What is FDM 3D Printing?
FDM 3D printing, or Fused Deposition Modelling, is a rapid prototyping 3D printing process used for building prototype parts made from layers of ABS-M30 production-grade thermoplastic.
What are FDM parts used for?
FDM is ideal for producing early concept prototypes, to validate design, jigs and fixture assemblies, as well as for functional testing of specific properties, such as heat resistance, durability and strength.
How does FDM work?
Built from layers of ABS-M30 production-grade thermoplastic, FDM prototype parts normally include the formation of a support structure which can be removed by hand on completion.
When to use FDM prototyping
FDM parts can be produced to represent the strength and durability properties of the final production part and so are ideal for physical testing.
Although FDM models are ideal for evaluating design and functional testing, please be aware, they are not suitable for assessing the eventual manufacturing potential of the part or product.
Why use FDM?
FDM prototyping is a popular choice for product designers and engineers, particularly in the automotive industry, because it offers several benefits:
- Speed: FDM is ideal for production of ASA prototypes – depending on complexity, though it is not as quick as SLA or SLS
- Properties: the model produced closely reflects the properties of the final product for strength, heat resistance, UV stability and water resistance
- Testing: Because of the above, FDM models are ideal for functional testing
- Small runs: ideal for small runs of prototype parts for functional testing
What properties can be tested?
Several properties can be tested with FDM prototyping:
- Heat resistance
- Surface may be ridged
What material is used for FDM prototyping?
We offer ABS-M30 production-grade thermoplastic on our FDM machine. It is up to 25-70% stronger than standard ABS and is an ideal material for conceptual modeling, functional prototyping, manufacturing tools and production parts. ABS-M30 has greater tensile, impact and flexural strength than standard ABS.
Layer bonding is significantly stronger than that of standard ABS, for a more durable part. This results in more realistic functional tests and higher quality parts for end use. ABS-M30 parts are stronger, smoother and have better feature detail.
What is the build size of FDM parts?
- Build size: 254 x 254 x 254 mm (10 x 10 x 10 in.)
- Layer thickness: 0.330 mm (0.013 in.) or 0.127 mm (0.005 in.)
What finishing options are available for FDM parts?
The support structures are removed by hand. FDM parts are not generally suitable for painting.
What dispatch options are available for FDM parts?
We offer four dispatch levels for FDM parts:
- Express: dispatch next working day
- Standard: in 3 working days
- Economy: in 5 working days
- Super-Economy: in 10 working days
Ready to start your prototype project?
Prototype Projects is a UK-based prototyping bureau delivering high-quality prototype parts in fast turnaround times.
Contact us on 01763 249760 to discuss your next prototype project.