Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is a 3D printing technique for rapid prototyping. The printing technique, also known as fused deposition modeling, works with thermoplastic materials such as polycarbonate, which are applied in layers.
In the production of 3D models, the meltable plastic is heated by computer control in a fine nozzle and applied to the 3D model as a plastic filament. The nozzle function can be switched on and off, allowing the plastic filament to be applied partially. The decisive factor for the layer thickness and layer height is the nozzle diameter and thus the filament thickness. This is between 0.02 mm and 1 mm. The nozzle diameter also determines the printing time, which is shorter with a thicker thread diameter. The plastic filament is used to apply the individual model layers in layers in the X and Y directions, with the newly applied layers bonding with the existing ones. The material then hardens immediately. The resolution is between 25 µm and 1,250 µm.
The fused layer process is suitable for rapid model and prototype production. The FDM process was developed by Stratasys Inc. and the name is protected as a trademark. The process itself corresponds to Fused Filament Fabrication( FFF). However, this designation is not protected.