Did you miss it? Todd Grimm, long time follower and analyst of the Additive Manufacturing/3D printing industry recently declared that the term 3D printing, by popular usage, is the official name of this industry. Two years ago, ASTM attempted to establish an official name and sort of settled on Additive Manufacturing. But, due to the popular hobby/maker style of 3D printers and the personal 3D printers coming out, most users simply refer to this industry as 3D printing.
In an excellent commentary by Grimm, he goes on to explore the differences between 3D printing and rapid prototyping (3D printing is a process where rapid prototyping is one of the applications of the 3D printing process.) And he goes on to discuss the differences between 3D printing and additive manufacturing. “3D printing leans toward the processes for less demanding applications and favors the casual user. Additive manufacturing implies processes for more demanding applications and favors the professional, expert user.
After 25 years, it appears that this market is hitting a nice groove.