I wanted to create this 3D Printing Glossary because additive manufacturing is a very simple concept, just add a dimension to the typical 2D printing. This obviously makes the whole thing more intricate, but at the same time more fascinating. For a novice user it is very difficult to understand some concepts because you are not sufficiently immersed in the material. The main cause, in most cases, is to get lost in acronyms and elusive terms that are not given a clear meaning.
Just to facilitate your entry, in a triumphant way, in the 3D printing I decided to write this small 3D printing glossary. I will add all the technical terms and acronyms that come to mind! If there is something that you do not understand, or some term that you think should be in this 3D printing glossary write it in the comments and I will add it!
3D Printing Glossary: Terms
AM – (Additive Manufacturing)
AM or Additive Manufacturing is often used as a synonym for 3D printing. They take their name from the way objects are created, i.e. by adding layer by layer. The additive technique is the opposite of subtractive production technologies, which remove the material to form an object, think of the operation of lathe and cutter.
ABS – acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
ABS is a plastic from the family of “petroleum” based thermoplastic polymers, therefore non-renewable plastics. This material is used in 3D printing in the form of a filament. It is heated and deposited on the printing plate (See BED) and cooling from the form the actual object. To Deepen: ABS vs. PLA
When we talk about backslash in 3D printing we are referring to the kickback that motors give in the reversal of course, from forward to backward, right to left and high to low. To mediate it there are special functions to be activated when signing.
The Bed is the part of the printer where the newly melted plastic is placed. In this part the actual construction comes to life. There are printing beds of many different materials. It should be noted that although it is a two-dimensional surface, it is almost always considered of three dimensions. So when it comes to print bed or bed and calibration or material we are considering in 2 dimensions. When we think about the dimensions of the bed of printing we normally associate also a measure in height, of the Z. This measurement refers to the maximum point that the printer can reach in height, and is different from model to model.
There are 2 types of extruder groups, so what pushes the wire, melts it and forms the object. Direct Drive (or direct) then with hotend and motor combined or Bowden. This is a particular extruder group shape with the motor attached to the frame and the only hotend in motion, all joined by a PTFE tube where the filament passes. This particular shape, called bowden, has an undoubted advantage over the Direct Drive. In fact, eliminating the motor as a moving part on the axis eliminates 3/4 of the weight. This makes movements faster and more precise, less prone to vibration or malfunction.
CAD – Computer Aided Design
This term (Computer Aided Design) describes all design software used in the process of creating, modifying, analyzing or optimizing a project. CAD programs are used by 3D engineers and designers to create and edit models they want to print in 3D. If you want to know more about CAD programs I recommend the appropriate section of the BLOG: Modeling
In 3D printing, drivers are controllers that decide the movement of stepper motors. These drivers can be adjusted and programmed. They decide the power, precision, speed and noise of the motors. There are several of them and each one has some particular functions.
FDM – Fused Deposition Modeling
FDM machines build 3D models layer by layer by heating, extruding and depositing filaments of thermoplastic material. This technology was created and patented by the founders of Stratasys. Until 2009, the term FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) was used instead of FDM because it was under patent. This blog covers 90% of FDM technology.
FFF – Fused Filament Fabrication
This term is synonymous with FDM. It was coined by the members of the RepRap Project to be used instead of FDM, as it was subject to legal patent restrictions until 2009.
G-code is the machine language used by printers. When we give a file to run to our printer this must be in G-code, or the machine will not be in grad to read it and translate it into movements. Each Slicer software processes the files and transforms them into G-codes, so that they can be read, understood and represented by the 3D printer. To Deepen: HERE
It’s the part that moves on the printing bed and that melts and deposits the filament.
The infill is the filling of printed objects. Prints need to be precise on the outside, but on the inside they don’t need to be “full”. This is what gives the prints their proverbial lightness. When you take a print in your hand it is always lighter than you expected. Simply because no material is “wasted” and the print is given a filling suitable for the use of the print. Typically from 10% to 40%, rarely less, never more.
The jerk, is nothing more than the speed that the motor reaches as soon as it is given the impulse, so to understand by setting a jerk of 5 mm / s and a print speed of 50 mm / s, the printer will not do 0-60 mm / s bang. But it will go from 0 to 5 mm/s instantly, after an acceleration, it will reach the set speed. Know more
The Marlin is the firmware, so the “thinking” part of 3D printers. Created for the first time in 2011 for RepRap and Ultimaker, today Marlin leads most of the 3D printers in the world. Reliable and precise, it combines good print quality with full process control. As an open source project hosted on Github, Marlin is owned and managed by the maker community.
A mesh is a set of basic polygons (Triangles/Quadrilaterals) that are “joined” in a certain way to form the mesh itself. If we go into more detail, we find the vertices. The vertices define the position and orientation of each triangle of a mesh, in three-dimensional graphics the basic geometric shape corresponds to a triangle. The triangle is in fact the basic shape that can represent a “face” in a three-dimensional context.
A mesh is made up of several triangles and / or quadrilaterals, the number of triangles that form a mesh determines the “resolution”, or will determine if our mesh will be well rounded or angular and will have a greater or lesser number of “details”. To Deepen: What is a Mesh?
MKS Gen is an all-in-one electronic board for printers and CNCs. You will see it followed by a number, which refers to the version. It is equipped with an integrated ATmega2560 chip. Its five motor outputs are powered by drivers. The board has a developer-compatible expansion port that supports access such as Ramps1.4. MKS Gen allows 12V-24V power supply.
PID (Proportional-Integral-Derivative Control)
When we talk about PID in 3D printing we refer to the integral that regulates the heating of the components of the printer: Hotend and Plate.
I would like to give you a practical example of a practical situation without PID control, to illustrate its importance
adjust your hotend to extrude the material at 200°. The cartridge heats up to the desired temperature and is switched off once it has been reached. However, this will have a quantity of heat still to be released, which will inevitably bring our hotend to a higher temperature, say approximately 210 °. Once the effect is over it will start to cool down and the printer will give the ignition command to 199 °, to return to 200. Before it heats up again all the temperature of our hotend will drop, say 190 °. This operation will be repeated constantly leading us to print with the temperature from 190 ° to 210 °, and we know how a change of 20 degrees can hurt our creations.
The PID calculates and predicts the change in temperature per unit of energy, so after some adjustment will keep our hotend precisely to the desired degree!
If you have problems with the temperature dancer I recommend a PID Tuning: The guide HERE
PLA – Polylactic acid
This 3D printing material, also known as biopolymer, is also used as a filament on 3D FDM printing machines. This thermoplastic material consists of renewable raw materials such as plants, e.g. sugar cane, soybean, corn or potatoes, and can have a pleasant smell when burned, typically of popcorn. PLA is a popular material for home printers because it is easy to use and economical. On the contrary, it is used very little in industry because it has many limitations with regard to resistance: mechanical, thermal, and deformation. To Deepen: ABS vs. PLA
SLA – Stereolithography
SLA stands for Stereolithography, a 3D printing process that uses liquid resins. In stereolithography some areas are hardened by a UV laser and become the layers that make up the model printed in 3D. One layer of liquid is hardened on the other until the model is complete. The stereolithographic technique is used in laboratories more than in the home because the printers are expensive and the resins are not really healthy. The real workhorse of this technology is, however, the extreme precision with which the models are baked. Surely, with details not achievable by the FDM technology.
DLP – digital light processing
It is a type of polymerisation in the tank. The 3D printing technologies for the polymerization of Vat polymerization technologies make use of a photopolymer resin (liquid) that is able to polymerize (solidify) under a light source. DLP is a resin printing but its houndred times cheaper then SLA
STL is the name of the most popular and common 3D printing file format. Files generated by CAD or modeling programs must have the *.stl extension if they are to be read and processed by slicer software. STL is supported by most design software and is the most widely used file format for 3D printing. The origin of the name is related to how this file makes the 3D models: “Standard Triangle Language”. In fact when converting a file with a 3D model to Stl each face is transformed into a set of triangles, which joined together form the model’s mesh, its surface or Mesh.
Thermoplastic polyurethane that is soft after printing. This material will allow you to create soft prints!
3D Printing Glossary: Focus on Printing Problems
Clog – Nozzle clog
The Clog is a blockage of the nozzle, and therefore of the printing nozzle, to resolve: HERE
Problem where print layers detach spontaneously, to solve: HERE
When the prints have the base slightly larger than the rest, you notice a lot in geometric figures, to solve: HERE
For some reason the extruder cannot push the filament out of the hotend, and the thread-pusher motor starts to “lose its blows”! To solve: HERE
The print does not follow the normal course and every now and then everything moves! The various layers are moved. To solve: HERE
Overheating occurs as much as for various problems, when the print does not cool down in time and one layer after another undergoes malformations. For recolving: HERE
Spiderweb on the prints. These are threads, leaks that leave the nozzle moving from one point to another. To solve: HERE
Warping is defined as when cooling down the material deposited on the plate contracts and typically raises the corners (or parts) of the printed model. To solve: HERE
It is identified with real waves at more or less regular intervals on the external surface of the model. This ruins its appeal. To solve: HERE
Problem of lack of regular flow, which can have several causes. To solve: HERE
I hope that this small 3D printing glossary and introduction to the terminology in use will help you understand how this technology works. You can find a lot of inspiration and information about 3D printing on the blog Easy 3D Home. Luckily, the Blog is exactly for 3D printing beginners!
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