ProtoCAM: Additive Manufacturing, 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping.

Fused Deposition Modeling

In fused deposition modeling (commonly known as “FDM”), parts are produced through the extrusion of thermoplastic materials from spools or wires. FDM is particularly popular among manufacturers who need the flexibility to use engineering-grade thermoplastics like ABS and polycarbonate.

Our FDM Work

About Fused Deposition Modeling

Fused deposition modeling (FDM), a common additive manufacturing technique, requires two kinds of materials to create a finished product: a support material that acts as a structure for the modeling material that will comprise the final piece or prototype.

In FDM, an extrusion nozzle lays melted plastic or metal material onto a base/build platform/table in a crosshatch pattern based on coordinates supplied by the 3D CAD file. As each layer solidifies, the base is lowered for the next layer. Support materials are removed by hand once the part comes off the machine, and the part or prototype can then be finished and polished to final spec.

The fused deposition modeling process is excellent for:

  • High-stress testing. FDM prototypes can endure heat, chemical, and mechanical pressure.
  • Form and fit testing. FDM produces highly detailed parts that can be used to test fit and form.
  • Small, detailed, end-use parts.
  • Parts made of engineering-grade plastics (like ABS and polycarbonate).

Typical FDM Use Cases

Small-batch manufacturing Complex geometries Pieces with open cavities
Final-part manufacturing End-use parts Click here to see available finishes.