(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. Fused deposition modeling allows the operator to create 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. Fused deposition modeling prototypes are built with ABS plastic, which lends themselves to being drilled, tapped, threaded, sanded, painted, vacuum metalized, and polished without issue.
Due to it's capability of building parts in durable ABS plastic, fused deposition modeling 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. 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).