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Pros and cons of a fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printer

by Tyron Denson

There are about 7 different types of 3-dimensional printers chief among them is the popular FDM printer. Here, in this article, we want to take a look at what makes this printer at the advantages and disadvantages of using this printer for your 3D needs.

Advantages of the FDM printer.

  • Easy to scale

 The unique design of the FDM printer allows it to make gantry rails longer and therefore expand the size of the build area. This mechanism gives the designer the opportunity to easily scale any print as he wishes. The cost to size ratio is an added advantage for the user of the FDM printer.

  •  Accepts a wide range of filament

The filament can be likened to the normal inkjet used by the 2D printer. Unlike other 3D printers, the FDM printer is compatible with a wide range of filament materials and colors. The PLA, ABS, and PTEG filaments are being utilized by this particular printer.  Another added advantage is that these standard filaments are easy to purchase and they are friendly on the pocket.   

  • Affordable

Compared to other 3D printers, the FDM model is quite affordable and it works just fine. It is generally accepted as the easiest way to achieve 3D printing. As a matter of fact, more expensive 3D printers find it very hard to compete with the FDM printer on the market. On average, an FDM printer cost between 250 dollars – 10,000 dollars depending on the manufacturer and the features.

  • Easy removal after printing

After you have finished the printing, your object can be easily removed from the printer and if the object is stuck, a simple palette knife will do the trick

Disadvantages of the FDM printer

  • Need for post-processing

When printing with the FDM printer, the filament is extruded layer after layer and has a predefined thickness determined by the nozzle. This particular process makes detail-oriented prints difficult to achieve. When engaged in this type of job, you would need a lot of after processing to bring it to its desired state. This is a problem that other 3D printers don’t have.

  • Warping

This occurs when extruded materials start to cool during solidification and different parts of the object to decrease thereby making it lose form. The printed material becomes warped at best and disfigured at worst. This is a common problem with FDM 3D printers.

  • Inefficient with mass production

The FDM printer might be the best option for personal use but when it comes to mass production, you are advised against using it. Apart from the fact that it will take a lot of time and use a lot of power supply, you would still need to go through the post-processing phase which might be impossible depending on the volume of your prints and your manpower. When it comes to mass production, the SLA 3D printer will serve you better.

For knowledge sake, other types of 3D printers include; Stereolithography (SLA) printer, Digital Light Processing (DLP) printer, Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printer, Selective laser melting (SLM) printer, Laminated object manufacturing (LOM) printer, Digital Beam Melting (EBM) printer among others.

If you are looking to get an FDM 3D printer, you should trust Creality 3D printers. They are without a doubt, one of the best on the market.

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