Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) was developed by Stratasys in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. In this process, a plastic or wax material is extruded through a nozzle that traces the part's cross sectional geometry layer by layer. The build material is usually supplied in filament form, but some setups utilize plastic pellets fed from a hopper instead. The nozzle contains resistive heaters that keep the plastic at a temperature just above its melting point so that it flows easily through the nozzle and forms the layer. The plastic hardens immediately after flowing from the nozzle and bonds to the layer below. Once a layer is built, the platform lowers, and the extrusion nozzle deposits another layer. The layer thickness and vertical dimensional accuracy is determined by the extruder die diameter, which ranges from 0.013 to 0.005 inches. In the X-Y plane, 0.001 inch resolution is achievable. A range of materials are available including ABS, polyamide, polycarbonate, polyethylene, polypropylene, and investment casting wax.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)


Abbreviation: FDM
Material type: Solid (Filaments)
Materials: Thermoplastics such as ABS, Polycarbonate, and Polyphenylsulfone; Elastomers
Max part size: 36.00 x 24.00 x 36.00 in.
Min feature size: 0.005 in.
Min layer thickness: 0.0050 in.
Tolerance: 0.0050 in.
Surface finish: Rough
Build speed: Slow
Applications: Form/fit testing, Functional testing, Rapid tooling patterns, Small detailed parts, Presentation models, Patient and food applications, High heat applications

Disclaimer: All process specifications reflect the approximate range of a process's capabilities and should be viewed only as a guide. Actual capabilities are dependent upon the manufacturer, equipment, material, and part requirements.

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