FDM – FUSED DEPOSITION MODELLING
FDM Technology is a powerful Stratasys-patented additive manufacturing method where engineering-grade, high-performance thermoplastics are used to produce concept models, functional prototypes and end-use parts directly from CAD (STL) files.
3D printers that run on FDM Technology build parts layer- by- layer from the bottom up by heating and extruding thermoplastic filament.Items are printed in layers, with either break- away or soluble support material to allow for overhangs and complex geometries.The FDM printing process is simple:
- Pre- processing: Build- preparation software slices and positions a 3D CAD file and calculates a path to extrude thermoplastic and any necessary support material.
- Production: The 3D printer heats the thermoplastic to a semi- liquid state and deposits it in ultra- fine beads along the extrusion path. Where support or buffering is needed, the 3D printer deposits a removable material that acts as scaffolding.
- Post- processing: The user breaks away support material away or dissolves it in detergent and water, and the part is ready to use.
What can you do with FDM 3D printing? Although the possibilities are endless for product development and manufacturing, most applications fall into four main categories:
Concept Models – Early in the design process, you can use FDM to make models to review form, fit and ergonomics. Designs can then be updated based o any flaws detected and reprinted. This can be repeated until you build the perfect concept.
Functional Prototypes – To prove your design, you can print functional precision prototypes using FDM parts for performance tests and rigorous engineering assessments. This allows you to catch flaws before they become costly retooling changes.
Manufacturing Tools – If your company uses jigs, fixtures, gauges, patterns, molds and dies during the manufacturing process, you can make them with FDM production printers instead of spending the time and money to machine, fabricate, mold or cast them.
Finished Goods – For runs of 5,000 or less, consider using a production printer to make your parts. Eliminating traditional manufacturing processes cuts time and cost while freeing you to make design revisions whenever necessary.
There are several FDM 3D Printers and Production Systems available.
Below is a list of the models and their features:
From idea to design and production systems
The History of FDM TechnologyStratasys founder Scott Crump invented FDM Technology more than 20 years ago. He created a rudimentary form of this technology in 1988 when he built his daughter a toy frog using a glue gun and a mixture of polyethylene and candle wax. From these humble beginnings, an idea was born and in 1989, he patented FDM technology and founded Stratasys.Stratasys has continued to lead the 3D printing revolution ever since, developing a range of systems that appeal to large manufacturers, designers, engineers, educators and other professionals.The large range of FDM 3D Printers is divided into 3 categories: The Idea Series (for individuals), The Design Series (for offices) and The Production Series (for a production environment).
>>Find out more about each series by clicking on the icon below: