3D printing


variants or less commonly 3-D printing
: the manufacturing of solid objects by the deposition of layers of material (such as plastic) in accordance with specifications that are stored and displayed in electronic form as a digital model
Whereas traditional manufacturing techniques start with a solid block and cut unwanted material away from it, 3D printing … builds up material in layers, producing precisely the object desired with almost no waste.Mark Betancourt
Imagine dreaming up a toy for your kids, sketching it out on your computer, and minutes later—voilà!—you're holding the real thing in your hand. Such is the promise of 3-D printing, a niche but growing technology that Bre Pettis and his Brooklyn-based start-up, MakerBot, believe will become as common in homes as the printers that crank out our photos and household documents.Andréa Ford et al.

called also additive manufacturing

Examples of 3D printing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Oscar-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter has employed 3D printing techniques in her work for years. Karen Idelson, Variety, 28 Feb. 2023 Companies on campus include cancer research, agriculture, biotech, pharmaceuticals, solar panel management, and 3D printing. Ira Porter, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word '3D printing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1992, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of 3D printing was in 1992

Dictionary Entries Near 3D printing

Cite this Entry

“3D printing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/3D%20printing. Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

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