FDM – Fused Deposition Modeling
When there are specific requirements in terms of materials FDM-technique can often be the best AM-method to choose. The wide range of thermoplastic materials enables applications like a single prototype, manufacturing of small series, fixtures and jiggs and more. Properties that stands out are V0-rated, antistatic, UV-stable and FDA-approved. Accuracy in shape and dimensions are good, strength in Z is reduced compared to X & Y. Compared to SLA the FDM-technology results in reduced part resolution, the surface finish has got a different appearance, it is a bit rougher. Build time for a single part can be fairly short, manufacturing a larger number of parts will however increase build time substantially. One single FDM-part can be fairly cheap, SLS-technology will however give better value-for-money if more parts are required. Build orientation severely impacts the end result of the parts, when specific reqirements aply a dialogue is always preferable before quoting.
A thin wire of thermoplastic material (filament) is heated and extruded through a nozzle. The support structure is extruded in parallel as the nozzles moves along the platform in X & Y. Layer thickness is normally set to 0,17 or 0,25 mm. The parts are ready for handling directly when the build is completed. For some materials the support structure is removed by solving it in a water based fluid.
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