3D Printing Glossary (BCN3D Edition)

Learn the specific words that are used in the 3D Printing Industry in a simple way








In the context of 3D printing, adhesion of the print to the build plate. Insufficient print adhesion may cause partial or complete separation of the print from the build plate during printing

BCN3D Cloud A software platform with a control panel to manage your fleet of 3D printers in real time and stay informed about their operation. Try it now

BCN3D Stratos A free and easy-to-use 3D printing software that prepares your model for 3D printing. Try it now

Belts The print heads move by the motion of the belts, the top belt moves the right head and the bottom belt moves the left head. They also move the carriage on the Y axis

Bowden tubes

or Teflon tubes,  2 tubes that the filament passes through, the inferior ones go from the filament entry point to the motor (passing through the FRS). The other goes from the extruder motor to the print heads

Bridge A part of the model printed in the air, suspended between two parts of the print

Build Plate Adhesion Type A Stratos setting to increase the model adhesion to the glass. Learn more

Build Plate

Or heated bed, it's the surface where you print your 3D pieces


the boards that control the movement of the extruders, carriage, print heads and build plate

Dual Mode

Allows to print models with two different materials and/or colors without needing to stop the print to change the filament spool. Learn more

Duplication /Mirror Mode

Print two parts at the exact same time with both print heads. Learn more


 the  switch or micro-switch that detects when the extruder has arrived at the sides of the printer (X axis), when the build plate touches the extruders (Z axis), when calibrating, and when the carriage reaches the back (Y axis)

Ethernet Cable

The cable used to connect your printer to a local area network

Extruder Board

the electronic board behind the hotend, all of the parts of the print head (endstop, fans and hotends) are connected to it

FRS (Filament Runout Sensor)

the sensor that tells the printer that it is running out of filament, so the print job can be automatically paused


the material that it is used to print in 3D printing. It is stored within spools and offers a wide variety of compositions and uses


the software installed in the printer which controls the movement and temperature of all the parts in the printer


a file type that contains the movements the printer needs to do each layer, this file is created by slicing an STL file with the help of a slicer like BCN3D Stratos

HEPA Filter

(High-Efficiency Particulate Absorbing) filter, an air filter to capture particles


the piece that melts the filament and deposits it to the model. Purchase one here

Hotend Calibration

a process to check the values of the hotends to make sure that they are precise in their motions of printing

Internal Storage

The part of the printer onboard storage that you can use to send files directly to the printer and access to print history

Layer Shifting

a 3D printing issue that consists of the proceeding layer being displaced in the X or Y axis Learn more.. Learn more


A 3D printing adhesive to ensure that the part firmly sticks to the glass. Get it here. Buy it here


an electronic board that provides the electric connections to the other components of the printer. It’s in charge of all the movements and temperature control in the printer

Mesh Mapping

 The process of measuring the variation in flatness across the build plate, to improve first layer adhesion during printing. Learn more. 

 Mesh Mapping Fade

An additional option in Mesh Mapping that allows the user to blend the first few uneven layers into even layers. Learn more


The tip of the hotend

Print Job

file that has been submitted to be printed.


Print Profile

The settings used to slice your 3D model and create a print file

Printing Surface The area on which the 3D piece is printed

Printing Surface Calibration

a process to check that the values of the surface are correct specifically the flatness

Purge Bucket

catch all the purged filament in them, keeping a cleaner printing volume and easing the maintenance tasks


 a file format that stores the 3D model you want to print

 Safety Pause

a safety function that stops the printing process any time the enclosure door is open

Setup Assistant

The set of tasks that run when you turn on the BCN3D Printer for the first time. The setup assistant helps you load material, calibration and start a test print


thin metallic pieces that correct the Z offset between the extruders when printing in Mirror or Duplication mode


a program that converts a digital 3D model into a Gcode (instructions for the printer).ex: BCN3D Stratos

Spool Cartridge

A container that holds spools of filament


A circular reel or container of filament


or oozing, a 3D printing issue that causes hairs of filament to be left behind on prints. Learn more


Printed structures used to prop up any sections of a print that will not stand alone. Learn more

Under Extrusion

a 3D printing issue that consists of the extruder printing less material than it should. Learn more


a 3D printing issue that happens when the model does not stick to the printing surface properly which results in a failed print. Learn more

Wifi Dongle

A small USB device that allows the printer to access the internet

X Axis

the lateral motion (side to side) of a 3D printer

Y Axis

The horizontal motion (front to back) of a 3D printer

Z Axis

 The vertical motion (up and down) of a 3D printer