Chapter 2

Exploring the Types of 3D Printing


check Getting to know basic additive manufacturing

check Understanding specialized additive manufacturing

check Seeing what current technologies lack

Whenever you discuss additive manufacturing, direct digital fabrication, rapid prototyping, or 3D printing, you’re talking about the same process: translating a 3D design stored in a computer into a stack of thin layers and then manufacturing a real, physical object by creating those layers, one at a time, in a 3D printer. This chapter discusses current applications — and limitations — of this technology.

Exploring Basic Forms of Additive Manufacturing

To translate a 3D virtual model’s design into the stack of layers that make up an object, all 3D printers require the unique coordinates of every element of the object to be fabricated.

tip Some 3D printers work across a level surface called the build plate, whereas others create objects atop successive layers of granulated material. The RepRap printers we show you how to build in this book are of two types: Cartesian, which uses motors to move ...

Get 3D Printing For Dummies, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.