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What is FDM?

What is FDM? 2 APRIL 2019

Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) is an additive manufacturing process which uses material extrusion from the material filament, through the printer’s nozzle, onto the build platform and builds up layer by layer to form a part. It is one of the more common types of 3D printing and is often the first 3D printing technology that people are exposed to. Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of FDM.

Advantages:

  • Desktop FDM printers are more affordable compared to other 3D printers of different technology.
  • FDM can be a scalable solution due to the affordable hardware costs.
  • There are a wide variety of low-cost polymer materials for FDM.
  • Minimal post-processing is required compared to other 3D printing technology.
  • Short and relatively easy set-up time.

Disadvantages:

  • Manual post-processing such as support removal, are required for some prints.
  • Not all FDM printers offer an open source filament system.
  • FDM parts have the lowest dimensional accuracy and resolution compared to other 3D printing technology.

We have been using FDM for clients mainly in projects revolving around marketing demo kits, table top displays and corporate gifts and ornaments; and in our early years of operation. Now, the percentage of using FDM in our company has declined due to the growth of metal printing and other polymer AM demands. However, it’s no doubt one of the most influential 3D printing technologies that has impacted our world today!

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