3D Printers

Mcor Does Generic too

Since its earliest days the 3D printing industry has been awash with acronyms — the umbrella terms used to denote the technology and its applications (RP, RT, RM, AM, 3DP etc) and also the generic names for additive processes (SL, LS, FFF, SLM, DMLS, DLP, LOM, BPM, EBM etc) not to be confused (but often are) with process names that have been registered or trademarked to specific companies such as FDM, SLA, SLS, LENS etc. Are your eyes swimming with letters yet?

To complicate matters — there are nearly as many acronyms for the technologies and processes closely associated with 3D printing (CAD, CAM, CAE, FEA, CFD, RE to name a few of the obvious ones). And don’t even get me started on the file types! Ask three people what STL stands for and you’ll likely get three different answers. (STeroLitograhy, Standard Triangulation Language and Standard Tessellation Language are the most common. I’ve never quite got to the bottom of it, even after all these years, and have worked on the premise that everyone knows what it is even if they don’t know what it means – me included.)

Anyway, now, Mcor Technologies has thrown another generic 3D printing process name (and acronym) into the mix. There is a lot of sense in this actually, because even while Mcor is visibly (and deservedly) gaining traction in the 3DP market place there has often been a need to over explain their technology offering in terms of differentiation and capabilities. With the introduction of “Selective Laser Deposition” (SLD) and pressing home the definition of it, Mcor should, over time, be able to find its comfortable place in the acronym zone. It’s a clever move and name — it’s different enough to distinguish it and similar enough to fit well. The back story can always be told at leisure, but the more snappy label can be used quickly and easily anywhere, including on marketing material.

Over on the Mcor blog, Julie Reece, the company’s marketing director, does a great job of outlining the full reasoning behind this move and also offers an enlightening 3-part series on how it works.

And for anyone that’s interested, below is a glossary of all the acronyms I listed above, in order of appearance:


RP            Rapid Prototyping

RT            Rapid Tooling

RM           Rapid Manufacturing

AM           Additive Manufacturing

3DP         3D Printing

SL            Stereolithography

LS            Laser Sintering

FFF          Fused Filament Fabrication

SLM         Selective Laser Melting

DMLS      Direct Metal Laser Sintering

DLP          Digital Light Processing

LOM         Laminated Object Manufacturing

BPM         Ballistic Particle Manufacturing

EBM         Electron Beam Melting

FDM       Fused Deposition Modelling

SLA           Stereolithography Apparatus (Registered to 3D Systems)

SLS            Selective Laser Sintering (Registered to 3D Systems)

LENS        Laser Engineering Net Shaping (Registered to Sandia National  Laboratories)

CAD          Computer-aided Design

CAM         Computer-aided Manufacturing

CAE           Computer-aided Engineering

FEA           Finite Element Analysis

CFD          Computational Fluid Dynamics

RE             Reverse Engineering

SLD          Selective Laser Deposition