What is 3d Printing?

What Is 3d Printing?


3D printing, put simply, is the manufacturing of a solid 3d object from a 3d digital model.


It is quoted by the Financial Times as ‘potentially being larger than the internet’ and is sometimes referred to as ‘additive manufacturing’. The 3d printing process involves successive layering of material until the desired object has been created, layer by layer.


The process begins with 3d modeling. Created with a CAD package, models can be complex and sophisticated, and replicated in physical form with a great degree of accuracy.


3d printing covers a number of different processes. The most common and popular include:



Widely known as the first 3d printing process, stereolithography (SLA) is favoured for its highly efficient printing of smooth surfaces and intricate designs. SLA 3d printers use a laser to cure layers of resin, layering them on a build plate to create a solid object. You can find out more about stereolithography and how we use it HERE.


Fused Deposition Modelling

Fused deposition modelling is recognised as the most common and widely available 3d printing process, with this technology being used since the early 1990’s. It works by heating the chosen material to approximately 200 degrees celsius and then extruding layers of thermoplastic filament through a print head onto the build platform until the object is created. This is the quickest and cheapest of all of our 3d printing services here at 3D Folkes. You can find out more about FDM HERE.



There’s a wide variety of material types available for 3d printing, ranging from plastics to resins. All of the materials we used at 3D Folkes are sustainable, which is part of our commitment to minimising our carbon footprint.



3d printing is used in a number of different industries for a wide range of purposes. In recent years, 3d printing has been used for everything from prosthetics to jewellery. It’s also great way to create prototypes for product development and architectural models too.


If you’d like to find out more about how 3d printing can help your business, visit HERE.