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3-D printing is a manufacturing process that builds layers to create a three-dimensional solid object from a digital model. To print a 3-D object, the manufacturer uses a computer-aided design (CAD) program to create a digital model that gets sliced into very thin cross-sections called layers. During the print process, the 3-D printer starts at the bottom of the design and builds up successive layers of material until the object is finished.
The process, performed by machines, of creating physical objects from three-dimensional digital models, generally by laying down successive layers of material. In manufacturing, the more common term is additive manufacturing (AM).
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