Background

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is an additive manufacturing technology that builds segments or parts layer-by-layer via heating and extruding thermoplastic filament. FDM technology was created in 1988 by Scott and Lisa Crump, the founders of Stratasys. Crump created the technology to build his daughter a toy frog using a glue gun and a mixture of polyethylene and candle wax. In 1989, Crump patented FDM technology and founded Stratasys. Stratasys created the software process that converts stereolithography (STL) files into another format that slices sections of the 3D model and determines how the layers will be printed.

FDM is well suited for building components that have complex designs and demand durability. This technology creates components with exceptional thermal and chemical resistance and superior strength-to-weight rations. These traits are given because FDM is the only 3D printing process that utilizes materials such as ABS, PC-ISO polycarbonate, and ULTEM 9085.

There are many uses for FDM, among them are Prototyping, Jigs and fixtures creation, and the production of end-use parts. Prototyping with FDM allows to Bypass the high cost and lead time of traditional prototyping. Creating Jigs and Fixtures reduce CNC machine setup time by up to 80%. Moreover, it frees up CNC capacity using 3D printed work holding tools, while gaining lower weight and ergonomic benefits over machined metal tooling. Lastly, the production of end-use parts with FDM is the ideal on-demand solution for cost-effective manufacture of low-volume and bridge-to-production parts, thanks to printing precision that goes as accurate as 10 microns in layer width.

The Process

Pre-processing cuts and places a 3D CAD file and calculate a path to extrude thermoplastic and any necessary support material. The 3D printer then heats the thermoplastic to a semi-liquid state and deposits it in ultra-fine droplets along the extrusion path. Where support or buffering is needed, the 3D printer deposits a removable material that acts as scaffolding. Layer after layer, the printer builds the polymeric structure, until the whole model is completed.

Materials

1. ULTEM™ 9085 Resin

ULTEM™ 9085 resin is a flame-retardant, high-performance thermoplastic. It features a high strength-to-weight ratio, excellent heat resistance and high impact strength. It also possesses favorable flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) characteristics. ULTEM™ 9085 resin CG meets stringent test criteria and retains traceability required by the aerospace industry. Certificates of Analysis document test results and identification for both raw material and filament to match filament lot numbers to raw material lot numbers. This allows traceability from printed part back to raw material.

ULTEM™ 9085 Resin

2. Ultem 1010™ Resin

ULTEM™ 1010 resin is a high-performance polyetherimide (PEI) thermoplastic. It has high heat resistance while exhibiting the lowest coefficient of thermal expansion among FDM materials. Combined with high strength properties, ULTEM 1010 resin is a perfect material for demanding and specialized applications like lightweight composite tooling. For special medical and food-related applications, ULTEM™ 1010 CG (certified grade) comes with additional documentation to demonstrate compliance with industry standards for ISO 10993 and USP Class VI biocompatibility, and NSF 51 food safety requirements.

Ultem 1010™ Resin Data Sheet

3. Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber

FDM Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber (Nylon 12CF) combines nylon 12 and chopped carbon fiber to achieve the highest flexural strength and stiffness-to-weight ratio of any FDM material. Nylon 12CF provides a cleaner carbon fiber additive process than SLA with equivalent strength properties. FDM Nylon 12CF offers the strength and rigidity to replace metal in certain applications. Replace heavy metal tools with lighter, ergonomic carbon fiber FDM tools. Validate designs faster with carbon fiber functional prototypes instead of costly and time-consuming metal prototypes.

Nylon 12 Carbon Fiber Data Sheet

4. Antero 800NA

Antero 800NA is one of the Stratasys PEKK materials, possessing excellent physical and mechanical properties. In addition to being tough and wear-resistant, Antero 800NA is characterized by high strength, high heat resistance, low outgassing, and superior chemical resistance. These qualities make it a useful aerospace material and suitable for applications requiring durability and weight reduction. Antero 800NA combines the benefits of PEKK with FDM’s design freedom, allowing more complex geometries free from typical machining constraints. 3D printing with PEKK also saves material by using it only where needed, reducing cost, compared to the substantial waste of machined PEKK.

Antero 800NA

5. Antero 840CN03

Antero 840CN03 is an FDM PEKK-Based ESD Thermoplastic. Get unprecedented strength, heat and chemical resistance, toughness, and a lighter weight alternative to metal with Antero 840CN03 — a high-performance, PEKK-based electrostatic discharge (ESD) thermoplastic. Produce highly customized, low-volume parts with consistent static dissipative properties, chemical resistance and ultra-low outgassing with high-performing Antero 840CN03 FDM filament.

Antero 840CN03

6. ABS-M30i

ABS-M30i is a biocompatible 3D printing material perfectly suited for medical, pharmaceutical, and food-packaging engineers and designers to produce surgical planning models, medical devices, tools and fixtures.

ABS-M30i Data Sheet

7. ABS-M30

ABS-M30 brings the familiarity and versatility of ABS material (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) to the FDM 3D printing plastics lineup. It’s an ideal material for form and fit checks, functional prototyping, and other 3D printing applications. ABS-M30 is characterized by its strength and toughness, while being lightweight and resilient. For general-use 3D printing, ABS-M30 is the optimal choice, blending utility and economy.

ABS-M30

8. ABS-ESD7

ABS-ESD7 combines the strength and durability of ABS material with carbon to provide electrostatic dissipative (ESD) properties. Now it’s possible to create prototypes, fixtures and support equipment for electronics and other static-sensitive applications with ESD-capable ABS material.

ABS-ESD7

9. PC-ABS

PC-ABS plastic blends the best features of polycarbonate and ABS material, combining the heat resistance of PC and the flexural strength of ABS. As a result, PC-ABS advantages include one of the highest impact strengths of any FDM thermoplastic. It’s perfect for functional prototyping, rugged tooling, and production parts.

 

PC-ABS

10. Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate 3D printing filament is a strong, dimensionally stable, heat-resistant plastic with good impact strength. Its stiffness and stability mean the parts you print retain their shape and dimensional accuracy. High impact strength makes this a tough material, suitable for high-durability applications like functional prototyping and manufacturing tooling.

 

Polycarbonate

11. FDM Nylon 12

FDM Nylon 12 combines the benefits of Nylon 12 with the design freedom and reliability of FDM 3D printing. Prototype faster and for less cost than injection molding using the same material as your production parts, with one of industry’s most widely used engineering thermoplastics. The strength, toughness, and excellent fatigue properties of FDM Nylon 12 make it a perfect fit for applications involving snap-fit closures, tools with press-fit inserts and vibration-resistant parts.

 

FDM Nylon 12

12. PC-ISO

PC-ISO is a biocompatible polycarbonate material, compliant with ISO 10993 and USP Class VI. It’s also sterilizable using gamma radiation or ethylene oxide (EtO). These characteristics make PC-ISO well suited for applications needing biocompatible or sterilized 3D printed parts in the medical, pharmaceutical, and food-related industries.

 

PC-ISO

Printers

Fortus 450

Fortus 450mc 3D printer provides a multi-application manufacturing solution that reduces design and build times, optimizes manufacturing workflows, decreases overall costs and promotes factory innovation. The Fortus 450mc’s generously sized build platform provides capabilities to meet industrial application needs while its hands-free, soluble support materials aid in creating complex geometries as well as reducing labor.

From standard to high-performance, the Fortus 450mc features a large portfolio of materials that cover a range of mechanical properties and support a broad number of applications. Leverage the stiffness of carbon fiber nylon for strong but lightweight tools, functional prototypes and end-use parts. Open up new applications using the superior strength, chemical resistance and ESD performance of Antero™ PEKK-based thermoplastics. All materials are specifically tuned to the printer to deliver optimal print results with consistent repeatability while support materials allow for successful builds of complex parts.

Fortus 450

Fortus 900

Trusted by global industry leaders in manufacturing, the high-performance F900 3D printer sets the standard for reliable, accurate 3D printing. And whether you’re printing a full tray of complex parts or one large part, the F900 delivers accurate results, every time. The F900 printer is one of the largest 3D printers existing, combined with the very large materials array, and print layer precision reaching as high as 0.1 millimeters, the F900 is one of the best printers in the world.

For a large-scale 3D printer, the F900 offers unmatched material versatility, supporting 16 FDM materials that encompass standard, engineering, and high-performance thermoplastics. ABS and ASA plastics reliably cover a broad range of general applications. High-performance materials that include carbon fiber nylon, PEKK and PEI polymers offer the physical and mechanical properties for more demanding use cases.

Fortus 900

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