Additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing, rapid prototyping or freeform fabrication, is ‘the process of joining materials to make objects from 3D model data, usually layer upon layer, as opposed to subtractive manufacturing methodologies’ such as machining. 3D printing lowers costs, saves time, and transcends the limits of traditional fabrication processes for product development.
A good basic introduction could be found in the following link:
Currently, we are working on 3D printing techniques including fused deposition modeling (FDM), direct ink writing (DIW), stereolithography (SLA), binder jetting, etc.
Figure 1. (Left) ExOne binder jetting 3D printer. (Right) Stratasys FDM printer. (shared)
Figure 2. Lithoz CeraFab 8500 ceramic 3D printer. (shared)
Figure 3. Peopoly Moai SLA 3D printer.