3D printing -- or additive printing -- involves creating a digital design using 3D or computer aided design (CAD) software like Makers Empire 3D software, and 'printing' horizontal cross-sections to manufacture the part from filament.

As 3D printed items are basically 'grown' to specification, the process produces  less scrap material than traditionally manufactured parts. They are also generally lighter and can be more durable.

3D printing allows designers to print single run prototypes, dramatically speeding up the iteration process. Without the large volume restrictions of traditional manufacturing, 3D printing significantly expands the design possibilities for makers and creators.

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