Fused Deposition Modeling

Production-Grade Thermoplastics

How Does Fused Deposition Modeling Work?

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is a 3D printing technology widely known for its speed, accuracy, and competitive cost. A machine precisely extrudes melted plastic filament to create a part. Parts are very rigid, especially compared to Selective Laser Sintering (SLS), which makes them a great fit for projects with a rigidity requirement.

Producing parts in FDM is broken up into 3 steps, which includes pre-processing, production, and post-processing.

PRE-PROCESSING:
Printer software slices 3D CAD file into layers. For each slice, the software then converts the data into machine code that determines tool paths for the machine to follow.
PRODUCTION:
An extruder head extrudes liquefied plastic filament along the tool path layer by layer until the part is completed bottom-up.
POST-PROCESSING:
Support material is removed by either dissolving it in water, or breaking it off. More custom finishes such as tapping, inserts, etc. are then applied.

Why Work With Xometry For FDM?

Our FDM solution offers large build volumes up to 24″ x 36″ x 36″, a variety of colors, and a diverse selection of production-grade thermoplastics ‒ from ABS to Polycarbonate to Ultem.


Fused Deposition Modeling

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Video: Will It Break?

Video: Will It Break?

We put these 3D Printing materials to the test. Find out the results of our impact resistance challenge!

Applications

Concept Models

The speed and versatility of FDM lets product developers create physical snapshots of their designs through the iterative process.

Rapid Prototyping

FDM can be used to create durable prototypes that withstand thermal, chemical, and mechanical stress.

Manufacturing Tools

High-performance materials make FDM a perfect solution for producing jigs, fixtures, tool masters and production tooling.

Advantages

Precision

We use the most advanced industrial FDM 3D printers designed to meet tolerances of +/- 0.004” or +/- 0.002” per inch, whichever is greater.

Strength

FDM printed parts are available in a variety of high-performance plastics for applications that require resistance to the elements.

Large Build

Xometry can produce FDM parts with large build volumes up to 24″ x 36″ x 36″.

Complex Geometry

Geometries can be built more easily due to the 3D printing process, adding complexity without additional cost.

Rapid Turnaround

Parts can typically be shipped within 3 days, allowing for faster design iterations and speed to market.

Part Production

FDM is capable of producing end-use parts on-demand, increasing throughput.

Materials

Plastics

  • Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)
  • Acrylonitrile Styrene Acrylate (ASA)
  • Nylon
  • Polycarbonate (PC)
  • Polyetherimide (PEI) [Ultem]
  • Polyphenylsulfone (PPSF)

Finishes

Standard

FDM parts are built with support material that is removed during post-processing. The part surfaces are left with fine layer lines.

Custom

Xometry can provide additional processing (i.e. painting or sanding) to meet your needs.

FDM Design Guide

FDM Design Guide

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is a 3D printing technology that builds a part layer by layer by depositing heated thermoplastic along an extrusion path. We've put together this guide to help inspire and inform your decisions when designing for FDM 3D printing. 

Download your free guide today.

Download Guide