3D Printer

Generic name for a machine that turns material into usable, functional objects (e.g. figurines, casts, airway splints, organs, food, metal machinery) by tracing the material layer by layer until it builds a whole.

3D Printing

AKA “additive manufacturing” – the magic that happens when science fiction and magic are turned into reality; alternatively, when a box spits out material in such a form that it creates a functional object.


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Additive Fabrication

The process of creating three-dimensional objects from computer models through stacked layers of material, bonded by inkjet to form a solid, see another name for additive manufacturing.

Additive Manufacturing

Rapid prototyping, or starting with nothing and adding layers to create a whole object (as opposed to creating different parts and assembling them), see 3D printing, rapid processes, stereolithography, selective laser sintering.


The support onto which a printing plate is fixed; alternatively, the bottom or foundation of something.


The build plate of the 3D printer on which objects are actually printed; also a soft surface on which people and animals sleep.


The study of the structure and function of biological systems as models for design and engineering of materials and machines, see biomimicry.


Study of forms and processes found in nature aiming to inspire applications in design and technology, see biomimetics.

Build Envelope

Measurement of the machine part size limitations given by three dimensions (X, Y, and Z axes, e.g. 9in X 6in X 5in means nine inches wide, six inches long, and five inches tall).

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