Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

What is the Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)​?

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Technology, also known as Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) or Fused Layer Manufacturing (FLM), is a 3D printing process that involves using a continuous filament of a thermoplastic material. The extrusion head conveys the striped plastic raw material and heats it until it melts. Once melted, the computer-controlled extrusion head pours the material in drops on the build platform to form the first layer of the component. This process continues layer by layer, building up the 3D object in a vertical direction.

One of the advantages of FDM is that it is a cost-effective method of producing prototypes and small production runs of parts. This makes it an ideal process for product development and rapid prototyping. The ability to quickly produce prototypes and test them allows companies to bring products to market faster and more efficiently.

The Advantages of FDM for Manufacturing Complex Geometries

Another benefit of FDM is that it can produce parts with complex geometries that would be difficult or impossible to achieve using traditional manufacturing methods. The ability to create internal features, overhangs, and undercuts without the need for additional tooling or machining is a significant advantage of FDM.

However, one of the challenges with FDM is the quality of the finished product. The layer-by-layer nature of the process can result in visible layer lines and a rough surface finish. Post-processing techniques such as sanding and polishing can improve the surface finish, but these add time and cost to the production process.

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Despite the challenges, FDM remains one of the most popular 3D printing processes, particularly for affordable end-user printers. As a local re-seller of Nexa3D printers, we have experience in setting up and using all machines in the UK. Our team can assist you in selecting the right printer for your needs and provide support throughout the entire printing process.

In conclusion, FDM is a powerful 3D printing process that offers many benefits for product development and rapid prototyping. While it has its challenges, the ability to quickly produce prototypes and parts with complex geometries makes it a valuable tool for companies across a range of industries.

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