Fused Deposition Modeling
- Low costs
- Wide array of thermoplastic materials
- Slow printing speeds
- Lower print resolutions
How it works
Fused Deposition Modeling, or FDM printing, works by extruding plastic through a hot nozzle and precisely moving the nozzle to deposit material layer by layer. This process is also known as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF). However, the stock material can come in the form of pellets as well.
- FDM parts are normally printed with a porous infill and variable density. If a part needs to be mechanically stronger, the percentage can be set higher to create a more dense part. However, this results in a longer print time.
- The resolution of FDM parts is based on the nozzle size that the printer is using. A thinner layer height will produce a finer surface finish, but will result in a longer print time.
- FDM printers can use the same filament for support, a different material such as breakaway support, or even soluble support. When using the part material for support, the area being supported may have leftover support artifacts. Using an easier to remove material or soluble support will reduce the amount of artifacts that need to be post-processed, resulting in a nicer surface finish.
- FDM printers are great for prototyping and producing concept models.