It sounds like the stuff of science fiction – machines that can “print” solid objects – but 3D printing isn’t really printing at all, at least not in the traditional sense.
It is the process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. Successive layers of material are formed under computer control to create objects ranging from plastic bottles to aircraft parts and prosthetic limbs.
A 3D printer is essentially a type of industrial robot.
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.bbc.co.uk