Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) Fused Deposition Modeling is known as an additive process due to the simple fact that it is “adding” material in order to create layers one at a time.
Materials: ABS polymer, polycarbonates, polycaprolactone, polyphenylsulfone and various waxes.
Process: During this process material is supplied to an extrusion head or a nozzle via a plastic filament or a metal wire. The nozzle is then heated in order to melt the selected material for the prototype. The positioning of the nozzle is calculated and moved both horizontally and vertically by computer-aided manufacturing software. The layers of the material pass through the nozzle in small beads and cure almost instantly after they are applied to the previous layer. In some cases, depending on the design of the prototype, additional supports are needed and applied via the same nozzle. The supports can later be eliminated.
Applications: Due to the poor surface resolution or texture or the finished prototype, FDM is best suited to the creation of functional prototypes. These prototypes are used to resolve engineering issues before the product moves into the manufacturing stage. As well, the FDM process can be used as a relatively inexpensive alternative for manufacturing. Industries such as Medical, Automotive, Military, Aerospace, and Aviation often use FDM because the materials used have resistant properties.
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