Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is a material extrusion layer additive manufacturing technology which creates accurate and strong parts with industrial grade thermoplastics. Fused Deposition Modeling machines 3D print parts layer by layer from the bottom up by heating and extruding thermoplastic filament. Fused Deposition Modeling technology is ideal for conceptual models, functional prototypes, engineering models, fixtures and jigs, and low volume production parts. A part is designed using a 3D CAD system such as SolidWorks, AutoCAD Inventor, ProE, etc. The native CAD file is exported to a STL file which is a rendered surface model used by 3D printing software. The STL file is then processed through the printer software for orientation on the build plate, layer slicing, and placement of the support structure. The file is sent to the printer and a dual extrusion head prints one layer at a time with one head printing the thermoplastic build material and the other head printing the support (scaffolding) material where needed for overhangs and undercuts. When all of the layers are finished, the part is removed from the base plate and placed in a detergent bath to remove the support material. When removed from the bath the part is rinsed and ready to use. Soluble support material allows designers and engineers to create complex features such as undercuts and internal details. FDM printers offer the advantage of fast, cost effective, and complex parts made with tried and tested industrial thermoplastics. Another advantage of Fused Deposition Modeling printers is the wide variety of filament colors available for prints.
- Fast – typical lead times of 1-3 days
- Functional prototypes and concept models to test fit, form, and function
- Low volume production of end use parts utilizing industrial grade thermoplastics
- Quick fabrication of jigs, fixtures, and tooling
- Complex geometries such as undercuts and internal features not feasible with traditional manufacturing methods
- Consumer products
- Build Volume: 8 x 8 x 12 in (203 x 203 x 305 mm)
- Accuracy: 0.007 in (0.18 mm) layer thickness
- Minimum Wall Thickness: 0.030 in (0.75 mm)
Avid 3D Printing offers more than rapid prototyping services: they provide quality design and engineering advice for your concept, as well as 3D printing services that suit your product best. They continue to astonish me with rapid turnaround times and competitive pricing. I look forward to utilizing Avid 3D Printing and their wide range of prototyping capability for years to come.