3D-printing is a technology where a computer model is transformed into a physical object. The process starts with the object being modelled in a computer. The model designates the objects dimensions and shape. After the modelling is done the model is sent to the printer that turns it into a physical object. The printing is similar in concept to an inkjet printer, in that a single page (layer) is printed at a time and then all the pages come together to form a book (the object). When the printer is done the object is ready, although sometimes the object my require some post processing. Post processing can include things like sanding, painting and more.
It’s almost like magic watching a 3d-model turning into a physical object from a variety of different materials. Today it’s possible to print almost every object you can think off like jewellery, tools, spare-parts, musical instruments and whatever else you can think of. A lot of research is currently underway in other things to print like organs, food and designer medicines. In most cases objects are printed from plastic, many different types of plastics exist with different properties such as rubbery, firm, high impact, food safe, heat resistant, and heat/light changing, event glow in the dark. Many plastics are also hybrids and contain metals or even wood.