3D Printing is a Rapid prototyping technique where objects are built up layer by layer direct from CAD data, computer tomography or 3D models. Common English names include 3D printing, freeform fabrication, layer manufacturing and rapid prototyping.
A device for free form are today often called 3D printer. A relatively simple and common method is to extrude plastic in layers and it can therefore be roughly likened to the art of an inkjet printer.
More complex and professional solutions of 3D printer is when it is using metal powders such as titanium and laser or electron beam with high precision and melts the metal in the micrometer-thin layers, layer upon layer, as Cad drawing of the part.
The first commercial machine for free form was sold in 1987 in the United States. Since then, technology has enjoyed strong growth. The largest use is for prototyping in industry, but many other application areas are also growing, including medical implants and direct production of finished parts. The technique is best suited for small items in small batches with complex shapes.