Commonly referred to as a “rapid prototyping machine”, the 3D printer is part of a class of machines that use additive manufacturing technology to deposit layers of material in succession. This material can be anything that can be deposited in a controlled manner (i.e. plastics, metals, cupcake frosting,….) Utilizing a controller and software that converts a solid model into a series of vector movements or CNC(computer numerical control), the machine is capable of creating 3D objects, much like the Star Trek Replicator, except not as tasty. One of the prohibitive aspects of commercial 3D printers is the price, this is where MakerBot and the RepRap movement has made such an impact.
Skill Badge Qualification 3D Printer - Google Docs