What is Fused Deposition Modeling?

SLA Find Providers For FDM

Models created with FDM have great strength and temperature resistance at low prices.
Other Technologies: 

You can think of FDM as a computer-controlled hot glue gun that precisely deposits plastic to create parts.

How It Works
Fused Deposition Modeling (trademarked by Stratasys) is an additive manufacturing process. The machine builds up layer upon layer of the 3D model, starting with the bottom layer. After some hours have passed, the model is finished.

The moveable head has a heated nozzle which extrudes a fine filament of plastic (such as ABS) or metal in some cases. The material is laid down on the previous layer as sets of strips, which can be curved as they are laid down. The process is somewhat slow and often leaves ridges (stair stepping) on angled surfaces, depending on the printer's resolution. A support structure is also built during printing to support any overhanging features. After each layer is finished, the tray drops so that the machine can begin the next layer.

One Great Advantage
One great benefit of FDM is that it can use real thermoplastic materials, such as ABS plastic. This allows designers and engineers to use real-world materials for strength, durability and temperature resistance.

Typical Uses
  • Rapid Prototypes
  • Production Parts
Example quotes for a 2-inch sphere:
Process Qty 1 Qty 10
SLA $376 each $109 each
SLS $501 each $121 each
FDM $182 each $154 each
PolyJet $479 each $139 each
Machined Plastic $458 each $139 each
Urethane Castings N/A $120 each
So, you can see how volume discounts can be a big factor, especially for processes that are slow in the vertical direction.

For More Information
Wikipedia article

See the Next Article: PolyJet 3D Printing

Find Providers

Search by State
Search by Process
SLA - Learn More
SLS - Learn More
FDM - Learn More
PolyJet - Learn More
Z-Corp - Learn More
3D Printing - Learn More
3D Metal - Learn More
RTV - Learn More
Machined Plastic - Learn More
Inj Molding - Learn More
CNC - Learn More
Sheet Metal - Learn More
Metal Castings - Learn More

News Headlines

World's First 3D Printed Car Series
Nov 4, 2015 - The CEO of Local Motors discusses the world's first road-ready 3D printed cars.
Read more on 3DPrintingIndustry.com.
Gravity Defying 3D-Printed Bridge
Jun 14, 2015 - A 3D-printing company based in Amsterdam has developed a revolutionary, multi-axis robotic 3D printer that can "draw" structures in the air -- and it's planning to build a bridge over a canal in the heart of the city.
Read more on CNET.com.
More News