Extruders pump out a material which will self bond after some short time in order to form a solid mass. Most often, this is accomplished with a plastic or other matierial which is heated by the extuder head, or "hot end" which then cools after it is ejected. A spool of plastic filament is pushed into the hot end by the extruder much like an automated version of a hot glue gun.
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<A HREF="http://techref.massmind.org/techref/extruders.htm"> Extruders for 3D printing / additive CNC.</A>
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