The FDM 3D Printing technique is based on extrusion. By means of a print head, a molten layer of plastic is deposited on the print bed, which then adheres. Once the first layer has been drawn, the print bed drops and a new layer is built on the previous layer. This is repeated several times, ultimately resulting in a 3D printed model.
Most of the time when companies choose the FDM technology, the reasons behind it are the lower cost and the user friendliness of this technique. Compared to other techniques, FDM is a lot cheaper. For companies it is very important to know whether producing by means of 3D printing technique is cheaper than utilising the traditional way of producing. The powder that is used in SLS and the liquid for SLA are very costly for example. In contrast, for the material that is used in FDM technology, the filament, costs are much lower. For this reason FDM technology is more attractive to many companies.
Because the range of filaments is extensive, companies can switch materials easily and economically. Also, printing with multitude of colors is possible.
In addition, compared to FDM technology, other techniques require more post processing. One does not need to knock off powder or be very careful with costly liquids. With FDM, almost no post processing is needed, the product is quickly ready for use.
Last but not least, the FDM technology is much more accessible than other 3D printing techniques. Practice shows that people tend to pick up on this technique pretty fast and can carry it out quite easily. This makes the FDM technique appealing to companies that have little or no experience with 3D printing, as well as for companies who already have some experience.
SLA printers consistently produce higher resolution objects and are more accurate than FDM printers. The reason: The resolution is primarily determined by the optical spot size either of the laser or the projector – and that is really small. Moreover, during printing less force is applied to the model. This way, the surface finish is much smoother. SLA prints show details an FDM printer could never produce.
In fact, the fine details an SLA printer produces is the main reason why one would consider using an SLA printer.
When intricate details and/or a very smooth surface finish is crucial. SLA produces “showcase pieces” that look stunning compared to the layered surface of FDM prints.
For artists planning on painting,the smooth surface of an SLA print is ideal for painting to add amazing color to bring life to your creations
For creating molds for casting to facilitate mass-production (e.g. by jewelry or toy makers)
When printing very tiny parts, FDM if very limited, while SLA can reproduce details at the smallest scale currently possible. We also have durable resins availble to also ensure that tiny print is as durable as possible.