FDM 3D printing is, today, the most popular way to create 3-dimensional objects using layers of melted material. This guide about the use of FDM in 3D printing will tell you everything you need to know about the technology, from its history to today’s applications.
What is FDM 3D Printing?
First things first, what is FDM full form in 3D printing? FDM is the short form for Fused Deposition Modeling. This refers to the technology of using an FMD 3D printer to produce three-dimensional objects.
The FDM 3D printing process involves using a melted material extruded through a nozzle to create an object. This goes on layer after layer until the full form of the required object is completed.
The FDM technology is also sometimes called Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), since it usually relies on filaments of thermoplastic or similar materials such as composites made from reinforced polymers.
History of FDM 3D Printing
The use of FDM in 3D printing is not new technology, although a lot has changed since its inception in the 1980s. Here are your questions about the history of FDM 3D printing answered.
When Was FDM 3D Printing Invented?
The FDM 3D printing machine was invented in the 1980s. This was just when the first personal computers were becoming available, and the technology was still in its infancy. The idea of printing three-dimensional objects was also very new, and FDM was seen as a way to make this process more accessible.
Who Invented FDM 3D Printing?
The man credited with inventing FDM technology in 3D printing is S. Scott Crump, who filed the patent for the process in 1989. Crump was also working in the field of 3D CAD (computer-aided design) at the time, and he saw FDM as a way to turn the 3D models into physical objects.
How Does FDM 3D Printing Work?
This is how FDM 3D printing works: It starts with a 3D model of the object you want to create. This can be created using computer-aided design (CAD) software. Today, you can also find many ready-made 3D models online.
The next step is to slice the 3D model into thin layers. This is done using special slicing software. The sliced model is then exported to the FDM 3D printer.
The FDM 3D printer components consist of a build platform, an extruder, and a nozzle. Here is what happens next.
- The user loads the filament into the extruder. The FDM 3D printer filament is usually a spool of thermoplastic material, although other materials can be used as well.
- The extruder melts the filament and then deposits it layer by layer onto the build platform. The object is built up one layer at a time from the bottom up.
- As each layer is deposited, the nozzle moves around to create the desired shape. Depending on the type of machine, the nozzle or build platform will move up or down between layers.
- Once the object is complete, it is allowed to cool and then removed from the build platform. Any support material that was used will also be removed at this stage.
- The final step in FDM 3D printing is to post-process the object if necessary. This could involve sanding, painting, or adding a finish.
The most common materials used in FDM 3D printing are thermoplastic polymers, such as PLA and ABS. However, other materials can be used as well, including reinforced plastic or plastic that has been infused with wood particles.
FDM 3D Printing Advantages and Disadvantages
The use of FDM in 3D printing has its advantages, which is why it is such a popular technology. However, there are also some disadvantages. Users must understand these drawbacks before making the decision to use this type of 3D printing.
Advantages of FDM 3D Printing Advantages
The main advantage of FDM 3D printing is that it is very versatile. This type of 3D printing can be used to create objects from a wide range of materials, including different types of fiber-reinforced plastics, and blends such as plastic containing wood particles.
Another of the FDM 3D printing advantages is that it is relatively inexpensive. The machines themselves are not too expensive, and the filament is also low-cost, which makes using FDM in 3D printing projects a good option for those on a budget.
FDM 3D printing is also easy to use. The machines are not too complicated, and the process is fairly straightforward. All these advantages make FDM 3D printing a good choice for those who are new to 3D printing.
Disadvantages FDM 3D Printing
The use of FDM in 3D printing does not produce the most detailed or accurate results. This is because the layers that are deposited are often visible, and the objects can have a slightly rough surface finish.
Another disadvantage of FDM 3D printing is that it is relatively slow. This is because each layer has to be deposited one at a time. This can make the printing method impractical for some applications.
FDM 3D Printing Applications
FDM 3D printing can be used for a wide range of applications. Here are some example applications of FDM 3D printing:
Prototyping: FDM 3D printing is often used to create prototypes of products or parts. This is because it is relatively quick and easy to use, and the results are good enough for most purposes.
Low-volume manufacturing: In some cases, FDM 3D printing can be used for low-volume manufacturing. The process is simple and cost-effective enough to produce small batches of parts or products
End-use objects: You can also use FDM 3D printed objects as end-use products. This is possible because the technology has come a long way in recent years, and the results are now good enough for many purposes.
Education: Because it’s a relatively simple technology, different FDM 3D printer types are often used in education. They allow students to get a hands-on experience in 3D printing but with minimal costs.
Art: Some artists use FDM 3D printing to create sculptures and other pieces of art. The technology allows for a lot of creativity, and the results can be very impressive.
FDM 3D Printing Services
A desktop FDM 3D printer is an affordable way to get started with 3D printing. However, if you need a higher quality or more complex object, you may need to use a professional or industrial FDM 3D printer. This can cost a lot more money, not to mention the time and skill required to use it.
If you’re interested in using FDM in 3D printing projects but don’t have the time or expertise to do it yourself, you can always hire companies that offer FDM 3D printing services. These companies will take your design and create the object for you.
There are many FDM 3D printing services available, and the cost will vary depending on the service, the quality of the object, and the complexity of the design. You can usually get a quote from a service before you commit to anything.
The use of FDM in 3D printing opens up a lot of possibilities. FDM is a versatile technology that can be used for a wide range of applications. It’s also relatively inexpensive and easy to use. So, whether a hobbyist or a professional manufacturer, if you’re looking to 3D prints a product, FDM could be a good option to consider.