In recent years, 3D printing – also referred to as additive manufacturing – has become a mature production technology. Initially hyped as being the technology to realize a 3rd industrial revolution, for many years it remained more a novelty than a practical tool for high volume industrial manufacturing. Since the implementation of technological innovations and significant cost reductions, more and more companies are exploring large-scale production for existing and new products. New applications are emerging almost by the day, and, as this technology continues to penetrate more widely and deeply across industrial, maker and consumer sectors, this is only set to increase.
3D Printing is a process for making a physical object from a three-dimensional digital model, typically by laying down many successive thin layers of a material. It brings a digital object (its CAD representation) into its physical form by adding layer by layer of materials. The method has been applied to a variety of materials: ranging from the well-known class of polymers to metals, ceramics and even concrete.