3D Printing Terminology Everyone Should Know

3D Printing Terminology Everyone Should Know

Whether you’re a curious beginner or looking to sharpen your expertise, understanding the vocabulary is your first step toward mastering 3D printing. With the industry growing at an unprecedented pace, now is the perfect time to get on board and learn this 3D printing terminology.

The Basics

Let’s start with basic terminology.

CAD (Computer-Aided Design)

CAD is the software that allows you to create detailed 3D models before you even think about printing.


Filament is the bread and butter of 3D printing—the material you’ll use to bring your creations to life. Since there are various filament materials, choosing the right one can be the difference between good and spectacular results.


Consider the extruder the heart of your 3D printer. The extruder pushes the filament through a heated nozzle, laying it down layer by layer to construct your design.

Build Plate

This is the stage where the magic happens. Your design goes from digital to physical on the build plate, layer by exciting layer.

Slicing Software

Before you print, translate your 3D model needs into a language your printer understands. Slicing software cuts your model into layers, creating a file that guides the printer.

Intermediate Knowledge

Now that you have the basics, it’s time for trickier vocabulary.

Infill Percentage

This determines the density of your print. A higher infill means a sturdier object, but it also means more material and longer print times.

Support Material

Complex prints often require a little help. Support material acts as scaffolding, ensuring the finer details of your design hold shape during the printing process.


Consider the raft a platform for your object to ensure it adheres properly to the build plate, reducing warping and other mishaps.

Nozzle Diameter

The size of your printer’s nozzle affects the detail and speed of your print. Smaller diameters excel in precision, while larger ones speed up printing.

Bed Leveling

Bed leveling is a crucial step before printing. Ensuring your build plate is level means the difference between a failed print and a flawless masterpiece.

Advanced Terms

Advanced terms can help you become an enhanced printer.

Overhangs and Bridging

These techniques allow you to print parts of your object mid-air, defying gravity and expanding design possibilities.


One of your fiercest foes. Warping occurs when parts of your print lift from the build plate, often ruining your project. Understanding how to combat this is key.


The G-code is the blueprint of your print. This coding language tells your printer how to bring your design to life, layer by layer.

Heat Creep

This challenge happens when heat travels up the extruder, causing the filament to soften too early and potentially clog.

Why Bother Learning All This?

Becoming versed in 3D printing terminology enhances your creativity and problem-solving skills and significantly improves your print quality while reducing failures. It’s the foundation upon which you can build your 3D printing prowess, encouraging innovation and precision in every project you undertake.

3D Printers Depot offers various 3D printers, including the CreatBot f160 3D printer. You’re sure to find the right printer for your needs. Browse our selection today!