3D printer

Updated: 10/18/2022 by Computer Hope
3D printer

Created by Chuck Hull in 1984, the 3D printer is a device that creates a physical object from a digital model by layering materials (e.g., filament). 3D printers use polymers, plastics, metal alloys, or food ingredients.


If you don't plan on printing objects frequently, there are many 3D printing services online that 3D print almost anything for you.

Application of 3D printers

3D printers are used in many industries, like aerospace engineering, dentistry, archaeology, biotechnology, and information systems. For example, a 3D printer might be used in archaeology to physically reconstruct ancient artifacts that were damaged over time.

How does it work?

An object's design usually begins in a CAD (computer-aided design) software system, where its blueprint is created. The blueprint is then sent from the CAD system to the printer in an STL (stereolithography) file format. The printer then reads the blueprint in cross sections and recreates the object layer-by-layer, as it appears in the CAD. Pictured below is a model of a 3D printer called the FlashForge.

3D Printer

Computed axial lithography, Computer-aided design, Emboss, Hardware terms, Printer, Printer terms