3D printing is, at its most basic, a way of creating an object layer by layer. In contrast to the milling of a machine part where unnecessary material is removed during manufacture (“subtractive” manufacturing), 3D printing is an additive process. The terms “additive manufacturing” and “rapid prototyping” are roughly synonymous with “3D printing.” 3D printing will not replace standard manufacturing methods due to its defined material requirements and relatively high cost for mass production of objects. However, it can play an important complementary role by allowing rapid production of new parts and prototypes. Click HERE to read how 3D printing could also play a similar niche role within the food industry.