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FDM 3D Printer Purchase Guide

May 04, 2020

Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is the most popular process in 3D printing. It can create durable, durable and robust parts with high digital accuracy. If you want to learn more about this innovative technology, then you are in the right place! Below you will find a complete Getting Started Guide for FDM 3D printing.

FDM 3D printing introduction

FDM technology is the most commonly used method of 3D printing. FDM represents modeling of melt deposition and was first developed in the 1980s. It uses thermoplastic filaments that are heated until they melt. The melted filaments are then extracted layer by layer to create a 3D object. In fact, there are two different aspects to this process. One is to make the modeling material of the object itself, the other is to use as the supporting material of the supporting object when printing the object.

FDM 3D printing process is quite advanced, but the actual method of creating 3D objects has been simplified. Typically, you will start with a CAD file or. CAD file. This file is then converted to an. STL or. Obj file for processing by the FDM 3D printer. Once the object is ready to print, the FDM 3D printer starts by loading the filaments into the nozzle. The filament is then heated until it melts. The computer communicates with the nozzle or extruder and the printer base and tells the printer exactly where to move in order to create objects accurately. The melted thermoplastic filament will then be extruded from the nozzle as it moves on the base to form the first layer of the object. As each layer cools and hardens, another layer is added at the top and immediately bound to its next layer. As each layer is built, the base is lowered to make room for more layers.

When you have finished printing the object, you can break the thermoplastic support by hand and grind it if necessary.

Common types of FDM 3D printers

Over the years, FDM 3D printers have been developed. They are becoming more and more modern, advanced and advanced. This also means that you can choose several different types. Read more about the most common types of FDM 3D printers below, including their advantages and limitations.


Rectangular coordinates

The most common type of FDM 3D printer is rectangular coordinate system. This is a square design in which the base moves on the Z axis and the extruder moves on the X and Y axes. The triaxial system is based on a mathematical Cartesian coordinate system, where the printer derives its name. There are variations, but most of the work is done in this way.

Advantages: simpler design, easier maintenance and more precise details.

Limitations: speed. Cartesian 3D printers can be slow. Most other types created after this design can increase speed.

Delta

The delta 3D printer has a circular base with the extruder hanging from the top. The nozzle is supported by three metal arms forming a triangle (or triangle symbol). The delta 3D printer is also unique in that its base never moves, unlike most other common types. This provides an advantage when creating certain types of objects.

Advantages: faster than most other types, novel design, fixed base.

Limitation: it is said that it is not as accurate or detailed as Descartes type.

Polar

Polar 3D printer is a relatively new design, which can work on different types of coordinate systems. The Cartesian 3D printer can run on the Cartesian coordinate system (square grid), while the polar 3D printer can run on the polar coordinate system (circular grid). With this type of printer, the base can rotate and the nozzle can move up, down, left and right.

Advantages: larger objects can be made in smaller space, and two motors instead of three motors can be used for operation, thus saving energy.

Limitation: it is still a new design, not as famous as other designs.

FDM 3D Printer Purchase Guide-01

SCARA stands for "selective compliance assembly robot arm.". If you look at a SCARA 3D printer, it looks like a robotic system in a manufacturing plant. Its precision is very accurate, and because of its flexible position, it can make more complex objects.

Advantages: because it is not fixed on the base, more complex structure and more mobile design can be made.

Disadvantage: it's still a new design. It is also said that it cannot produce products of the same high quality as Descartes.

Common types of FDM 3D printing materials

Here, we will introduce the most common types of FDM 3D printing materials. We will also discuss exactly what they mean, their advantages and their possible disadvantages.

PLA

PLA stands for polylactic acid or polylactide. It is a kind of biodegradable thermoplastic made from renewable resources. PLA offers excellent details, affordable and easy to print. Although it has high rigidity, its impact strength is very low.

ABS

ABS stands for acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. It is a thermoplastic polymer. ABS offers better mechanical and thermal properties than PLA, but with fewer details. It has a lower production cost and excellent impact strength, but may be prone to warpage.

TPU

TPU stands for thermoplastic polyurethane. It is a kind of polyurethane plastic with flexibility, transparency, oil resistance, grease resistance and wear resistance. Most suitable for pipes, handles, seals and gaskets. Although it is very flexible, it can not provide high printing accuracy.

nylon

Nylon or polyamide (PA) is a thermoplastic silk material. It has good wear resistance, high wear resistance and chemical resistance. Its strength is very high, but its humidity resistance is very low.

PEI

Pei stands for polyetherimide. It is amber to transparent amorphous thermoplastic. It is a kind of engineering plastics with high performance application. Pei also has excellent heat resistance, chemical resistance and flame retardancy. It has very good weight strength, but it can be expensive to use.

PETG

PETG represents polyethylene terephthalate, while the addition of G indicates that it has been modified by glycol to provide additional durability. It has better performance than PLA, so it has stronger impact resistance and excellent chemical resistance and humidity resistance. It can be disinfected to make its food safe. PETG also has good strength, flexibility, and easy to print.

Advantages and limitations of FDM 3D printing

Compared with other forms of printing, the main advantages of FDM 3D printing are its low cost, easy to use and wide range of materials. Compared with other technologies, FDM 3D printing is more economical, so it is easier for ordinary buyers to obtain. The process is user-friendly and easy to use. In addition, as you saw in the previous section, you can use many different types of filaments. This allows different types of materials to be used in a project. They also have a variety of colors and opacity.

The main limitations of FDM 3D printing are limited to plastic only, may not be able to achieve ultra detailed purpose, and may involve more work when removing the support frame. It should be noted that FDM 3D printers are the best type for home and office use. Although other types of 3D printers can be made of ceramic or glass objects, the type of material required can be very dangerous and should be reserved for professional 3D printer operators.

Common application fields of FDM 3D printing

For a long time, 3D printing has been so expensive that most people can't afford it. Now, it's starting to get cheaper and FDM 3D printing is now used in all types of fields. Below you will find a list of the most common applications of FDM 3D printing in various research fields.

Medical field
For bioprinting, medical devices, organ reproductions, pills and implants.

Manufacturing site
Mass customization, rapid prototyping, rapid manufacturing and in research labs.

Industrial sector

Clothes, shoes, jewelry, cars, buildings, computers, robots and works of art.

Cultural field

Art, jewelry, hobbies, educational and environmental uses.

The future of FDM 3D printing

FDM 3D printing is a new trend in the future. The technology is developing and growing every day, and its use is only increasing. Although FDM 3D printing has accomplished many incredible things, the future growth is multiplied. The medical industry is already making printing organs, and the construction industry has begun to study 3D printing to build houses!


Even with many industrial and research applications, FDM 3D printing is ideal for tinkers, manufacturers, or amateurs. Your imagination is really the limit. Do you need some for minor repairs around the house? Print one! Do you want to create unique artwork or advanced robots? FDM 3D printing can also help. If you can dream about it, you can print it. 

Sources from https://creality3dpro.store/blogs/news