FDM printing is a type of additive manufacturing technology that works by depositing stands of material such as thermoplastic in layers to create a 3D Object. The plastic filament is fed through a hot extruder which melts it and positions it exactly by the print head,then the filament is deposited layer by layer.
FDM printers use filaments which comes in a variety of types and colours such as PLA, PETG, or ABS filament some nylons, such as PVA, TPU, and a variety of PLA blends which is mixed with wood, ceramics, metals, carbon fibre, etc.
Standard filament come in 2 standard sizes in diametre, 1.75 or 12.85mm and There are some options available whereby the machine comes with filament cartridges however they are more expensive compared to standard filament rolls but yields better printing quality.
Inaccuracy is introduced during each layer deposition and issues such as surface quality, level of precision and accuracy of the layer, contribute to the end quality of the print. The size of the extrusion nozzle and the bonding force between the layers determine the resolution of the 3d printed part and there are voids in between the rounded lines as the nozzle deposits them therefore layers may not display as attached hence, they become visible on the surface and the reason why FDM printing cannot produce intricate details when compared to other 3D printing technologies. The printer’s resolution is defined as a factor of the nozzle size and the precision of the extruder movement (X/Y axis) and issues such as misalignment warping or shifting of layers are caused by the bonding force between the layer being lower compared to SLA Printing and the layers below is being squeezed by the weight of the upper layers. Therefore precision and surface are compromised.
FDM and SLA printing speed becomes comparable when printing parts at similar layer heights with other materials. But note, that a part printed at 100-micron layers on an FDM printer looks vastly different from a part printed at 100-micron layers on an SLA printer, because of the way the layers are built. Achieving comparable quality with FDM parts will require lower layers height thus ,two to four times longer printing tim or significant and time-consuming post-processing to improve surface finish.
Designing, 3D printing, and post-processing are 3 steps that form the workflow when working with FDM Printers. The Detailed steps are as follows ;
Create Design from CAD Software or 3D scan data and export the design in STL of OBJ.
Prepare print setting in the slicer software such as CURA and Crealty to slice the 3D model into layers to be printed
Print Settings needs to be tweaked and adjusted to have a successful print, however the setting changes with any new design.
3D printer when turned on to start printing does not require any human intervention after, so it can run unattended.
Post-processing is the final process after a finished 3d printed object and For FDM printing uses a support structure for complex geometries and removing the support is the crucial step in this process.FDM printing has a benefit does not require any cleaning as the printed part are ready for use .