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Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is an additive manufacturing technology that builds parts up layer-by-layer by heating and extruding thermoplastic filament. Ideal for building durable components with complex geometries in nearly any shape and size, FDM is the only 3D printing process that uses materials like ABS, PC-ISO polycarbonate, and ULTEM 9085. This means FDM can create parts and prototypes with outstanding thermal and chemical resistance, and excellent strength-to-weight ratios. With our fast lead times and finishing options, FDM is a smart choice for anything from concept models to production parts.
FDM Printing Offers:
- Durable Materials – FDM uses real production-grade thermoplastics. In fact, they are the same high-performance raw materials used in most injection molding technologies.
- Build Accuracy – FDM technology builds the most accurate parts of any additive fabrication system.
- Part Repeatability – FDM technology, materials and processes ensures parts are produced accurately and consistently.
How Does it Work?
3D printers that run on FDM Technology build parts layer-by-layer from the bottom up by heating and extruding thermoplastic filament. The process is simple:
1) Pre-processing: Build-preparation software slices and positions a 3D CAD file and calculates a path to extrude thermoplastic and any necessary support material.
2) Production: The 3D printer heats the thermoplastic to a semi-liquid state and deposits it in ultra-fine beads along the extrusion path. Where support or buffering is needed, the 3D printer deposits a removable material that acts as scaffolding.
3) Post-processing: The user breaks away support material or dissolves it in detergent and water, and the part is ready to use.
Benefits of FDM
1) Design Freedom
2) Exceptional Materials
3) Production Parts
Common applications include:
1) Manufacturing Aids
2) Low Volume Production Parts
3) Jigs & Fixtures
4) Functional Prototypes
5) Carbon Fiber Layup Tooling