3D printing is an innovative technology that lets you create a physical object from a digital model. It started in the '80s under the name ‘rapid prototyping’ because this was the purpose of the technology: to prototype faster and cheaper. A lot’s changed since then, and today 3D printers offer amazing results and let you create anything you can imagine.
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), or Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), is an additive manufacturing process that belongs to the material extrusion family. In FDM, an object is built by selectively depositing melted material in a pre-determined path layer-by-layer. The materials used are thermoplastic polymers and come in a filament form.
Stereolithography (SLA) is an additive manufacturing process that belongs to the Vat Photopolymerization family. In SLA, an object is created by selectively curing a polymer resin layer-by-layer using an ultraviolet (UV) laser beam. The materials used in SLA are photosensitive thermoset polymers that come in a liquid form.