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A 3D printer is an additive manufacturing technology that enables automated construction of complex sub-assemblies via layered deposition. The technology is similar to a traditional printer, but with an additional z axis. As a central backbone of Digital Fabrication, the end goal of 3D printers is to be able to print anything.
While 3D printers are additive, they bear a close resemblance to subtractive manufacturing CNC milling machines.
 Product Ecology
See past work related to Factor e Farm at RepRap Build.
3D printer technology is currently undergoing a flourishing of innovation. As a relatively new technology (2003), many experimental designs and techniques are being explored by thousands of groups worldwide.
 See Also
- Comparison of 3D Printers
- RepRap Build
- 3D Ceramic
- Stepper Motor
- MIT Machines that Make
- Electron Beam Melting
- RepRap MetalicaRap subproject, investigating inexpensive, self-replicating electron beam melting machine design for 3D metal object and solar cell printing
- Cermets, materials that may be suitable for 3D ceramic printing techniques but give material properties superior to those of either metals or ceramics
 Further reading