Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

Print your FDM parts with fast turnaround and wide variety of plastic materials as fast as 1 day!

FDM printing service starting at only $20!

Overview: How FDM 3D printing works?

The Basics Of FDM

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In FDM, a spool of filament is loaded into the printer and then fed to the extrusion head, which is equipped with a heated nozzle. Once the nozzle reaches the desired temperature, a motor drives the filament through it, melting it.

The printer moves the extrusion head, laying down melted material at precise locations, where it cools and solidifies (like a very precise hot-glue gun). When a layer is finished, the build platform moves down and the process repeats until the part is complete.

After printing, the part is usually ready to use but it might require some post-processing, such as removal of the support strucures or surface smoothing.

Benefits Of FDM

Fused deposition modeling can build fully functional parts in standard plastics. However, they have an anisotropy in the z-direction (vertical direction) and a step-structure on the surface.

Fused deposition modeling works with standard materials, for instance ABS/PA/PC. Therefore, parts have good mechanical properties and are durable over time. Parts can be post-processed as any plastic part produced with conventional manufacturing.

Benefits Of FDM With FacFox

At FacFox, we have 2 levels of FDM printers: Lab-level and Industrial-level.

Lab-level FDM 3D printer is suitable for experimental projects that doesn’t require high accuracy/great mechanical properties or highly detailed surfaces, we can print PLA material at a largest volume of 1200 x 1200 x 1500mm.

Our Industrial-level FDM 3D printers, on the other hand, allow you to make 3D printed parts and prototypes in a wide range of high performanced enginnering materials like ABS, PA, PC, ULTEM. We use the state-of-the-art Stratasys Fortus printer with a max build volume of  1000 x 800 x 500mm.

Prototypes made using this service can be used for engineering testing or even actual end-use products. You can also have metal 3D printed parts made using our DMLS 3D printing service.

Features of FDM

Advantages

Material Selection
FDM printers supports almost all mainframe thermoplastics and even some reinforced compound materials like PA-CF.
Accuracy
We use the most advanced industrial FDM 3D printers with tolerances of +/- 0.004” or +/- 0.002” per inch, whichever is greater.
Geometry
With dissolvable supports(industrial-level only), interlocking and complex structures are easy to be achieved.
Strength & Durability
High-performance plastics like PA/PC/ULTEM are ideal for applications that require resistance of certain aspects.
Turnaround
FDM parts do not require tooling which reduces the manufacturing lead time from weeks to days, allowing for faster innovation and speed to market.
End Production
FDM is capable of producing end-use parts on-demand to boost your marketing by customization.

Drawbacks

Surface Quality
Extruding material layer-by-layer,the surface has layer lines and fine details cannot be realized
Layer Adhesion
Parts have an anisotropy in the z-direction (vertical direction), and properties are weaker than base materials.
Scale Effect
The unit cost and lead time will not be reduced as much as casted or molded parts.

FDM Processes

Printers & Parameters

– Printers: Stratasys Fortus Series, custom made FDM printers.

– Maximal build volume: 914 x 610 x 914 mm(Fortus 900mc)

– Minimum feature size: 0.2 mm

Restrictions

– Minimum layer thickness: 0.1 mm

– Typical surface finish: 50 – 100 microns RA

– Accuracy: (+/- 0.1-0.2% for industrial-level)

Pre-build planning

Important decision on design is the orientation and support structures. This depends on:

– Geometry: Optimize it to reduce supports and layer lines.

– Areas that need great smoothness or post-processing

Available Materials

PLA Plastic
Nylon 6
PPSF
ULTEM 9085
ULTEM 1010
ABS M30
ASA
PC-ABS
ABS-ESD7
PC-ISO
Nylon 12
TPU-92A

Available Finishes

The finish option with the quickest turnaround. Which normally includes:

  • Removal of support: Supports are dissolved/manually removed after printing. This is usually straight forward, however might require some extra effort for parts with complex geometric features.

 

  • Painting
  • Epoxy Coating
  • Don’t see the finish you need? Submit an RFQ with ‘Suggest’ option, we’ll look into a finishing process for you.

FDM Applications

Prototypes

FDM is ideal for producing form / fit and functional prototypes for testing in standard materials like PLA/ABS.

End Parts

The heat tolerance and great mechanical properties of industrial FDM materials let end parts like jigs, fixtures, brackets be produced directly.

Customized Products

FDM can be applied to make small batched products with varied requirments, ideal for small businesses that wishes to test the market’s reaction to thier newly developed products.

Get Quotes Now!

Industries with FDM

Aerospace
Automotive
Consumer Goods
Bio & Health
Art & Creative
Architechture
Entertainments
Electronics
Education

Resources for FDM

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Need more information? See our resource center!
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