3D prototype printers are very sophisticated pieces of machinery that are able to create incredibly detailed 3D models and prototypes. At their core, they are still printers, and they function in many ways similar to the digital printers that people are familiar with.

To start, the printer is sent an initial design. From the design, it begins to lay single layers of liquid photopolymer resin that are hardened, or “cured” to use the more scientific term, by a UV light source that follows behind the print head for each layer. This process is repeated many thousands of times, slowly building the final 3D product one layer at a time until the product is finished.

Creating the models one small layer at a time is similar to painting your nails in thin layers as opposed to one thick layer. The material dries faster and since each coat dries and bonds to the previous one, you are left with a unified, stronger unit than if you were to create the model using a mold.