How it Works: Fused Deposition Modeling

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), one of the most widely used 3D printing processes available today, involves the distribution of thin layers of molten plastic. Also known as fused filament fabrication (FFF), FDM combines high temperature thermoplastics with the design freedom of additive manufacturing. FDM is widely used for production in aerospace, transportation, and industrial sectors. Watch our How it Works video to learn more about Fused Deposition Modeling.

Key Design Tips for FDM

When exploring advanced manufacturing solutions available to you through FDM, consider these design guidelines:

FDM builds in layers (achieves resolutions) between 0.127mm to 0.330mm The thinner the layer, the finer the surface

  • The thinner the layer, the faster the build
  • The thicker the layer, the faster the build

Free floating features (overhangs, features built over air) below 45° require supports

  • Most support material is water soluble and is dissolved off of the model in a water tank, post-build
  • Other support material is broken away after post-build by our finishers

Maximum part size built in a single segment: 914mm x 609mm x 914mm

  • Parts larger than 3′ can be built segmented in design, built in multiple machines, and bonded together

Available materials (check out our materials page for a full list of materials and material properties)


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