3D Printing (also known as additive manufacturing) emerged as a technology in the 1980s, and continues to make progress as a viable industrial production process.
Before 3D printing, most component parts started as solid blocks of material, and a traditional manufacturing technique such as milling or turning would cut (or ‘subtract’) material. In contrast, 3D printing creates objects by adding successive amounts (usually layers) of material until a fully formed object exists. 3D printing technology continues to advance in many areas for example, more printable materials, higher precision, better repeatability, faster printers, lower cost machines. These advances accelerate the uptake of 3D printing.