FDM 3D Printing

At Tangible Creative, we proudly offer FDM plastic 3D printing services to clients looking for rapid prototyping and production-grade parts. With over 100 FDM 3D printers in our Newark, New Jersey, warehouse, we can produce thousands of parts with unparalleled speed and accuracy. Our custom FDM 3D printing process is perfect for creating product prototypes, models, and end-use parts for various applications, including architectural modeling, experiential marketing, consumer products, and more. Our team of expert designers works closely with clients to understand their specific needs and optimize our FDM printing process to meet their goals. Our custom FDM 3D printing service provides clients with the flexibility to explore various designs and materials to achieve their desired results. With Tangible Creative’s commitment to quality and attention to detail, clients can be assured of the highest level of precision and accuracy in our PLA 3D printing services.

The FDM 3D Printing Process

Fused Deposition Modelling (“FDM”) or Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), the most common 3D printing process, is a material extrusion type additive manufacturing process. S.Scott Crump, the Stratasys founder, first developed and patented the FDM 3D printing process in 1988. And when the patent expired in 2009, it paved the way for commercial FDM printers.

General process of 3D printing

Second, the .STL file is converted into G-code. This process is called slicing and is performed by the slicer software. The G-code is the file format read by the printer that guides the printer where to print. At last, the g-code is provided to the 3D printer, and our FDM 3D printing service is ready to print.

Things to keep in mind:

Layer thickness: This dictates the quality and resolution of the part. Each printer has a minimum layer thickness which is the diameter of the nozzle of the FDM printer. The lower the number, the better the details on the part. On the other hand, this will increase the print time. Hence, depending on the part, the layer thickness should be carefully selected.

Our FDM/FFF printers can print with a minimum layer thickness of 0.1mm and a maximum of 0.5mm.

Support structure: Only overhangs of more than 45° angle need support structures. Generally, it should be avoided because it increases the print time and creates material wastage. Hence, to avoid support structures, redesigning the CAD model, or simply changing the orientation of the part could help.

FDM Printing Materials:

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene): ABS is a thermoplastic with high impact strength. It is tough and impact-resistant but also prone to warping. Also, ABS is non-biodegradable. Hence, in most cases, ABS should be avoided.

PLA (Polylactic acid): We offer PLA 3D printing services, which utilize biodegradable thermoplastic with high tensile strength. In the FDM printing process, it is the preferred material for everyday printing and prototyping because it is more sustainable. 3D-printed parts made of PLA can be biodegraded within a year, given the right environment.

TPU (Thermoplastic polyurethane): A thermoplastic elastomer with medium tensile strength and high flexibility. We specialize in TPU printing for projects that require elasticity and movement.

PETG (Polyethylene terephthalate glycol): A thermoplastic polyester with high impact strength and ductility.

Specialized materials: Apart from the mentioned materials, our FDM 3D printing service offers specialized materials like polycarbonate (PC), metal-filled filaments, etc.