Saturday, January 23, 2010

Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)

Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) was invented by Scott Crump. In 1988 Scott and his wife Lisa Crump founded Stratasys and released the first FDM machine (the 3D-Modeler) in 1990.

An FDM machine builds on a layer-by-layer basis by laying down a filament of thermoplastic material (generally ABS plastic). The material is unwound from a spool and fed through a heated nozzle just above the materials melting point. When it makes contact with the building board it solidifies immediately.

As mentioned FDM primarily uses ABS filament, it’s extremely durable, accurate, and keeps most of the fine detail from a drawing. It also produces some of the most hardwearing prototypes available on the market. Stratasys offer their ABS filament in a number of colours. The standard colour is white but also comes black, blue, green grey (light & steel), red, yellow, and also custom colours if so required. Stratasys also offer two other types of filament, polycarbonate (PC) and polyphenylsulfone (PPSF).

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