It all starts with your 3D model!
If you're a professional, you're probably already aware of the export capabilities of your design software. Professional packages like Autodesk Inventor and Dassault SolidWorks can easily export your design to STL format.
Then, your model gets processed.
Once you send your file in for quotation, it's loaded into software known as a 'slicer'. INVENT3D uses Simplify3D, one of the best in the industry. This software cuts the model into individual layers. The more layers, the higher the resolution. (At the expense of increased print time!)
After slicing your model, the software then generates the movement codes that the 3D printer understands.
The machine is loaded with your selected material and the printing processes is started!