To help you gain a better understanding of our processes we’ve compiled a glossary of terms that we commonly use in our industry.

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Additive manufacturing/ 3D printing

Commonly used interchangably, additive manufacturing (3D printing) involves a CAD model or scan of an object that is reproduced, layer by layer, as a physical three-dimensional object. Stereolithography, selective laser sintering, fused deposition modeling and direct metal laser sintering are some of the commonly employed additive processes.


A component of the injection-molding machine wherein the resin pellets are melted, compressed and injected into the mold’s runner system.


A portion of the mold that is pushed into place as the mold closes, using a cam-actuated slide. Typically, side actions are used to resolve an undercut, or sometimes to allow an undrafted outside wall. As the mold opens, the side action pulls away from the part, allowing the part to be ejected. Also called a “side-action.”

Direct metal laser sintering (DMLS)

DMLS employs a fiber laser system that draws onto a surface of atomized metal powder, welding the powder into a solid. After each layer, a blade adds a fresh layer of powder and repeats the process until a final metal part is formed.