(FDM) Fused Deposition Modeling
Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is a solid-based rapid prototyping process that extrudes ABS plastic material, layer by layer, to build a 3D model. The build material is added to the FDM machine in a filament form contained in a cartridge. The FDM machine feeds the material from the cartridge up to a head that heats and melts the material. The head traverses in an X and Y direction and extrudes material onto a platform to create a two-dimensional cross section of the model. The material quickly solidifies, and the build platform drops where the next layer is extruded upon the first. This process continues until the 3D model is complete. FDM prototypes are high strength prototypes that are functional hands-on prototypes.
This FDM process builds durable and functional prototypes that can withstand rigorous testing and won't warp, shrink, or absorb moisture; making them great for testing form, fit, and function. Because the models are built with ABS plastic, they lend themselves well to being drilled, tapped, threaded, sanded, painted, vacuum metalized, and polished.
FDM prototypes is the prototyping and modeling method of choice for engineers and designers in the medical, technology, automotive, military, aerospace, consumer goods, toy, and architecture fields because of it's capability to build parts in durable ABS plastic. Thus, saving time and money on the molding process. The inexpensive and rapid development of FDM prototypes greatly reduces design-to-production time and allows for much higher return on investment (ROI).