Glossary

ABS
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, A tough thermoplastic filament, pretty much requires a heated bed, tends to warp
Arduino
A single board computer, based on the ATMEL AT series microcontrollers
Bed Leveling
Making sure that the build plate is a uniform distance from the print head, more accuratly known as tramming
Bowden Extruder
An extruder that is mounted away from the hot end, and connected to the hot end by a tube. This arrangement makes the hot end lighter and thus allows it to print faster. The drawback is that it is harder to manage the flow of plastic through the hot end, making tuning the retraction settings more important
Brim
A printing technique where you print boarder around the bottom of a print to improve adhesion to the printbed
Build Plate (build surface)
The surface on which the hot end deposits plastic.
BuildTak
An easy release covering for a build plate
CAD
Computer Aided Design
CAM
Computer Aided Manufacturing, The process of turning a computer file to a physical object.
CNC
Computer Numerical Control, usually applied to manual tools that have been automated; e.g CNC Router or CNC Lathe
Duet
A specific brand of controller board for 3d printers (or any other multi-axis machine)
Extruder
The part of the printer that grabs the filament and pushes it into the hot end
FDM
Fused Deposition Modeling. (also FFF Fused Filament Fabrication) One of the methods of additive 3D printing
Filament
The thermoplastic that is melted in the hot end that is used to build up the print
G-code
The instructions sent to the printer to cause it to move the motors/fans etc to actually print
Hot end
The part of the printer that melts the plastic, containing a heater block, a melt chamber and a nozzle
MakerBot
An early 3d printer company, Created the MakerBot line of printers and the Thingiverse website, purchased by Stratasys
Marlin firmware
One of the first 3D printer firmware variants, the code that translates the g-code into motor positions and thermal settings to run the printer.
Mendel
An early model of 3D printer, derived from the original printers from the reprap project at Bath University
motor driver
An electronic part that converts step and direction signals from the microcontroller into the electrical pulses that drive the stepper motors
OBJ
One of the file formats used to store 3d models, optionally includes color information
PEI
Polyetherimide is a reusable "relatively maintenance free" build surface
PETG
PETG is a clear amorphous thermoplastic, more flexible than PLA or ABS
Print Bed
The portion of the printer that supports the build plate
Polulu
A popular manufacturer of motor drivers and other electronics
Prusa
A man (Joseph Prusa), a company (Prusa Research) and a Printer.
Raft
A raft is a printing technique where you print a thin layer of plastic before you print your model, it helps correct for warped build surfaces, and may improve adhesion.
RAMPS
An Arduino based G-code interpreter and CNC system board. One of the earliest low cost printer control boards
Repetier firmware
A 3D printer firmware variant
Reprap
A research project at Bath university, headed by Adrian Bowyer, working on creating a self replicating machine
Skirt
A 3D printing technique where you print a lip on the bottom of a print to improve adhesion to the print surface
Slic3r
An early open source slicing program. Sometimes pronounced slic-3-r
Slicing
The act of converting a 3D model into G-code by breaking the model into individual layers and then translating each layer into instructions for the printer
Smoothie board
A G-code interpreter and CNC system based on a 32 bit microcontroller
STL
A popular file format for 3D models
Stringing
Hair like threads of plastic that remain on a print, usually easy to remove with a heat gun
Thingiverse
One of the first websites set up for sharing 3D printable models. Owned and run by MakerBot
Trinamic
A popular brand of motor driver, more sophisticated than the basic Polulu