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3D Printing Glossary

The most commonly used terms related to 3D printing and 3D printers:

  • ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING: The process by which digital design data is used to build a three-dimensional object in layers by depositing material.
  • BRIM: Additional material printed concentrically around your object to help hold edges down and to prevent warping.
  • BUILD PLATFORM: The surface where the object is 3D printed. Also called build plate or bed.
  • BUILD VOLUME: Measured in length, width and height; this is the maximum size of an object that a 3D Printer is able to print.
  • CARRIAGE: Moving assembly that travels along an axis.
  • CLOG CLEANER: A strip of nylon filament used to clean the extruder nozzle.
  • COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN [CAD]: Software used to design a three-dimensional object.
  • DOWNUP DIAL: Located at the top of the Buildini’s Z-axis, the adjustment wheel manually moves the extruder up and down.
  • DRIVE GEAR: Located inside the extruder, this gear is used to pull filament into the hot end.
  • EXTRUDER: Part of a 3D Printer that expels plastic to deposit it in successive layers within 3D printing.
  • G-CODE: Job file for 3D printing an object, contains a set of directions which tells the printer how to print the object.
  • GUIDE TUBE: Hollow cylinder used to guide the filament accurately into the extruder.
  • FILAMENT: Thread-like plastic used to 3D print objects.
  • FIRMWARE: A class of software that controls the functions of various hardware.
  • FUSED FILAMENT FABRICATION [FFF]: 3D printing process that melts plastic filament through a heated nozzle and deposits the material in layers.
  • HOT END: Part of the extruder that heats filament to its melting point.
  • INFILL: Internal support structure of FFF printed objects; the higher the percentage of infill, the denser the object.
  • LAYER HEIGHT: Height of the horizontally printed layers of a 3D printed object, typically measured in millimeters or microns.
  • LEVELING CARD: 0.1mm thick card included with your Buildini™ to set the distance between the build platform and the nozzle when leveling.
  • NOZZLE: Deposits melted filament onto the build area.
  • POLYLACTIC ACID [PLA]: Thermoplastic polyester made from starch, such as soybeans, potatoes, corn, or other crops.
  • RAFT: Removable and discarded latticework of filament underneath an object to help with warping and bed adhesion.
  • SD CARD: Secure digital (SD) memory card, a data storage device used for digital information.
  • SKIRT: Outline that helps clean the nozzle head and establish a smooth flow of filament. Unlike a brim, a skirt is not connected to the print.
  • SLICER: Software that converts STL files or other 3D model formats into G-code files for 3D printing.
  • SLICING: Process of converting a 3D model into G-code files containing fabrication instructions for a 3D printer.
  • SPIN-N-SELECT KNOB: Adjustment dial used to navigate through the Buildini’s LCD screen menu.
  • STL FILE: Digital file format for a 3D model, imported into a slicer to convert it to G-code.
  • SUPPORT: Removable and discarded 3D printed material used to successfully fabricate overhangs, bridges, and negative space.
  • X-AXIS: Mechanical assembly that creates the left to right motion of the build platform.
  • Y-AXIS: Mechanical assembly that creates the front to back motion of the extruder relative to the build platform.
  • Z-AXIS: Mechanical assembly that creates the up and down motion of the extruder relative to the build platform.
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