3D printing also called Layer based technology, Freeform fabrication, Additive manufacturing or Rapid Prototyping technologies has undergone significant development over the last decades. The growth is related to the expansion of the range of materials used, application areas, and range of possible sizes from nanometer to tens of meters as well as increasing machine accessibility. There is a growing consensus that 3D printing technologies will be at the heart of the next major technological revolutions. At present there are some technological specifics and associated difficulties in 3D printing one of which is the accuracy of the manufactured product. Research in this area would allow modelling of 3D printing processes.
The article describes the possible types and sources of inaccuracies in 3D printing processes. The various types of test pieces used in practice are examined to quantify the errors in shape and sizes after building. Test pieces with predefined discrete points and methodology are provided to calculate inaccuracies. The results are presented in the terminology of “linear” and “shear” deformations. This gives opportunity to determine the variations in the shape and dimensions of the parts built by 3D printing. On the basis of the discreet results obtained, the possibility of 3D printing process modelling is discussed and presented.