3D Filament Terms

Semi-Crystalline Polymer

  • highly ordered molecular structure polymer
  • sharp melt points often after melt point is reached

Amorphous Polymer

  • Molecular structure has no order soften gradually when the temperature rises
  • chemical process by which molecules such as glucose are broken down anaerobically
  • IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry)
  • The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry is an international federation of National Adhering Organizations that represents chemists in individual countries
Tensile Strength 
  • Ultimate tensile strength, often shortened to tensile strength, is the maximum stress that a material can withstand while being stretched or pulled before breaking

Dimensional Accuracy

  • refers to how well a printed object matches the size and specifications of the original file.

Extrusion Multiplier 

  • The extrusion multiplier, which is called “flow rate” in Ultimaker's Cura, specifies the rate at which your printer will extrude material. Based on the value for this setting, the slicer software automatically calculates how fast to move the extruder motor for certain print speeds or filament diameters.

PLA Lost Casting

  • A common technique in jewelry making and manufacturing is lost-wax casting or investment casting. ... When the mold is fired in a kiln, the wax is burnt out or “lost”; then metal parts can be cast in the mold. This same technique can be used with PLA filament.

Stl. File

  • A file format native to the stereolithography CAD software created by 3D Systems. STL has several backronyms such as "Standard Triangle Language" and "Standard Tessellation Language".

FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling)

  • Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is a technology where the melt extrusion method is used to deposit filaments of thermal plastics according to a specific pattern. Similar to 3DP, the layout for FDM consists of a printhead able to move along X and Y directions above a build platform.

DLP (Digital Light Processing)

  • Digital Light Processing is a 3d printing process where a projector is used to cure photopolymer resin. Very similar to SLA where the only difference is that instead of a UV laser to cure the photopolymer resin, a safelight (light bulb) is used.

MSLS (Metal Selective Laser Sintering)

  • Selective laser melting, also known as direct metal laser melting or laser powder bed fusion, is a rapid prototyping, 3D printing, or additive manufacturing technique designed to use a high power-density laser to melt and fuse metallic powders together

Print Speed

  • 3D printing speed measures the amount of manufactured material over a given time period , where the unit of time is measured in hours, and the unit of manufactured material is typically measured in units of either kg, mm or cm3, depending on the type of additive manufacturing technique.


  • Infill is a repetitive structure used to take up space inside an otherwise empty 3D print. ... In addition to filling the empty space in a print, infill can also change its weight, depending on the material used.

Retraction Speed

  • Speed at which the extruder motor drives the filament backward. With this parameter it's necessary to be very careful if high speeds are used (greater than 70mm/s) because it can mark the filament in such a way that it's unusable to continue the 3D printing


  • A 3D printing brim is a layer of material that extends along the print bed from the edges of a 3D print. Brims help to improve bed adhesion and to prevent warping. 

Oozing/ Stringing

  • Stringing occurs when small strings of plastic are left behind on a 3D printed model making the model look “hairy”

Glass transition temperature 

  • The gradual and reversible transition in amorphous materials from a hard and relatively brittle "glassy" state into a viscous or rubbery state as the temperature is increased.

Izod Impact Test 

  • The Izod impact strength test is an ASTM standard method of determining the impact resistance of materials. A pivoting arm is raised to a specific height and then released. The arm swings down hitting a notcedsample, breaking the specimen. The energy absorbed by the sample is calculated from the height the arm swings to after hitting the sample. A notched sample is generally used to determine impact energy and notch sensitivity.

UFPs (Ultra Fine Particles)

  • Ultrafine particles (UFPs) are particles matter of nanoscale size (less than 0.1 um or 100 nmin diameter)

Micro Factory

  • Refers to a small dimension factory able to produce small dimension products. The term was proposed by the Mechanical Engineer Laboratory of Japan in 1990. The micro factory main advantages are to save great amount of resources like space, energy, materials and time.


  • Material able to absorb or adsorb water from its surroundings. Typically, this occurs at or near ordinary room temperature.


  • the chemical breakdown of a compound due to reaction with water.


  • Software used by designers and engineers for 3D modeling and design 

Bowden Extruder 

  • A Bowden extruder is a type of filament feeding mechanism used in many FDM 3d printers that pushes filament though a long and flexible PTFE tube to the hot end

Direct Drive Extruder

  • An extruder where the filament is directing linked requiring no tubing 


  • The Z-axis offset, or Z-offset for short, is the distance from the top of the heated bed (defined as “zero”) to the tip of the hot end nozzle. This number will always be a negative value—the closer your Z-offset is to zero, the further away from the print surface the hot end nozzle will be moved.