Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

Stratasys Incorporated, introduced fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) in 1990. FDM is a solid-based rapid prototyping method that extrudes materials, layer-by-layer, to build a model. The system consists of a build platform, extrusion nozzle, and control system.

The build material is melted and then extruded through a specially designed head onto a platform to create a two-dimensional cross section of the model. The cross section quickly solidifies, and the platform descends where the next layer is extruded upon the previous. This continues until the model is complete, where it is then removed from the build chamber and cleaned for shipping.

NECO Inc. is capable of providing two different materials, each having a unique set of properties, which allows the ability to fulfill a wide range of applications. The materials offered by NECO Inc. currently include ABS P400 and Elastomer E20. Layer resolution is .010″, and the minimum wall thickness achievable is 0.040″. Parts with finely detailed features are not recommended.

This material is a hard plastic that provides good strength and durability. It is ideal for form, fit and function testing as well as for other visual aids. FDM is a good choice for Conceptual Models, as it’s dimensional tolerance is ±0.010 – ±0.020 typical. In its finished form it is offered in several colors. The melting temperature of ABS is around 350ºF.

This material is a rubber like thermoplastic polyester-based elastomer that is comparable to a Shore 96A material and offers durability and strength while being flexible. It is excellent for simulating parts such as hoses, seals, and grommets. It is white in color with typical tolerances of ± 0.010″ on most parts and features. It should not be used in high-heat applications or hazardous environments.

FDM Material Properties

Mechanical Properties Test
Units ABSP400 ElastomerE20
Tensile Strength ASTM D638 psi 5,000 930
Tensile Modulus ASTM D638 psi 360,000 10,000
Tensile Elongation at Break ASTM D638   10%  
Flexural Strength ASTM D790 psi 9,500 796
Flexural Modulus ASTM D790 psi 380,000 20,000
Hardness DIN 53505/2240 Shore D 78 96 Shore A
Izod Impact – Notched ASTM D256 (ft-lb)/in 2