In Pictures: 3D printing - How does it really work?

Here are the nine most common 3D printer technologies

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Technology No. 1: FDM What it is: Fused Deposition Modeling (patented additive manufacturing method trademarked by Stratasys, Inc.)

Inventor: Scott Crump

Year: Late 1980s

Materials: Plastics are most common, but other compound materials are also used.

Process: Material is extruded through a nozzle that moves over a build platform, which is lowered as each layer is added; that is, fine lines of molten thermoplastics are extruded onto a platform following a 3D design pattern. The material solidifies when deposited.

Price Range: $200 to $18,000

Systems Sold by: Stratasys, Makerbot, 3D Systems, Fab@Home, Solid Concepts

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In Pictures: 3D printing - How does it really work?

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