The Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) applies thermoplastic materials in layers through a melt layer process.

The Process was developped from s. Scott Crump in the 1980s and commercially used in the 1990s. The term “Fused Deposition Modeling” and its abbreviation FDM are trademarked by Stratasys. An alternative term for the process is Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), which was coined by the members of the RepRap-project.

Through a nozzle the melted thermoplastic is built layer by layer, hence bodies with a layer resolution of 0,025 mm to 1,5 mm can be realized. The thermoplastic solidifies fast after applying. To manufacture an overhang or a hollow body additional support structures are used, these have to be later manually removed. Twin extruder technicians use among others water-soluble materials as suport structures, so they can be washed out afterwards.

Thermoplastic is used as material, as used in the classic production technologies. In that way materials such as ABS, PLA, PE, PU, Copolyester, but also materials with electric conducting parts can be used.
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