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What Are FDM 3D Printers? Here’s A Complete Definitive Guide

Updated: Mar 6, 2021

In the manufacturing world, materials are created either subtractively or additively. Subtractive manufacturing involves processes that cut small parts from a large material to achieve a final design. On the other hand, additive manufacturing involves building material in layers from smaller pieces. 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process where a 3D object is created layer by layer using a computer-aided design and a 3D printer.


In this post, we will focus on the FDM 3D printer, one of the most common categories of printers used in additive manufacturing. Read to the end to understand how it works, its average buying cost, its application, printing cost and some of the most popular FDM printer units that you can use today.


What is an FDM 3D Printer?


A Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) 3D printer is a machine that does additive manufacturing using the melting-deposition technology. FDM 3D printers dominate the market thanks to their efficiency in additive manufacturing and their easy and inexpensive printing technique.


How does an FDM 3D Printer work?


The machine takes a plastic material, usually, a thermoplastic filament, forces it through a hot plate where it is melted and deposited in layers to form an object on a print bed layer. The printing process proceeds by adding one layer at a time to the 3D structure until the finished product is formed.


Many materials, including thermoplastics, pastes and meta/wood infused thermoplastics, are compatible with the FDM technique.


What are FDM 3D printers used for?


FDM 3D printers are highly versatile and can be used in a wide range of additive manufacturing processes. The thermoplastic feature in FDM 3D printing is perfect for creating a variety of automotive and consumer goods. This form of 3D printing has also been extensively leveraged when creating sports items and children's toys.


The FDM 3D printers are also used for prototyping, where ‘first models’ of objects are created to enable rigorous testing before the finished products are introduced to the market. This printing technology's suitability to produce prototypes is based on the thermoplastic, which renders many materials highly resistant to mechanical stress, heat, and chemicals.


How much will a good FDM 3D printer cost?


Although the average cost varies depending on the size and from one brand to another, expect to spend $350+ for the machine. Here are some discounted deals from our shop to give you an idea of what a good FDM 3D printer costs:


Mega zero 2.0 for $355.35


Creality Ender 3V2 for $362.60


Mega Pro for $573.60


Mega x for $706.80



Cost of FDM 3D printing


Generally speaking, FDM 3D printing is cheaper compared to other 3D printing methods and there are reasons for that.


First, the material cost is way much lower than in other forms of 3D printing. With the material cost averaging at $25 for a kg of FDM filaments, 3D printing with this technology can never get expensive.


Also, FDM parts are not completely solid (they are printed partly hollow), significantly reducing the material required and the overall cost.


These, plus the relatively cheaper units, makes a lot of financial sense for anyone looking to conduct a 3D printing business.


Closing thoughts


An FDM 3D printer is a perfect choice for any business looking to have a smooth and inexpensive additive manufacturing process. Do not settle for a 3D printer that does not offer results when we offer affordable top of the pack FDM 3D printers. Check out the nice collection of modern FDM 3D printers that we have on our website, https://www.3dprinthubasia.com/ and pick one that perfectly suits your printing business.


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