Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printing is a unique and flexible rapid prototyping technique that offers a wide range of advantages. This additive manufacturing technology works by depositing melted filament material over a build platform layer by layer until you have a completed part.
Today, FDM is one of the most popular rapid prototyping techniques used among engineers and designers. Here are the top five reasons why:
With FDM, prototypes and final products can be tested, evaluated and brought to market faster. FDM is a completely tool-less manufacturing process, it can be set to print faster than other 3D printers like SLA, and the process uses a water-soluble filament support that can be easily removed during post-processing. These factors make it one of the fastest rapid prototyping technologies available.
FDM is a mature manufacturing process that uses affordable filament materials, the 3D printers themselves are relatively inexpensive compared to other technologies, and the process involves minimum labour requirement. This makes this technology perfect for rapid prototyping on a budget.
The ability to test your prototype in different materials is valuable for many projects. FDM can process a variety of filaments, including ABS, PLA, nylon and TPU, giving designers and engineers the flexibility to easily test their designs in different materials with different properties.
FDM 3D printing is among the most versatile rapid prototyping technologies. It builds parts by extruding a plastic filament through a nozzle and laying the material one by one in the build chamber. As a result, it can realize parts with complex geometries that may be near impossible to make via other methods like CNC machining.
A prototype model can be an early representation of the final product, done to exact dimensions or to a larger or smaller scale. Industrial FDM printers provide designers and engineers the flexibility to easily produce models to their desired size and dimension — both large and small.
Overall, FDM is an excellent rapid prototyping technology because of its fast production time, material variety, scalability, and design flexibility. If you’re looking for a quick and flexible way to prototype your designs then FDM is definitely worth considering.