FDM 3D Printing
Fused Deposition Modelling or FDM is one of the more common 3D printing technologies and also one of the most versatile. FDM builds parts by extruding plastic filament material through a nozzle and laying it down on the build chamber one layer at a time. FDM can realise complex geometries but due to the restrictions of the process any overhanging features will require support material which needs to be removed post process.
Due to the range of material options FDM is a great choice for quick prototype and low volume production.
Advantages of FDM
- Wide range of materials
- Common production materials available
- Accurate and fast
What is it used for?
FDM is a good choice for prototypes and low volume production where you need to produce parts from certain materials. FDM can print in a massive range of materials that includes ABS, PC and even performance materials like Ultem and nylon. A great choice for housings and enclosures and functional bits.
FDM design tips
FDM builds parts layer by layer from a filament, the diameter of the filament dictates a lot of what you can and can’t print. Minimum wall thickness for example must be at least as thick as the material and any small features or details must also consider this.
FMD struggles with holes and tends to print them undersize by about 2-4%. Either design your holes slightly larger to accommodate this or post process drill to size. It is also possible to install inserts for any holes needed a thread.
You can download our FDM design tips here
To talk to us about your FDM for prototype or production get in touch with our team here