Let's face it - there are days when Additive seems like nothing but acronyms.

Have you ever wondered how is DLP different from CLIP?

Do you think there must be a reason behind LS not being called SLS?

Have you got an inkling SLA plus SLM does not give DMLS?

More entries related to the topic of 3D manufacturing, including most popular chemical compounds used in Additive Manufacturing and beyond, can be found on the sister list 3D MULA.

For any file format and digital-related shortcuts please visit 3D FULA.


3DP = 3D Printing

original name of the ↓CJP process.


ADAM = Atomic Difusion Additive Manufacturing

metal additive process by Markforged using extruded filament-style rods containing plastic binder and approximately 60% metal powders. Metal rods are melted with an extruder in order to deposit layers without the need for protective inert gas atmosphere. The parts require to undergo de-binding and sintering in order to remove the binder. Example machine: MarkForged Metal X.


BMD = Bound Metal Deposition

metal additive process by Desktop Metal similar to ↑ADAM where filament-style rods containing wax, binder and metal particles are extruded and layered without the need for protective atmosphere. An important innovation here is a ceramic layer ('Ceramic Release Layer') which is being deposited between the part and the support structures, allowing for easier post-processing of the part before de-binding and sintering. Example machine: Desktop Metal Studio System.


CAD = Computer Aided Design

CDLM = Continuous digital light manufacturing

patent-protected additive manufacturing process by EnvisionTEC based on the DLP approach enhanced by moving ERM (Enhanced Resolution Module) that allows for double exposure of pixels to light while photo-curing the resin. Example machine: EnvisionTEC VIDA HD cDLM.

CJP = Colour Jet Printing

additive process developed by ZCorp (later acquired by 3D Systems), sometimes also referred to as Colour Jetting, Binder Jetting or 3DP. Example machine: 3D Systems' Projet660Pro.

CLIP = Continuous Liquid Interface Production

first step of two-step additive process by Carbon3D in which thermoset resins are cured with projector light via oxygen-permeable window, allowing continuos resin flow and minimising the appearance of layers. Example machine: Carbon3D M1.


DED = Directed Energy Deposition

one of 7 categories by which ISO/ATSM classifies the types of Additive Manufacturing processes (correct as of 2018). DED is a process where focused thermal energy (generated by laser, electron beam or plasma arc) is used to fuse materials by melting them as they are being deposited; example processes: ↓DMLS, ↓SLM, ↓EBM

DfAM = Design For Additive Manufacturing

set of design guidelines for additive manufacturing process different from the rules guiding other manufacturing methods. Main guidelines advocate the model to be solid, manifold and watertight and walls to have a minimal thickness - the particulars vary according to the 3D printing process.

As of 2018, DfAM might also refer to: Diversity in Additive Manufacturing.

DLP = Digital Light Processing

resin curing additive method using projector light instead of laser (↓SLA) to create parts. Main advantages of using projector light versus laser is the increased surface area cured by a single exposure, which results in faster 3D printing process; main downside: weaker acrylic rather than epoxy-based resins. Example machine: B9 Creations' B9 Creator.

DLS = Digital Light Synthesis

two step additive manufacturing process developed by Carbon3D, consisting of CLIP as a first stage of the process, and thermal curing which finalises the mechanical properties of the material as second. Example Machine: Carbon3D's M3.

DMLS = Direct Metal Laser Sintering

Example machine: EOS M080 Precious.

DMP = Direct Metal Printing

laser powder-bed metal 3D printing process by 3D Systems, in which layers of metal are sintered in protective inert gas atmosphere. Green parts require significant levels of chemical and mechanical post-processing. Example machine: 3D Systems' DMP Flex 100.


EBM = Electron Beam Melting

powder-bed metal additive manufacturing method using concentrated electron beam to melt and fuse the powder. EBM parts are denser in comparison with DLMS and Jet Binding methods, and don't require infusing with more powder in green state. Developed in 1997 by Swedish company Arcam (as of 2017, part of GE Additive). Example machine: Arcam EBM Q10 Plus.

EOS = Electro Optical Systems

German manufacturer of reliable industrial polyamide (↓SLS) and metal (↑DLMS) sintering systems designed for large volume production. Company provides an entire ecosystem of hardware, software and post-processing units. Example machine: Formiga P110.


FDM = Fused Deposition Modelling 

material deposition process in which a pre-prepared thermoplastic in form of a filament undergoes the hot-end extrusion and subsequent deposition on either composite, metal, aluminum or borosilicate glass build plate. Two most popular axis systems are Cartesian and Delta. Example machine: Ultimaker S5.

FFF = Fused Filament Fabrication 

see: ↑FDM; thermoplastic hot-end extrusion process originally registered under FFF name by 3D Systems in the early 1990's. Both terms can now be used interchangeably, however seems that some companies favour FFF over FDM in their press materials so as not to infringe the copyright (an ongoing investigation).





HSS = High Speed Sintering

inkjet-based nylon sintering process developed in 2003 by Prof. Neil Hopkinson and Loughborough University. HSS is faster compared to the traditional nylon ↓SLS process thanks to the application of infrared (IR) absorbing fluid deposited between layers of polyamide via Xaar printheads. The areas are then simultaneously exposed to the large-surface infrared lamp that melts and sinters loose polymeric powder. The amounts of IR fluid can be regulated throughout the build, enabling for printing items in greyscale, with future potential to incorporate full colour printhead jetting. Example machine: Voxeljet VX200 HSS.

HTLS = High Temperature Laser Sinering









LOM = LAminated Object Manufacturing

also known as Sheet Lamination, a process in which sheets of materials are bonded to form an object. The cross sections of the object can be either pre-cut prior to the bonding, or cut to shape after deposition. Original patent for LOM dates back to 1988 and the no-longer existent Helisys Corporation. Example machine: MCOR Iris.

LS = Laser Sintering

another term used interchangeably with  ↓SLS, often found in Stratasys publishing materials, perhaps for copyright reasons (an ongoing investigation). 


MJF = Multi Jet Fusion

high-speed Nylon PA11/PA12 sintering process developed by HP and launched in 2016. As of 2018, the machines can only process single polymeric material, with plans to launch a full-colour version in the last quarter of 2019. Example machine: HP Jet Fusion 4210.

MJM - Multi Jet Modelling

see ↓MJP; sometimes also used in reference to the machines using the technology (Multi Jet Modeler).

MJP = Multi Jet Printing

multi-material system developed by 3D Systems in which parts are created by jetting and UV curing of the target material along with removable wax support. The use of UV curing and removable support allows for higher precision and more complex geometries. Sometimes also referred to as ↑MJM. Example machine: 3D Systems' 3500HD Max.


NPJ = Nano Particle Jetting

relatively new Metal and Ceramic additive process by Israeli company XJet, able to create parts by jetting material nanoparticles encapsulated in liquid droplets that evaporate in elevated temperature of the build chamber (+-300° Celsius), leaving behind the desired part fused together on a particle level. Example machine: XJet Carmel 1400 AM System.




PBF = Powder Bed Fusion

a process in which thermal energy selectively fuses regions of a powder bed; one of 7 categories by which ISO/ATSM classifies the types of Additive Manufacturing processes (correct as of 2018).

PCL = Poly Capro Lactone

high quality, non-toxic, biodegradable plastic with low melting point (120°C). In the past only available as pellets, as of recent readily available for desktop extrusion 3D printers as filament.

PJ = PolyJet

multi-material process developed by Stratasys in which the parts are being jetted and UV cured simultaneously with a support material.  Depending on the materials, certain properties like A offshore hardness can be altered prior to printing which allows for greater material flexibility. Soluble support material allows for creating more complex geometries, while some of the machines also support full colour textures. Example machine: Stratasys J750.


cleaning station used for gross removal of the unprocessed material from the completed part. It can be either built-in, external but integrated, or independent stand-alone unit. PPU plays an important role in most powder recovery systems, with some units included in the price of the system and some coming as optional extras. It is especially important issue to discuss prior to investing into any Metal AM systems.






SHS = Selective Heat Sintering

SLA = StereoLitography (AParatus)

process in which liquid photo-sensitive resin is solidified in cross-sectional layers in the process of photo-polymerisation by ultraviolet light generated by laser; considered to be the original 3D printing method by 'the father of 3D Printing' Charles 'Chuck' Hull, with the US patent dating back to 1984. Example machine: 3DSystems' SLA iPro 8000.

SLM = Selective Laser Melting

SLS =  Selective Laser Sintering

STEP = Selective Toner Electrophotographic Process

new 3D printing process announced in first quarter of 2018 by Evolve Additive, a spinoff of Stratasys. Based on the principles of electrophotographic printing (EP, laser printing) widely used in office 2D printers, the technology promises 50 times faster manufacturing times compared to other polymer AM processes, and capabilities to process real pulverised engineering plastics rather than optimised composites, further reducing AM costs to the injection moulding levels.














The Golden Circle, Iceland  © HD Grzywnowicz, 2017


If you don't enter the tiger's cave, you won't catch the cub. 

(Nothing ventured, nothing gained.)

Japanese proverb



Anything worth adding?