How does it work? FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) is nothing but a fancy word to describe a process by which a machine deposits a very thin filament of material on top of the same material in order to create a 3D object.
FDM printers print a 3-dimensional object by extruding a stream of heated or melted plastic material such as PLA which is precisely positioned layer upon layer.
PLA or ABS are plastics that become semi-liquid above a specific temperature and rapidly return to a solid state once cooled.
A few things to consider when printing a 3D model.
- Is the model (.STL file) properly designed for 3D printing? (watertight, wall thickness, etc.)
- Overhangs – The more you have, the more support material that needs to be printed. That equates to longer print times and increased cost for the part.
- FDM printers have about a 45 degree angle limitation before needing to print additional support material along with the actual part.
- 3D printers print from the bottom up, one layer at a time so they can’t print in thin air, thus the need for support material.
- Will it fit on the build platform? Maximum part dimensions are approximately 7″x9″x7″.
- The larger the part the longer it takes to print.