Fused Deposition Modeling

A. Process

Fused deposition modeling is an additive manufacturing/3D printing process to form solid 3D prototype parts layer by layer by extruding production-grade thermoplastic materials (both build and support). Support material is only needed if the prototype to be built has overhangs. As with any form of 3D printing, the process begins with a CAD file, which is then converted by a software into hundreds of horizontal layers depending on its size.

Once the CAD data is sent to the 3D printer, the materials get unwound from the coils and supplied to their respective extrusion nozzles which heat the materials past their glass transition temperature. Once the first layer is extruded and deposited onto the print bed, it is lowered by the thickness of one layer, a new layer is deposited, and the process repeats until the entire prototype is complete.

B. Materials

This prototype material is a production-grade thermoplastic which is ideal for end use prototype parts. It provides high strength-to-weight ratio and provides mechanical engineers and designers detailed visualization. It is ideal for aircraft, space and defense related applications because of its FST rating.

C. Design Guidelines

1. Maximum build size
Maximum size for parts that can be built using current fused deposition modeling 3D printing technology is 36 in. x 24 in. x 36 in.

2. Tolerances
Tolerances of ±0.0035 in. can be typically achieved on parts that are well designed.

D. Surface Finishes
Prototypes produced using this technology can be polished and painted to get a superior finish.

E. Applications
Prototypes produced using fused deposition modeling technology can be used for functional testing or end use parts. Finished prototypes can also be used as mock ups, presentation models, or evaluation models.

Created by RedOrum