What does one mean by the term FDM (fused deposition modeling) 3d printer, and what are their advantages?
FDM 3D Printing is a method of additive manufacturing where layers of materials are fused in a pattern to create an object. The materials are usually melted past their glass transition temperature and then extruded in a pattern next to or on top of previous extrusions, creating an object layer by layer. In layman’s words, a typical fdm 3d printer takes a plastic filament and squeezes it through a hot end, melting it and then depositing it in layers on the print bed. These layers will then be fused, building up throughout the print, and eventually, they will form the finished part.
FDM is exactly to fused filament fabrication (FFF), but the term “fused deposition modeling” and the abbreviated “FDM” were trademarked by Stratasys in 1991, creating the need for a second name.
The benefits of an FDM 3d printer are as follows:
- One can easily say that the most significant advantage of FDM 3D printing is scalability: It can be easily scaled to any size. This is because the only constraint in the size of a build area is the movement of each gantry, making the gantry rails longer, and the build area can be made larger. Of course, some are a few minor issues, and at a certain point, the cost is no longer offset by the benefits, but no other printer design can be scaled as easily with as few issues as FDM.
- Another more obvious benefit of having an easily-scalable design is the cost-to-size ratio. FDM 3D printer can be continually being made more extensive and less expensive due to low part costs and the simple designs involved.
Other styles used for printers cost many times more per unit area of build volume simply because they are challenging to scale up, and the key components are still quite expensive.