3D Printing Terminology Glossary and Explanations

This is a great guide by teaching tech that also shows some of these terms in video form.  Scroll down to see some definitions and explanations

I'm putting these in an order that I feel makes sense to learn them. They are not alphabetized.


Your 3D printer "prints" objects using filament, that typically comes in spools/rolls weighing about 1 kg.  There are many different types of filament including PLA, TPU, PETG, ABS and many others. You can read more about this on our page about filaments.


The nozzle is the small metal piece that the filament comes out of.  It is heated up as part of the hot end, discussed below.  Nozzles come in many sizes and materials, with .4 mm brass being the default nozzle you get with your printer. Smaller sizes will allow for more detailed prints, larger sizes (such as 1 mm) for faster, less detailed prints.  Tungsten, steel and ruby tipped nozzles are other popular types of nozzles - but for basic PLA, brass is a good choice based on even heating and being hard enough to withstand PLA but soft enough that it should typically not damage your bed too much if you accidentally ram the nozzle into your bed.

Hot End

The hot end is the part that heats up and melts the filament, before it goes through the nozzle an onto the bed. The hot end however is not a single piece.  The hot end includes a heat block/heat cartidge, and a ther. The hot end uses a heating cartridge and a thermistor to heat the filament, which travels through the hot end’s throat


The printer prints filament by pushing it through a hot end. The extruder is the piece of machinery made up of a stepper motor, gear, arm and filament guide that will push the filament through the bowen tube, through the hot end, and ultimately leads to filament extruding out onto the print bed

Ender 3 Pro 3D Printing Starter Guide

To be continued with ...

Axes - X, Y, Z Axis 

Stepper Motors

Bed Leveling

Tramming vs Bed Leveling vs Auto Bed Leveling