Despite the fact that the terms are often used interchangeably, these two production fields have significant differences in history, application and technology. Let us take a moment to clear them up.
The history of 3D printing (3DP) began at the beginning of this century with the first commercially available 3D printers. These systems are consumer products which can be used as a desktop application in private homes. The price-performance ratio has significantly improved in recent years and the number of different models on the market has increased exponentially. The cost for a single unit is between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. Makerbot, Lulzbot, Ultimaker, and Printrbot are some of the popular brands in the consumer space today.