Definition - What does
A 3-D printer is a type of material design printer that designs and builds 3-D models and products of devices and components using an additive manufacturing process.
3-D printers design three-dimensional prototypes and create the end product by directly building them using computer aided design (CAD) or software-created 3-D design diagrams, figures and patterns.
3-D printers may also be called additive manufacturing printers or fabrication printers.
3-D printers are primarily used to build and enable rapid prototyping of three-dimensional objects and structures using direct source files from a 3-D designing application such as AutoCAD. 3-D printers employ additive manufacturing, where the printer designs the object by applying sequential layers of raw material to actually print a three-dimensional object.
3-D printers eliminate the need for further machining or subtracting processes such as cutting and grinding; the final product is built in three dimensions without waste.
Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM)
Multifunction Peripheral (MFP)
Automatic Document Feeder (ADF)
From Mind to Matter: Is There Anything a 3-D Printer Can't Do?
- 3-D printers are an interesting intersection of crowdsourcing and the do-it-yourself movement.
Related White Papers
Additive Manufacturing Printer, Fabrication Printer
Recommended For You
INFOGRAPHIC: The Worst Computers of All Time
Connect with us
Techopedia on Linkedin
Follow us on LinkedIn
Techopedia on Twitter
Sign up for Techopedia's Free Newsletter!
History of Tech
Who To Follow
Buzzwords and Jargon
World Wide Web