(Ultimate List of Acronyms)
3D PRINTING & PROCESS
Confused with variety and creativity of Additive Manufacturing terms? You’re not the only one.
Every 3D Printing Glossary reaches a dead end the moment it tries to embrace terminology of Industrial 3D Printing.
What is DED? When do you use HIP?
When do you call metal AM DLMS, SLM, SLS, LMD, LMF, EBM, EBAM ?
Have you ever wondered if CLIP is a type of DLP, and whether HSDM lives up to CLIP?
Do you know 3DS from STS and EOS? And what is CJP?
More 3D manufacturing terms, including most popular materials used in AM as well as traditional manufacturing and tooling, on the sister list 3D MULA:
For anything digital of software-related file formats, visit 3D FULA:
3DP = 3D Printing
original name of the ↓CJP process.
3DS = 3D Systems
3SP = SCAN, SPIN AND Selectively Photocure
enhanced ↓SLA process using multi cavity diode laser and rotating mirror assembly instead of galvo mirrors to quickly trace the cross sections of the part, first in Y and then in X direction. Use of the diode rather than solid state laser makes the overall assembly cheaper, and the rotating mirror eliminates any potential focus issues occurring in large format stereolitography machines. Developed by EnvisionTEC in 2013.
Example machine: EnvisionTEC Vector Hi-Res.
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.
BJ = Binder Jetting
a descriptive term for a wide group of processes using the binding agent to adhere the particles of the chosen medium. The resulting parts out of the print bed are in the so-called ‘green state’ and need to be further infiltrated, infused with more medium, and/or undergo thermal and chemical post processing.
The main advantages of Binder Jetting systems are the high speeds and lower operating temperatures. More relaxed a printing process, it allows for more flexibility in terms of particle sizes and type for medium: ceramics, sand, sandstone, polymers, and metal alloys. Layer height is dependant on particle size. In case of metals, there is no need for generating protective inert gas environment.
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
CAM = Computer Aided Manufacturing
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 M3.
DMLM = Direct Metal Laser Melting
additive laser powder bed process by German company Concept Laser, as of 2017 part of GE Additive.
Example Machine: Concept Laser MLab Cusing R.
DMLS = Direct Metal Laser Sintering
powder bed process using CO2 laser to selectively melt the cross sections of the printed parts on bed filled with metal powder. Due to high energy generated to meet different melting points of alloys, the parts require support structures designed within the powder bed, to act as heatsinks.
Example machine: EOS Cooksongold M080 Precious.
DMP = Direct Metal Printing
powder-bed laser 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.
EBAM = Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing
a ↑DED method similar to wire L
EBM = Electron Beam Melting
powder-bed metal additive manufacturing method using concentrated electron beam in order to melt and fuse the powder particles. Slower than comparable laser systems. EBM parts are denser and less porous than parts from ↑DLMS and Binder Jetting, and don't require any ↓HIP treatments. 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).
HIP = Hot Isostatic Pressing
post-processing infiltration process for porous metal AM parts from powder systems, especially Binder Jetting. The green part is infiltrated with another material to improve mechanical properties.
Example use: Peweter-filled Stainless Steel.
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.
(HS)DM = (High Speed) Digital Moulding
air-permeable membrane-enhanced ↑DLP technology, similar to ↑CLIP, powering 3D Systems’ Figure 4 modular printing and finishing system, as well as NextDent 5100 3D printer. Digital Moulding allows for high-speed continuous production of functional parts at record speeds.
Example machine: 3D Systems Figure 4 Standalone
HTLS = High Temperature Laser Sinering
LENS = Laser Engineering Net Shape
LMD = Laser Metal Deposition
↑DED method of printing metals by melting the material as it is being deposited. There are two variants of this model: powder↓LMDp and wire ↓LMDw
LMD-p = Laser Metal Deposition - powder
also known as “blown powder“ method; metal additive method in which the powder feedstock is being pumped through the nozzle and melted with laser as the new layer is deposited.
LMD-w = laser metal Deposition - wire
metal 3D printing method in which a wire feedstock is melted by laser in order to deposit metal in layers. Wire ↑LMD has certain advantaged over the powder bed methods [↓SLM, ↑DLMS (↓SLS), ↑EBM], namely cost and accessibility of the base material compared to the engineered AM metal powders.
LMF = Laser Metal Fusion
alternative term for powder-bed, laser melting process (identical to ↓SLM, ↑DMLS, or metal ↓SLS). LMF is often found in relation to German hardware manufacturer Trumpf - it is possible that the term was originally trademarked by the company (an ongoing investigation).
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. The 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 exclusively 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 Multi 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.
PPU = POST PROCESSING UNIT
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.
PSA = Pre-stretched Assembly
a specially engineered consumable tray made with rigid metal frame and mechanically stretched separation film, to prevent any malformations and layer drops caused by resin weighing down the vat. Used for EnvisionTEC’s Desktop and Perfactory 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 company 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. As of September 2018, the first machine is officially in its Alpha stage.
STS = StrataSys
Voxel = Vo(lumetric) (Pi)xel
Company behind original powder-based printhead jetting system where layers of the material are joined by binders jetted through printheads. The process had been later updated to print in full colour by incorporating magenta, cyan, yellow and black inks into the process. ZCorporation (ZCorp for short) had been acquired by 3D Systems in 2012, and the name is still used to describe both the process or the actual machine using engineered composite ('core') and binder. Until this day, plaster (sandstone) remains one of the most economical full colour entry-level prosumer systems on the market. 3D Systems stopped investing in R&D of this technology in 2012, with Projet 660Pro and 860Pro remaining the last released models.
Example machine: ZCorp 510.
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(Nothing ventured, nothing gained.)