A digital file containing data that represents an object in three dimensions. There are many 3D formats including container formats that include skeleton rigging, animations, textures and other assets included with the 3D model. STL is the most popular format for CAD, CAM and 3D printing.
Creating a physical object from a 3D model. 3D Printing technologies include many different methods of creating objects with FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) currently being the most popular for residential hobbyists and consumers.
A term used for the next-dimension in 3D printing. 4D models are 3D models that have articulation and have been produced in a single print. 4D printing may produce a model that can be folded, spun or otherwise manipulated without any additional assembly after being printed.
Automatic Bed Leveling. Strategies for ABL include using mechanical end stops, inductive proximity switches, force sensitive resistors and contact probes to provide feedback used to offset printing to help compensate for uneven or not level beds.
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene. A common plastic used in 3D printing as well as many toys and household objects. Printing with this material may lead beginning printers to experience part warping and parts not sticking to the bed. A heated print platform or chamber is recommended. ABS can be dissolved in acetone.
The process of manufacturing an object by adding material to it layer-by-layer. There are additive manufacturing processes for many materials including metals and plastics. FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) is a type of additive manufacturing.
Aleph Objects WebsiteA Colorado based company dedicated to libre hardware, free software and libre innovation in the 3D printer and personal manufacturing space. Producers of the LulzBot TAZ and Mini printers.
AstroPrintAstroPrint, a Kickstarter(tm) project, is a free and open source project to bring wireless management and remote monitoring to your printer. A Cloud Slicer, Remote Monitor and other services are available from their web site.
BeagleBoard.orgAn open source hardware platform enabling hobbyists and developers to utilize high-performance and cost-effective single-board computers for their projects. The BeagleBone series of boards are part of the BeagleBoard family.
Special materials are necessary for the print bed of an FFF printer. The bed material must allow for good adhesion while still allowing the user to remove the part when it has completed printing. Many types of quality print material are available.
Blender.orgBlender is a very mature open source 3D modelling (and more!) software. Blender can be used to produce 3D models for printing. Version 2.6 and up include a plugin called the 3D Printing Toolbox to aid in producing printable models. This plugin must be enabled through the plugin manager.
A special glass that is resistant to thermal flucatations. This characteristic makes it ideal for use in a printer bed. Pyrex is a trade name for borosilicate glass. This glass is used in cookware and other areas requiring a material resistant to thermal changes.
A 'bowden' setup refers to a configuration where an extruder is remote to the print tool. This extruder pushes the filament through a tube connected to the top of the hot end. 'Bowden' is named after cables that function in a similar manner such as bicycle brakes.
BQBQ is an electronics, robotics and 3D printing company headquartered in Spain. 3D printing products include an i3 kit, the Ciclop scanner, Horus scanning, ZUM robotics platform, BitBloq Studio and more.
ColorPrintAn automatic gcode tool from Prusa Research that allows users to add filament changes to their print. Very helpful for single extruder designs. The program relies on good support of the M600 command as implemented in Marlin.
GithubUltimaker.comCura is a complete open source software suite for 3D Printers. Cura includes the CuraEngine slicer and a GUI for common tasks such as configuration, plating and slicing models. Cura supports many different 3D printers and is still in very active development.
In robotics an end effector is the last link of a robotic mechanism. An end effector may be a claw, vacuum nozzle or other mechanism. Most commonly used to refer to the platform the hot end rests on in Delta printer designs.
Fused Deposition Modeling is a term used for a popular method of 3D printing. This term is owned by Stratasys. FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) is the preferred term when not referencing Stratasys technologies.
Fused Filament Fabrication, an additive manufacturing process. FFF is the preferred term to use for 3D printers that use plastic extruders. This term was originated from the members of the RepRap community and its use is unconstrained legally.
Fused Filament Fabrication, an additive manufacturing process describing how material is additively deposited on to printed material to produce a sturdy object. FFF is the preferred term to use for 3D printers that use plastic extruders. This term was originated from the members of the RepRap community and its use is unconstrained legally.
Code used to control a 3D printer. 3D models (usually STL) are converted to a series of gcodes that are sent to the printer controller. gcode is in plain text and it is possible to send gcode directly to your printer via a serial console.
A file produced that includes instructions for the 3D printer. When printing similar parts repeatedly it is often desirable to slice them into gcode once and then repeat sending the gcode to the printer. This avoids any inconsistency in the printed parts.
The heat block is the part of the hot end in an FFF printer that holds a heater cartridge (or resistor) and thermistor. The heat block houses the nozzle and is responsible for keeping the plastic at a consistent temperature for extruding.
A cartridge designed to produce heat from electrical energy. Heater cartridges fit inside of the heat block of the hot end in an FFF printer. Heat is controlled by electronics via feedback from the thermistor.
Hobbing is cutting successive grooves into material to create, for example, gears. A hobbed bolt is a standard bolt (usually M8) with hobbing cut into it to be used as a driving mechanism for filament.
Hobbing is cutting successive grooves into material to create, for example, gears. A hobbed gear is a standard gear (usually mk7 or mk8 style gears) with hobbing cut into it to be used as a driving mechanism for filament.
The hot end is the part of an FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) printer that heats up and actually melts the plastic. A hotend includes the heat block, heat break and cooling fins. The cooling fins and active cooling fans on some hot ends prevent heat from affecting the rest of the print tool. Often written hot end, hotend or even hot-end.
josefpruza.cz (Czech language)Josef Průša is the creator of the Prusa Mendel family of printers. An open source advocate, Josef Průša has made (and continues to make) a large number of advances in open source hardware and software for the RepRap project since 2009.
GithubMachineKitMachineKit is an open source software project with a goal of creating rich software designed for controlling machines. MachineKit is compatible with popular hardware and features modules for controlling harware, processing digital feedback and more.
The nozzle is the end of the hot end where the hot extruded plastic exits. Common nozzle sizes have orifices of 0.35mm, 0.4mm and 0.5mm. A smaller nozzle orifice will produce a finer extruded filament at the cost of a lengthier print time and potential errors during a print. A larger nozzle orifice is generally more reliable with a shorter print time while reducing overall quality.
GithubOctoPrint.orgAn open source web interface for 3D printers. OctoPrint also functions as a dedicated print host for a printer allowing the printer user to queue up jobs and leave OctoPrint to manage them.
The designs and necessary components of a project or product are accessible and redistributable. Like open source software, open hardware is available to use and innovate with. Some restrictions apply depending on the license used by the project.
A development model promoting universal access to a product's design, production, software and other aspects. Redistribution of the product's design is encouraged. This model allows anyone to use and contribute to the product with the expectation that any improvements will be redistributed with the project. Many different licenses exist for Open Source software to protect the model of redistribution, availability and usage in commercial products.
Software following a model that allows source code, content and other assets to be redistributed and available. Some restrictions may apply depending on the license the project is made available under.
GithubOpenSCAD WebsiteAn open source software project for modelling objects programmatically. OpenSCAD has its own language that allows a user to define geometry and boolean operations to accurately produce models.
Polyethylene Terephthalate. PET is a lightweight and mostly transparent material. PET plastics are often used for food containers, although you should avoid storing consumable items in 3D printed containers.
The electronics responsible for controlling a 3D printer. The controller is responsible for interfacing to a host, processing gcode into instructions for the hardware, controlling the hardware and more.
When printing an object a raft is sometimes used to improve the adhsion of the object to the printer bed. Rafts can also be used to compensate for uneven print surfaces. When printing with supports a raft can be useful to stabilize the model and supports.
GithubAn all-in-one printer controller manufactured by Ultimachine. Based on RAMPS, the RAMBo boards are open hardware that you can build, modify and program for. RAMBo is based on Arduino allowing for easy programming, extension and re-flashing.
RepRap.orgRepRap is project that spawned a line of 3D printers capable of producing parts for additional printers (a self-replicating manufacturing machine). RepRap is also a community of individuals dedicated to open source innovation in the 3D printer space.
A servo is an electric motor with a feedback mechanism (usually a potentiometer) that can be used to position the motor. Hobby style servo motors are prone to having their plastic gears slip as well as developing jitter over time. Servos need to be occasionally recalibrated for the best results.
An outline of a printed part that does not connect to the printed part. A skirt is useful in ensuring that the plastic used in printing is flowing as expected before the printer begins printing the critical first layer of the part.
Stereolithography. A method of producing parts from a liquid resin cured into a solid. The plastic resin is usually cured to a solid by a high-energy ultraviolet light. Further hardening of the object can be achieved by exposure to ultraviolet light.
SmoothiewareAn open source hardware printer controller that can also control CNC machines, laser cutters and more. The Smoothieboard uses a 32 bit Cortex MCU - a much more powerful processor than the Arduino based controllers.
A stepper motor is a special DC motor with many coils. The motor spindle 'steps' between these coils to achieve predictable and accurate movement. A stepper motor is different from a servo as a servo features feedback for controlled positioning. Common stepper motors are usually indicated by a NEMA standard. Be sure to check the datasheet for the stepper motor you plan on ordering for wiring, shaft diameter, depth and bolt placement tolerances.
A resistor that reduces in resistance when heated. The properties of thermistors aid in controlling the heat in the heat block of an FFF printer by providing a feedback loop to the electronics of the printer which controls the heater cartridge.