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What is FDM?

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), or Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), is an additive manufacturing process that belongs to the materi- al extrusion family. In FDM, an object is built by selectively depositing Order Pr int melted material in a pre-determined path layer-by-layer. The materi- als used are thermoplastic polymers and come in a filament form.

How does FDM work?

PLA and ABS are the 2 most common FDM desktop printing materi- als. Both are thermoplastics, meaning they enter a soft and moldable state when heated and then return to a solid when cooled. Via the FDM process, both are melted and then extruded through a nozzle to build up the layers that create a final part.

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A typical FDM printer

  • Filament is led to the extruder.
  • The extruder uses torque and a pinch system to feed and retract the filament precise amounts.
  • A heater block melts the filament to a useable temperature.
  • The heated filament is forced out the heated nozzle at a smaller diameter.
  • The extruded material is laid down on the model where it is needed.
  • The print head and/or bed is moved to the correct X/Y/Z position for placing the material.

What are ABS & PLA?

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) is a common thermoplastic well known in the injection molding industry. It is used for applications such as Toys, electronic casing and Industrial parts.

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PLA (Polylactic Acid) is a biodegradable (under the correct conditions) thermoplastic derived from renewable resources such as corn starch or sugarcane. It is one of the most popular bioplastics, used for many applications ranging from plastic cups to medical implants.

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Properties ABS PLA
Tensile Strength 27 MPa 37 MPa
Elongation 3.5 - 50% 6%
Flexural Modulus 2.1 - 7.6 GPa 4 GPa
Density 1.0 - 1.4 g/cm3 1.3 g/cm3
Melting Point N/A (amorphous) 173 °C
Spool Price (1Kg, 1.75mm, black) ₹ 2500 ₹ 2500
Common Products Industrial, Housings Casing, Prototyping

ABS Warping

Warping is one of the most common defects in ABS. When the extruded material cools during solidification, its dimensions decrease. As different sections of the print cool at different rates,their dimensions also change at different speeds.

Infill & Shell Thickness

A designer should keep in mind the capabilities and limitations of the technology when fabricating a part with FDM, as this will help him achieve the best result.

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Material Characteristics

Good Strength Excellent visual quality
Good temperature resistance Easy to print with
More susceptible Low impact strength

Congratulations, now you know about 3d printing so lets Start Printing