Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)
At a Glance
About the Process
Fused deposition modeling (FDM) is a 3D printing technology (also known as additive manufacturing) commonly used for modeling, prototyping, and production applications. Each layer is created by extruding material from a nozzle to produce 3D objects.
FDM processes require support material, either breakaway or soluble, so it’s important to keep this in mind when choosing this process as it can affect the final part.
FDM machines can be categorized into two main categories: professional and hobbyist grade. At Fictiv, all parts produced in PLA are made on hobbyist grade machines to keep costs low and leverage breakaway support. All other FDM materials, specifically ABS, are produced on professional grade machines with soluble support material for greater accuracy and strength.
- Resolution: 0.2mm (0.008”)
- Infill: 20%
- Support: breakaway
Additional Machine Information
- Resolution: 0.25mm (0.01”)
- Infill: 10-15%
- Support: soluable
Max Part Size
Min Feature Size
Min Wall Thickness
Min Hole Diameter
Min Gaps for Mating Parts
405 x 355 x 406 mm
PLA & PET-G:
304 x 304 x 304 mm
Additional Design for Manufacturing Tips
- No internal cavities
- Limit curved surfaces, especially for PLA and PET-G as they require a flat surface to result in a successful print
- Orientation on small holes is very important (xy plane is much more cylindrical)
- Bridging: distances of up to 10 mm do not necessarily need support material, as long as the area being printed has support on both sides of the material being laid down.
Cost Saving Tips
2. Reduce the amount of support material required by overhangs and special orientations.
3. Choose PLA for simple geometry parts and where tolerance is less important.