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Laminated 3D printed part.

Michelangelo's David, arguably the world's most famous sculpture and certainly an incredible feat of the Renaissance, stands approximately 17 feet tall, and is made completely out of marble. Now imagine how much marble had to be chiseled away, how much marble lay wasted on the floor when Michelangelo finished his masterpiece. Imagine there was a way for Michelangelo to create David by starting with nothing and adding until the sculpture was finished, there would be no marble lying unused on the floor, no waste. This is the basic concept of additive manufacturing, creating something out of only the necessary materials, without waste.

How Michelangelo created David is a great representation of subtractive methods, such as CNC machining. Starting with bulk materials and removing the unnecessary materials until the only materials needed are what's left. The essence of additive manufacturing has evolved with the creation of 3D printing, creating things out of only the materials necessary, minimizing waste. 

While there have been a great many additive manufacturing technologies invented throughout the years, we are focusing on extrusion-based technologies, as they have the greatest potential and relevance toward the future of the industry. Specifically, we are discussing Stratasys' own invention, Fused Deposition Modeling. Over the next ten pages, learn about the potential of FDM and how it fits into additive manufacturing for composites.