Design for Fused Deposition Modeling 301

“Design for Fused Deposition Modeling” provides an overview of basic design considerations for fused deposition modeling (FDM). FDM has a wide range of manufacturing applications, including widespread usage in the medical field and the automotive industry. This course introduces users to the physical and mechanical properties of common FDM build materials like ABS, PET, and nylon. In addition, this course also highlights factors for support and internal structures as well as finishing and post-processing challenges associated with FDM. After completing "Design for FDM," users will understand how various materials function during the design process for FDM and how they are used with various applications including end-use production. Users will also be able to recognize basic safety and design issues associated with FDM parts and products.

Class Details

Class Name:
Design for Fused Deposition Modeling 301
Difficulty:
Beginner
Number of Lessons:
12

Class Outline

  • FDM and DFAM
  • The FDM Build Process
  • The FDM Design Process
  • FDM Applications
  • FDM and Polymer Properties
  • FDM Materials
  • FDM Material and Application Review
  • FDM Material Considerations
  • Design Issues for FDM Parts
  • FDM Design Factors for Supports and Structures
  • FDM Finishing and Post-Processing
  • FDM Issues and Considerations Review

Objectives

  • Describe basic design considerations for FDM.
  • Describe extrusion methods in the FDM process.
  • Describe the FDM design process.
  • Describe FDM applications.
  • Identify the basic categories for FDM raw materials.
  • Describe the properties of common FDM build materials.
  • Describe material considerations for FDM.
  • Describe design issues for FDM parts.
  • Describe design factors for supports and structures.
  • Describe DFAM considerations for FDM finishing and post-processing.

Job Roles

Certifications

Glossary

Vocabulary Term Definition
3D printing The process of producing a 3D object using a specialized tool that creates successive layers of material. 3D printing must technically involve the use of a print head or nozzle, but the term is often used interchangeably with additive manufacturing (AM).
abrasive finishing The use of an abrasive, such as sandpaper, to polish and smooth the surface of a part. Abrasive finishing is commonly used to improve the surface finish of an additive manufacturing part.
acrylonitrile butadiene styrene ABS. A thermoplastic material with good heat, chemical, and impact resistance. Acrylonitrile butadiene styrene is a common polymer that is used as build material in additive manufacturing.
additive manufacturing AM. The process of successively layering materials to make an object based on a three-dimensional computer model. Additive manufacturing allows for rapid prototyping, mass customization, and increased part complexity.
aerospace The industry that covers machines or vehicles of flight. Aerospace manufacturers generally require highly specialized parts made with very high precision.
AM Additive Manufacturing. The process of successively layering materials to make an object based on a three-dimensional computer model. AM allows for rapid prototyping, mass customization, and increased part complexity.
anchor points Sources of security or strength on an object. Anchors points supply a secure hold or support for something else.
axes An imaginary line that passes through the center of a point or object. Axes are used to describe the positions of objects on the Cartesian coordinate system.
biocompatible A material that can be used in living tissue without being toxic or causing injury. Biocompatible materials are frequently used to make medical implants.
biodegradable Capable of being broken down and naturally absorbed into the ecosystem. Biodegradable materials degrade into simple stable compounds that are not harmful to the environment.
biomaterials A natural material that composes a part or all of a living structure. Biomaterials, like living cells and tissues, can be used in some additive manufacturing methods.
bridge structure A vertical column that holds up a horizontal part feature. Bridge structures are used in additive manufacturing to prevent structural sagging.
burnishing The creation of a shiny surface on metal due to a shearing action. Burnishing adds a gloss or polish to a part.
calipers A mechanical device attached to a friction disc brake that contains the rotor and brake pad. Calipers use a clamping motion to press the brake pad against the rotor, creating friction that resists motion.
carbon fiber A material made from slender, thread-like strands of carbon, a strong nonmetallic element. Carbon fiber is a rigid material with good tensile strength, chemical resistance, and temperature tolerance.
Cartesian coordinates A numerical system that describes the location of an object by expressing its distance from a fixed position along three linear axes. Cartesian coordinates are used to direct machine tool movements.
ceramic A group of inorganic materials that consists of both metallic and nonmetallic atoms held together by a strong primary bond. Ceramics, which include metal oxides, nitrides, and glasses, are sometimes used as build material in additive manufacturing.
ceramics A group of inorganic materials that consists of both metallic and nonmetallic atoms held together by a strong primary bond. Ceramics, which include metal oxides, nitrides, and glasses, are sometimes used as build material in additive manufacturing.
chemical Relating to the interaction between substances. Chemical removal of additively manufactured support structures includes dissolving them in a chemical bath.
composite A material made by combining a binding resin with small filaments of solid material. Composites have the strength of metal, the light weight of plastic, and the rigidity of ceramics.
composites A material made by combining two or more of the following groups: metals, plastics, and ceramics. Composites are sometimes used in fused deposition modeling (FDM).
compression A pushing or pressing force. Compression is typically directed toward the center of an object while attempting to squeeze it.
computer-aided design CAD. Computer software used to create a 3D model of a part before it goes into prototyping or production. Computer-aided design models are converted to an STL format for use by additive manufacturing machines.
conceptualization To form an idea about a possible part or manufactured good. Conceptualization is one of the initial stages of design for manufacturing (DFM) or design for additive manufacturing (DFAM).
creep The deformation of a material that occurs over time due to the presence of a constant load. Creep can occur with all thermoplastics.
deflection The degree of change in shape when a force is applied. Deflection occurs when additively manufactured (AM) parts change their shape to absorb forces.
delaminate Deform or degrade by breaking or separating into layers. Delaminating can refer to layers of an additive manufactured (AM) part peeling away.
design In the five-step design process, the creation of the actual part specifications. Designing involves creating the blueprints and prototypes for a part.
design for additive manufacturing DFAM. The methodology of planning, testing, and creating an additively manufactured part that functions optimally. Design for additive manufacturing allows engineers to mostly focus on part functionality.
desktop A machine designed to fit easily on a standard desk. Desktop models of AM machines are more affordable but less precise than larger, more advanced models.
ductile A material's ability to be drawn, stretched, or formed without breaking. Ductile materials bend easily but resist fracture.
electrical enclosures A closed-off area or container that includes electrical devices and circuits. Electrical enclosures may be mounted on the wall, the floor, or the device to which the circuit connects.
embedded nuts Fasteners that are enveloped by or surrounded by another material or object. Embedded nuts are fasteners placed into the base component.
end-use Designed to be used directly by a consumer or directly in another manufactured product. End-use products created by additive manufacturing (AM) include medical implants, custom dental devices, and camera equipment.
FDM Fused deposition modeling. A material extrusion process that builds parts through extruding successive layers of material. FDM is one of the most accessible and affordable types of additive manufacturing (AM), though it creates parts with poor surface finish and has relatively low build speed.
filament A thin strand of material. Filaments of thermoplastic material are often wrapped in coils in order to make parts using additive manufacturing methods.
fixture A customized workholding device used to position and hold a workpiece during a manufacturing process. Fixtures are often built to hold a specific part design.
fused deposition modeling FDM. A material extrusion process that builds parts through extruding successive layers of material. Fused deposition modeling is one of the most accessible and affordable types of additive manufacturing (AM), though it creates parts with poor surface finish and has relatively low build speed.
fused filament fabrication FFF. An additive manufacturing (AM) method that uses a nozzle to dispense material, usually a thermoplastic filament, onto a build platform. Fused filament fabrication is sometimes referred to as fused deposition modeling (FDM).
G code A method of programming that pairs address letters with numerical values to form words. G code programs are used in additive manufacturing, CNC machining, and hybrid machining.
glass transition temperature The temperature at which a rigid solid becomes pliable and can be formed, shaped, or molded. The glass transition temperature is slightly below the melting point.
grit Abrasive material. Grit is often used in passive physical surface treatment methods.
hardware Any physical or mechanical part. Hardware includes additive manufacturing machines and their components.
hardware The physical equipment used in a computer system. Hardware includes the power supply, programming device, and input/output section.
honeycomb structure A type of built structure in which empty cells are separated from each other by a solid wall. Honeycomb structures can be square or hexagonal.
jigs A customized workholding device used to position and hold a workpiece while guiding the location and motion of a tool. Jigs are a type of fixturing that can be created using additive manufacturing (AM).
lattice structure A repeating, symmetrical pattern of crossing strips of material that leave diamond- or square-shaped gaps between them. Lattice structures provide excellent strength to a part.
lightweighting Replacing one part or object with a lighter version for identical use. The goal of lightweighting is to design and create lighter parts that are more cost efficient without sacrificing quality.
locknuts A threaded fastener that remains tightly in place under vibrations. Locknuts provide extra security against unintended loosening of the nut and bolt.
mass customization Manufacturing a large number of uniquely designed variations on a part. Mass customization is a key advantage of additive manufacturing.
material extrusion An additive manufacturing (AM) method that uses a nozzle to dispense material, usually a thermoplastic filament, onto a build platform. Material extrusion is sometimes referred to as fused deposition modeling (FDM).
mating part The object that a workpiece has been manufactured to fit. Nuts and bolts are mating parts.
mechanical Using physical force. Additive manufacturing (AM) support structures can be removed by mechanically using pliers to tear away the structures.
mechanical properties A property that determine a material's ability to compress, stretch, bend, scratch, dent, or break. The mechanical properties of a material describe the way a material responds to forces.
mechanical stress A mechanical force that attempts to deform an object. Mechanical stress in excess may cause a part to break.
nylon A semicrystalline thermoplastic that gains strength when the fibers are stretched. Nylon was originally developed as a substitute for silk.
part complexity The degree of intricacy in the design of a part. Part complexity can be increased through the use of additive manufacturing (AM) methods and processes.
pellets A very small, round ball of material. Pellets of thermoplastic material are sometimes used in material extrusion as build material.
personal protective equipment PPE. Any clothing or device worn to minimize exposure to hazards or prevent injury. Common additive manufacturing personal protective equipment includes gloves, safety goggles, and nonflammable clothing.
physical properties A set of characteristics that describe how a material responds to environmental, thermal, electrical, and magnetic forces. Physical properties describe how a material reacts to forces other than mechanical forces.
pilot point A type of fastener end with a straight tip with a smaller diameter that extends past the thread to help guide the fastener into a hole. Pilot points make assembly easier.
planning A step in the part design process that assesses the best ways to create the conceptualized part. Planning involves initial considerations of the design and of the practical concerns related to the manufacturing process.
plastic A lightweight polymer material that has high corrosion resistance, a high strength-to-weight ratio, and a low melting point. Plastics are usually easy to shape and form.
plastics A lightweight polymer material that has high corrosion resistance, a high strength-to-weight ratio, and a low melting point. Plastics are usually easy to shape and form.
plating The process of adding a thin layer of metal to serve as a decorative or protective coating on a part. Plating is sometimes used to improve the surface finish of a part.
polyamides PA. A semicrystalline thermoplastic that gains strength when the fibers stretch. Polyamide is a common polymer that is used as build material in additive manufacturing.
polyester A type of thermoset that is highly compatible with additives or other chemicals that will give it desired characteristics. Polyester is also used to manufacture artificial limbs.
polyethylene PET. A thermoplastic in the polyester family that is highly resistant to electricity and heat. Polyethylene is often used to manufacture tough plastic bags and beverage containers.
polylactic acid PLA. A biodegradable thermoplastic in the polyester family. Polylactic acid is a natural polymer derived from corn starch and other renewable resources.
polymers A lightweight material that generally has high corrosion resistance, a high strength-to-weight ratio, and a low melting point. Polymers, or plastics, are some of the most common manufacturing materials.
polyurethane A thermoset that was first developed as a replacement for rubber. Polyurethane is used in the manufacturing of many medical devices, like surgical drains, artificial hearts, feeding tubes, and wound dressings.
post-processing A finishing process used to clean, grind, or otherwise prepare an additive manufacturing part for shipping to a manufacturer or other consumer. Common additive manufacturing post-processing steps include removing support structures, heat treating, improving surface finish, and bringing the part into tolerance.
production The manufacturing of a finished part for delivery to a customer. Production is the final stage of design for manufacturing (DFM).
prototype A preliminary model of a part used to evaluate the look and performance of a design. Prototypes are used to determine the specifications for the final part.
renewable resources Energy that is naturally and continually replenished without being depleted. Renewable resources include sunlight and wind.
rib A structural component that provides shape and support. Ribs are used to reinforce a thin section of a part, such as a wall.
sealing Applying a water- and air-tight coating to a part. Sealing is often used on plastic parts that will be sold to consumers.
slicer A computer program that divides an STL file into layers for additive manufacturing (AM). Slicers, or slicing programs, can either be separate computer programs or part of the machine interface.
small batches A specific number of the same part that moves through the production cycle. Small batch manufacturers produce a variety of different products in low volume.
software Coded instructions or programs that control computer hardware functions and operations. Software is used as a platform to design additively manufactured parts.
sparse fill An object that has a scaffolding-like interior instead of solid interior. Sparse fill is an additive manufacturing strategy that enables an object to weigh less while still retaining its strength and rigidity.
STL Stereolithography. Computer files that represent 3D models as a series of interconnected triangles. STL files are converted from CAD files and are used in additive manufacturing machines.
support structures A reinforcing component used to hold the weight of a part during an additive manufacturing process. Support structures must be removed from the part after it is complete.
synthetic An artificial or human-made material that does not occur in nature. Plastic and nylon are examples of synthetic materials.
testing In the five-step design process, examining a part to ensure that it performs its intended function and that it can be satisfactorily manufactured. Testing indicates whether the part needs additional planning or if it is ready for production.
thermal resistance A material's ability to remain unchanged due to exposure to extremely high or low temperatures. Thermal resistance allows materials to maintain their properties and integrity even at extreme temperatures.
thermoplastic A group of plastics that can be repeatedly heated, cooled, and shaped. Thermoplastics are often used in material extrusion additive manufacturing processes.
thermoplastics A group of plastics that can be repeatedly heated, cooled, and shaped. Thermoplastics are often used in material extrusion additive manufacturing processes.
thermosets A group of polymers that are permanently hardened by heating. Thermosets typically require ultraviolet light in order to harden into their permanent shape.
threads A long spiraling groove machined in the interior or exterior of a part. Threads allow compatible fasteners to connect to and move about each other.
tolerances An acceptable deviation from a desired dimension that still meets specifications. Tolerances indicate the allowable difference between a physical feature and its intended design.
toughness A material's ability to absorb mechanical forces before it breaks. Toughness includes specific categories such as impact toughness.
wear resistance A material's ability to resist the gradual wearing away caused by abrasion and friction. Increased wear resistance can lengthen the life of a material.