Painters Tape- See Blue Painter’s Tape.
PC– Short for Polycarbonate. See Polycarbonate.
PEI– Short for polyetherimide. Used in FDM printing on the bed of a printer to improve adhesion. More information on the use of PEI can be found here.
Perimeter- A slicer program setting. Perimeter refers to the thickness of the walls or shell of a printed object. The greater the number of perimeters, the thicker the shell of the object will be.
PETG- Short for Polyethylene Terephthalateglycol. PETG is a thermoplastic printing filament used in FDM-type 3d printers. An object printed with PETG will be very strong but, at the same time, it will have a bit of flex to it. You may be able to bend it, but it will be very hard to break it. PETG is transparent and has a printing temperature of around 220C-235C. It has no odor when printing and produces a result that has a marvelous finish. Also, PETG is a great material to print with because it shrinks very little when cooling, so objects printed with PETG will experience very little warping.
Photopolymer- A material used in 3d printing that hardens when exposed to certain types of light. Photopolymers are used in Digital Light Processing (DLP) and Stereolithography (SLA).
Pillowing– A 3d printing defect. Pillowing occurs on the top surface of an object. It looks like there are gaps in the surface layer, along with little bumps or pillows. In general, pillowing is caused by a top layer that is too thin and/or improper cooling of that layer. Under certain circumstances, insufficient infill can also contribute to the problem.
PLA- Short for Polylactic Acid. PLA, or Polylactic Acid, is a biodegradable, environmentally friendly thermoplastic that is manufactured out of natural substances, usually corn or sugarcane. You’ve probably already encountered PLA in your home since it is used to make everything from garbage bags to disposable cutlery and plates. PLA prints at relatively lower temperatures than other printing materials (180C – 210C). Even though it is biodegradable, it remains a strong and durable material, albeit brittle, capable of being used in a wide variety of projects. PLA is available in a wide variety of colors and is not readily soluble.
PMMA– Short for Polymethyl Methacrylate. PMMA is a thermoplastic printing filament used in FDM-type 3d printers. PMMA is known commercially as acrylic and is marketed under various brand names, such as Plexiglas, Lucite, and Perspex. Widely used as an alternative to glass in applications where more strength and durability are needed, PMMA has significantly higher impact strength than glass.
Polycarbonate- Polycarbonate is a thermoplastic printing filament used in FDM-type 3d printers. It is an extremely strong, lightweight, and transparent thermoplastic. Marketed under the trade name Lexan, it is used to make products as varied as CDs and DVDs, bulletproof glass, riot gear, sunglass lenses, scuba masks, electronic display screens, phone and computer cases, and much more.
Polyjet- Similar to inkjet printing, but instead of jetting drops of ink onto paper, jets droplets of liquid photopolymer (in layers) onto a build tray and cures them instantly using UV light. The results are fully cured objects that can be handled and used immediately.
Polymer– A type of plastic used in FDM printing. A polymer is a material that is made up of multiple long molecular chains of a single substance. For example, PVC or polyvinyl chloride consists of a bunch of vinyl chloride molecules.
Post Processing- Any act of improving the appearance or material properties of a 3d print after it has been printed. This covers a large range of processes in 3D printing that vary by technology (support removal, UV curing, heat treating, sanding, tumbling, polishing, painting, etc).
Power Supply- A part on an FDM-type 3d printer. The power supply takes the 240V AC electricity from the wall and converts it to low voltage DC power for your printer to use.
Print Bed- See Bed.
Print Head- A part on an FDM-type 3d printer. The print nozzle is attached to the bottom of the hot end and is where the melted thermoplastic printing material is extruded. In general, a smaller diameter nozzle will produce finer details in the finished object, albeit at a slower print speed and a greater risk of clogging.
Print Resolution- An indication of printing quality. Horizontal resolution refers to the movements made by the print head along the x and y axes. The smaller the movements, the higher level of printing detail the printer produces.
Print Speed- A slicer program setting. Print speed is how fast the print head travels while extruding filament. Therefore, optimal speed depends on the object you are printing and the filament material that you are using to fabricate the object. In general, simple objects with less detail can be printed faster without complication.
Printing Temperature– The optimal temperature for a thermoplastic printing material to be at for effective extrusion. The printing temperature differs from material to material.
Printing Volume- See Build Volume.
Prototype- An early part or model of a design built before production to test form, function, aesthetics, and interaction usually at a low cost. Prototypes are typically items to learn from to improve a design.
PVA- a water-soluble filament which works pretty well with PLA.
To learn more about filaments click here
To learn more about how to 3D print using PVA click here