Talk:3D printing

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Article Split: 3D printing and Additive manufacturing[edit]

I'm proposing a split of this article into two separate articles: 3D printing and Additive manufacturing. The articles were originally separate up until March of 2012, when User:GliderMaven merged the additive manufacturing article into this one. However, I believe that merge was in error, as the ASTM standard definition for additive manufacturing is not interchangeable with 3D printing (in fact, 3D printing is defined as a subset of additive manufacturing). Thus the two articles should be re-separated, especially as the bulk of the current 3D printing article refers to technologies and processes which are technically only additive manufacturing. -- Y|yukichigai (ramble argue check) 02:00, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

We may need more info on this. What are examples of 3D printing that does not use additive manufacturing process? What are examples of AM that cannot be called 3D printing? Are there references that clearly describe the differences between the two? Z22 (talk) 11:40, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
Support I can attest that in the scientific literature 3d Printing and Additive Manufacturing (AM) are certainly not synonymous. As mentioned 3d Printing is the subset of AM. Here are a few examples of recent papers where 3DP is explicitly referred to as a separate technique; [[1]][[2]][[3]]Ezrado (talk) 17:40, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
Comment The problem with a split is that although the original sense of "3D printing" is a subset of additive manufacturing, there is now a widely used sense that is synonymous with AM. This is not rare in natural language, where one sense of a word is a hyponym of its other main sense. It is hard to think of examples off the top of one's head, but they are not remarkably rare. Other examples are "diabetes" (one sense is a hypernym of "diabetes mellitus"; another widely used sense is a synonym of it) and "myeloma" (one sense is a hypernym of "multiple myeloma"; another widely used sense is a synonym of it) [thought of another important example later; added below]. As for Z22's questions: (1) "What are examples of 3D printing that does not use additive manufacturing process?" Answer: none, using currently common definitions of those terms. (2) "What are examples of AM that cannot be called 3D printing?" Answer: People trying to fight against the adoption of the newer sense can argue that metal sintering processes such as DMLS and SLS 'cannot' be called "3D printing" because that term only refers to polymer-depositing processes, but that no longer reflects how the term is widely used. Doesn't mean that any particular person can't refuse to use it that way; but Wikipedia trying to refuse is another, more awkward thing. (3) "Are there references that clearly describe the differences between the two?" I very much doubt it, but I'd be happy to be proved wrong. — ¾-10 22:21, 2 October 2014 (UTC) [Added example: There is a usage preference about the word acronym that divides acronyms, in a narrow sense of that word (pronounced as words, eg, NATO), from initialisms (pronounces as letter strings, eg, DNA); but there is also a common and important broad sense of the word acronym that is a hypernym of both the aforementioned narrower sense and initialism, and Wikipedia covers them both (and explains all this) in an article titled acronym (which initialism redirects to), even though the article title was once acronym and initialism (stable consensus moved it to the broader sense). An analogy here would be that just as this article is not titled 3D printing and additive manufacturing but rather is titled 3D printing (reflecting the widespread broad sense) and explains the usage variations in the Terminology and methods section, that article is not titled acronym and initialism but rather is titled acronym (reflecting the widespread broad sense) and explains the usage variations in the nomenclature section. — ¾-10 22:55, 14 October 2014 (UTC)]
In lacking of any references that can clearly differentiate the two, I think we have no supportive reasons to split. Also, I have seen a lot of references to metal 3D printing like [4]. Manufacturer also use both terms [5][6]. So I guess the terms have been used interchangeably nowadays even in the case of non-polymer. Z22 (talk) 23:42, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
See my references. above Ezrado (talk) 11:27, 15 October 2014 (UTC)
  • oppose the article's bad enough already, no point making it even worse. Andy Dingley (talk) 23:59, 2 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Yup, 3D printing may (or may not) be considered a subset of additive manufacturing depending on who you ask, but this isn't particularly a problem. The article is actually about (what is commonly referred to as) additive manufacturing in all its many forms, it's only called '3D printing' because that's the most WP:common name that users search for. That's just the way the policies of Wikipedia work. The principle is that Wikipedia is not an English usage guide, Wikipedia is not defining the term '3D printing' or even 'additive manufacturing' it's about covering some topic, in this case the different methods for making 3D stuff from a computer file with special purpose robots.GliderMaven (talk) 21:30, 14 October 2014 (UTC)
  • Oppose Right now, 3D printingis the WP:common name for smallish, cheapish machines that make stuff at home or in a lab in small quantities using all sorts of additive and subtractive technologies, as opposed to the older, larger, more expensive machines that make stuff in large quantities on factory floors, typically using Machine tools, which we cover in our article on Numerical control -- the WP:common name for that technology. We can revisit this question in a year or so and see if common usage has evolved. --Guy Macon (talk) 11:28, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Laminated manufacturing[edit]

I am aware that, in the past, there were machines developed for additive laminate manufacturing of metal - and not using the "de-blocking" (substractive) technology that LOM or MCOR has to use after the (paper) lamination. However I would like to follow up and find the reference in the main article that refers to lamination machines for plastic and metal - as there is no reference given. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:22, 6 November 2014 (UTC)

Does "STL" stand for "Stereolithography"?[edit]

This article says that Chuck Hull "developed the STL (STereoLithography) file format" and links to the STL (file format) page, but over there it says that "the acronym is often mistakenly believed to stand for 'Stereolithography'". If that's true we should delete the parenthetical here, and if it's false we should get the claim removed from that page. (I honestly don't know.) —Steve Summit (talk) 01:39, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

Never mind, the claim about "mistakenly believed" has been reverted[7]. —Steve Summit (talk) 02:24, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Name: 3D printing vs Additive Manufacturing[edit]

ASTM and ISO both refer to these technologies as additive manufacturing and not 3D-printing. Therefore, the article header should be Additive Manufacturing. (talk) 12:15, 28 December 2014 (UTC)

Please read WP:COMMONNAME and WP:OFFICIALNAMES. --Guy Macon (talk) 17:45, 28 December 2014 (UTC)
The word "printing" is a bit of a gimmick word in this context. It's being widely used by the dimwitted media alright (and pushed by entrepreneurs) but it's unhelpful for describing the technology - we're not talking about anything close to the kind of printing you'll do on paper or cloth, or even circuitry printing on silicon. Even if the process gets extended to 3-D by analogy, "printing" a machine, a pair of shoes or food is simply a muddy branding metaphor. The vast majority of people, educated people too, associate the concept of printing with having a surface that's wholly or mostly made of a single material - paper, wood, cloth, plastic - and some set of signs, grooves, letters or indentions being pressed, inked or coloured onto that surface. Making a new object out of several different raw materials isn't really what we understand as printing, it's more like modelling, additive architecture or the like. (talk) 04:13, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Wikipedia prefers the name that is most commonly used (as determined by its prevalence in reliable English-language sources) as such names will be the most recognizable and the most natural. This is often referred to using the Wikipedia short cut term: "COMMONNAME".
Sorry, but that's our policy. --Guy Macon (talk) 06:56, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
It would be easy to set "3D printing" as a redirect to "Additive Manufacturing"; that way people looking for the moniker or using the word in hyperlinks from other articles would still get taken to the right place. I agree with the OP that "additive manufacturing" is a better description, and also preferred by ISO and (most likely) by many scientific academic journals. (talk) 11:16, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, it would be easy, but that's not how the COMMONNAME policy works. It wouldn't make a lot of difference anyway, it's such a common term we'd still have to cover it.
And I don't agree that it's the wrong term. The principles of laser and ink jet printing are virtually the same as metal powder binding and extrusion deposition. A 3D printer is mostly just a vector plotter-style printer that uses much thicker 'ink' and prints multiple times, the basic printing processes are virtually the same.GliderMaven (talk) 15:32, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
This is absolutely not true, there are some similarities between powder bed additive manufacturing (known as 3D printing in the literature) and inkjet "2D" printing, but the majority of additive manufacturing methods bear no resemblance to this. Take selective laser sintering, fused deposition modelling and LOM to name a few. This is why any reputable scientific journal uses the term "additive manufacturing" for the group of methods and "3D Printing" for inkjet powder bed methods exclusively. Ezrado (talk) 17:21, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
It really is true. Selective laser sintering is one form of laser printing. Fused deposition modelling is very similar to ink jet printing; but they're both a form of deposition printing. Plotters for example, are a type of printer, and many 3D printers are glorified plotters. It turns out, who knew, that the concept of printing is extremely fluid and extremely wide, it's not just putting things onto paper, you can print onto walls, tiles, silicon, windows, metal, plastic, plastic multiple times, in its full glory it includes things like manufacturing silicon chips (photolithography), and yes, 3D printing/additive manufacturing is considered to be a printing process.GliderMaven (talk) 18:34, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Common names are preferred but not explicitly required, as you know Guy. I think a strong case can be made here for using the technically correct name, given how misleading "3D Printing" is. Besides, "additive manufacturing" is not exactly an uncommon name. Ezrado (talk) 14:31, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, who is being mislead into doing what?GliderMaven (talk) 15:37, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
The reader is being mislead as to how most additive manufacturing processes work, see my response above. Ezrado (talk) 17:21, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
No, they're really not; and neither term is incorrect.
If '3D printer' meant something else, then yes. But it absolutely doesn't, it's being used completely correctly, in the way that it is used.
For sound reasons, Wikipedia avoids technical language in article names, particularly on high visibility articles like this one.GliderMaven (talk) 18:34, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
I get the feeling that some of those who want to get rid of the current name failed to follow my advice ("Please read Wikipedia:Article titles and Wikipedia:Official names"). Any name change must follow those policies. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:04, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Guy, from WP:COMMONNAME it says "the term or name most typically used in reliable sources is generally preferred". In this case, wouldn't the reliable sources be all the scientific journals, ISO, ASTM and members of academia (favouring Additive Manufacturing), rather than tabloids and general media? In my opinion, the article should change title, and start with "Additive manufacturing, or commonly known as 3D-printing, is...". This way, the general public may start to understand that AM is a range of technologies, and not just printing (which usually involves depositing material, quite different from photopolymerization or sterolithography). (OP) (talk) 12:39, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
The general media are reliable sources. We use the common name as used in the general media, not the name used in scientific journals. That's why we have an article on Walking instead of an article on Ambulation, even though ambulation is the term used in most medical journals. Your suggestion that "this way, the general public may start to understand..." would be a violation of our WP:NPOV policy. It isn't Wikipedia's place to attempt to influence what the common name is. It is our job to accurately report what the common name is, whether we agree with it or not. --Guy Macon (talk) 04:28, 10 January 2015 (UTC)