soft polymer sensitive to water
- a horizontal layer of filament which the 3D object is printed on rather than directly on the build platform. Helps with adhesion and warping.
- is a term describing the process of quickly fabricating an actual sample of a physical part. It is done through 3D modeling using a CAD program then printing it using a 3D printer.
- is a machine that can duplicate or replicate itself by printing its own parts.
- is a form of 3D printing that converts resin into a polymer by exposing it to UV light.
- is the process of withdrawing filament, to avoid clogging during nonprinting periods.
- is a device that, through contact or noncontact, gathers the physical properties of an object to create a digital model.
- is the structure of filament, which is important to prevent jams.
- is the outer perimeter walls of a 3D print.
- fuse or solidify a powder with heat.
- is an initial layer of material laid down around, but apart from the base of the 3D print. To ensure nozzle is clean.
SLA (or SL)
- (Stereolithography) – is a form of 3D printing that uses a photopolymer like liquid resin. Layers are formed by curing the resin with focused light or UV light.
- is a single layer of a 3D printed object, thickness may vary based on settings.
- is a computer software that converts a 3D model into slices readable (g-code) by a 3D printer.
- (Selective Laser Sintering) – is a form of 3D printing that uses a powder material (nylon) then uses a laser to sinter (harden or bind) a layer at a time.
- (Subtractive Manufacturing) – is the traditional form of manufacturing which removes or subtracts material from an existing block to produce an object.
- is a component that holds filament.
- is a machine that assists in the winding of filament to the spool.
- (Stereolithography) – is a standard file format for CAD software. 3D models are saved as STL file types.
- is a measurement of the stress or deformation compared to the original measurement.
- is the amount of force an object can endure without breaking.
- is left over material as a printer head moves to a new location.
- are printed parts used to support other parts of a 3D object as it is printing, like overhangs or angles. Supports must be removed once printing is finished.
- is the quality of the texture on the surface, roughness vs smoothness.
- is the area that stores the resin before being cured.
- is the difference, between 2 points, in temperature. Helps in reducing warping.
- defines the texture (color, gloss, reflective and texture) of a digital image. Texture mapping is applying the texture map to the digital image. It makes a digital image look realistic and helps define shapes.
- is a temperature resister just above the nozzle and provides feedback to the controller about maintaining proper temperature.
- is a plastic material that becomes pliable as heat is applied and then hardens as it cools.
- is a tool or framework that holds the printing head (the extruder). The head could be a single extruder, multi extruder, cnc head.
- (Terephthalic Acid)
- (Thermoplastic Polyurethane) – is an elastic polymer, a flexible filament typically used on FDM 3D printers.
- a part that cannot be reproduced by a 3D printer. Common terminology with RepRap.
- is the equivalent to a pixel in photography, and represents volume in a 3-dimensional area.
- is the minimum thickness required to support a model.
- is the term used to describe a print that cools to quickly and curves up on the edges.
- is the removal of excess material from a 3D print such as supports, rafts, brims, etc.
- is a type of filament containing an amount of wood.
- is the horizontal left to right movement.
- is the horizontal front to back movement.
- is the vertical up and down movement.