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Material Extrusion

Video credit: Solid Concepts Inc.

With this technique, a material (usually thermoplastic) is melted and extruded into layers through a nozzle moving in the XY plane. The required supports are made of another substance that is removed after manufacturing.

This method provides for the rapid printing of parts, but also requires the printing of supports. It is limited to only a few types of materials. The vast majority of personal 3D printers use this process.