3D printing or 'additive manufacturing', a process used to create 3D objects by building up layers of material formed under computer control, can trace its roots as far back as the 1980s.
However it is in the last five years that it has really started to gain traction, with a number of experts suggesting it heralds the beginning of a third industrial revolution that will eventually replace production line assembly. Objects from cars and houses to prosthetic limbs, jewellery, pizzas and even living cells have been 3D printed, with some of them now at least partially 3D printed as standard.
The UK has played no small part in the development of 3D printing, thanks to academics at Oxford and Glasgow universities, to name just two, plus a whole raft of startups that aim to push the sector forward. Here are a few of the most notable companies from across the UK.