3D Printer

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What Does 3D Printer Mean?

A 3D printer is a type of material design printer that designs and builds 3D models and products of devices and components using an additive manufacturing process.

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3D printers design three-dimensional prototypes and create the end product by directly building them using computer aided design (CAD) or software-created 3D design diagrams, figures and patterns.

3D printers may also be called additive manufacturing printers or fabrication printers.

Techopedia Explains 3D Printer

3D 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. 3D printers employ additive manufacturing, where the printer designs the object by applying sequential layers of raw material to actually print a three-dimensional object.

3D 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.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.