A guideline for 3D printing terminology in biomedical research utilizing ISO/ASTM standards

Amy E. Alexander, Nicole Wake, Leonid Chepelev, Philipp Brantner, Justin Ryan, Kenneth C. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


First patented in 1986, three-dimensional (3D) printing, also known as additive manufacturing or rapid prototyping, now encompasses a variety of distinct technology types where material is deposited, joined, or solidified layer by layer to create a physical object from a digital file. As 3D printing technologies continue to evolve, and as more manuscripts describing these technologies are published in the medical literature, it is imperative that standardized terminology for 3D printing is utilized. The purpose of this manuscript is to provide recommendations for standardized lexicons for 3D printing technologies described in the medical literature. For all 3D printing methods, standard general ISO/ASTM terms for 3D printing should be utilized. Additional, non-standard terms should be included to facilitate communication and reproducibility when the ISO/ASTM terms are insufficient in describing expository details. By aligning to these guidelines, the use of uniform terms for 3D printing and the associated technologies will lead to improved clarity and reproducibility of published work which will ultimately increase the impact of publications, facilitate quality improvement, and promote the dissemination and adoption of 3D printing in the medical community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8
Journal3D Printing in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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