A lively discussion erupted recently over the terminology used to refer to our favorite technology. As you’ve probably noticed, manufacturers use all manner of words to describe their particular form of digital manufacturing. We’ve heard terms like: “Rapid Manufacturing”, “Rapid Prototyping”, “3D Printing”, “Additive Fabrication” and many variations. Terry Wohlers believes that the term “3D Printing” will eventually win the terminology wars.
Our opinion? We agree completely. While there may be more technically accurate terms, such as the delightful “solid freeform fabrication”, the general public will more likely key on something that relates to their current understanding. Today everyone knows what “printing” means. It is a very small step to say “3D Printing”. We’ve tried this by mentioning such terms to neophytes, who tend to get “3D Printing” much more easily than other terms. 3DP it is.