What is FDM?
Stratasys founder Scott Crump invented FDM Technology more than 20 years ago, and Stratasys has continued to lead the 3D printing revolution ever since, developing a range of systems that appeal to large manufacturers, designers, engineers, educators and other professionals.
How FDM works
3D printers that run on FDM Technology build parts layer-by-layer from the bottom up by heating and extruding thermoplastic filament. The process is simple:
- 1. Pre-processing: Build-preparation software slices and positions a 3D CAD file and calculates a path to extrude thermoplastic and any necessary support material.
- 2. Production: The 3D printer heats the thermoplastic to a semi-liquid state and deposits it in ultra-fine beads along the extrusion path. Where support or buffering is needed, the 3D printer deposits a removable material that acts as scaffolding.
- 3. POST-processing: The user breaks away support material or dissolves it in detergent and water, and the part is ready to use.
Learn more from our FDM FAQs and 3D Printing With FDM white paper.
- The technology is clean, simple-to-use and office-friendly
- Supported production-grade thermoplastics are mechanically and environmentally stable
- Complex geometries and cavities that would otherwise be problematic become practical with FDM technology
FDM Technology uses the same tried and tested thermoplastics found in traditional manufacturing processes. For applications that demand tight tolerances, toughness and environmental stability – or specialized properties like electrostatic dissipation, translucence, biocompatibility, VO flammability or FST ratings – there’s an FDM thermoplastic that can deliver.