Important Things You Can Learn From FDM Rapid Prototyping

Fused Deposition Modeling or FDM is a layer additive manufacturing process that produces three-dimensional products used extensively in prototyping and also to produce end parts. Production grade thermoplastics materials are used for this technique, which is laid down in successive layers to produce the end product. The technique is technology-assisted with computer-aided software guiding the whole process. The FDM technology is a widely used 3D prototyping process that is ideal for concept models, manufacturing aids, functional prototypes as well as manufacturing low-end parts. The accurate features and tremendous strength to weight ratio makes the FDM process a much sought after technique across various industries in India. Learn more about this rapid prototyping service in the following section.

FDM Rapid Prototyping

What is FDM prototyping?

FDM prototyping service, use layers of liquefied thermoplastics expelled through the extrusion nozzle. The whole process is program assisted that begins with the ‘slicing’ of 3D data into layers. This data then guides the printer that constructs the desired part layer by layer on a platform. The thin thread-like molten thermoplastic and support materials create the cross-section of the final product. The dual heated nozzle then extrudes the molten materials into layers. The extrusion nozzles move in the x-y plane to build the layers with the building platform moving down with each added layer. After the whole process, the FDM part is then removed from the build platform, and the supporting material is cleared from the raw FDM. The raw FDM consists of visible layer lines, which are then exposed to finishing processes like smoothening, sanding, or cosmetic painting for a finished look. The production-grade plastics used in the FDM production ensures durability and functionality that makes them a suitable inclusion in several industries. Here are the top industries in India that extensively use 3D printed injection molds for FDM materials.

Industries that make use of FDM products that utilize 3D printed injection molds

The FDM rapid prototyping service is an excellent initiative that is not only affordable but also ensures durability and heat resistance properties. This is the reason why FDM parts are extensively used across the aviation and medical industries in India. Understand how FDM is used in the following industries.

  • Medical sector
    FDM 3D printing is being used massively in advanced medical fields that aids in developing techniques for overall health improvement. The FDM 3D printing is used extensively to make prosthetics in medical industries. 3D printings are also used for creating tissues and organoids, surgical tools, and patient-specific surgical models. One of the most common uses are:
    • 3D FDM printing is used to manufacture surgical instruments such as hemostats, forceps, scalpel handles, and clamps.
    • Tissue constructs or organoids made using FDM 3 D printing are used for medical research. Studies are also going on to use these constructs as a cheaper alternative for organ transplants.
    • 3D prosthetic limbs are customized to suit and fit the user.
  • Aviation industries
    Aviation and aerospace industries make use of 3D FDM printing extensively. NASA has been continually investing in laser melting technology for their researches, and significant developments are also being achieved through the technology.
  • Automobile industries
    FDM rapid prototyping in automobile industries have evolved from mere prototyping equipment to inevitable automobile fixtures. Today these are used for fixtures in automotive design studios, assembly lines, and test tracks. They are also being used to create complex parts, and also to provide customization solutions for automobiles. Customizing interiors includes creating instrument panels for tools & instrument compartments, and flexible dashboard features like GPS and other navigation systems.
  • Industrial 3D printing
    Industrial 3D printing has a broad customer base as these facilitate stellar research processes, also known as 3D prototyping. Rapid prototyping is now aiding in the development of smarter and faster prototypes that can help to create better products, which are reliable, easy to use and show minimal risks.

Bioprinting using 3D printed injection molds

Bio-printing is used to produce tissues and organs that imitate natural tissue or organ character, to aid in the research of drugs and pills. The emerging FDM technology has made it possible to print cells or extracellular matrices by depositing 3D gel in layers to recreate the tissue and organ. The co-culture ability, high-throughput capability and low-risk contamination are beneficial in a variety of researches and testing.

Rapid prototyping services are fast gaining prominence due to their many advantages. The extensive customer base that was once utilizing conventional methods are convinced of the FDM prototyping and are fast shifting their preference to 3D printing.

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