3D-Druck Bauteil im additiven Fertigungsprozess FDM

Fused Deposition Modeling: Manufacturing technology with many advantages

The FDM 3D printing process is a fast, relatively simple process. It is often underestimated, although it offers many advantages and provides perfect solutions for industrial applications. Read more about suitable applications, materials and design guidelines.

How does FDM additive manufacturing technology work?

Fused Deposition Modeling FDM 3D-Druck

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is an extrusion-based 3D printing process. With a heated nozzle, in combination with an extruder, plastic filaments are melted and applied layer by layer. This is how the 3D printed component is created on the print bed.

Volumetric bodies are not filled with material in this production process, but are usually provided with filling structures. For overhanging elements, support structures must also be printed. These prevent overhanging elements from being "printed in the air" and pulled down by gravity. The material hardens rapidly during cooling.

The support structures are then removed and the surfaces of the components are finished by grinding or painting if necessary.

Advantages of FDM

  • Very large material selection
  • Cost effective process
  • Short production time

Design guidelines for FDM 3D printed parts

Ingenieur konstruiert am PC

When designing for 3D printing FDM parts, the minimum wall thicknesses should be considered. This guarantees that the part can be printed without any problems.

If a part has slopes or overhangs, these must be provided with support structures at an angle of 45 degrees. This is necessary to prevent the areas from deforming. The support structures are removed after production. As a result, the surface of the components may be somewhat less even in these areas. Ideally, angles of 45 degrees and smaller should be avoided.

    The design guidelines in detail:

    • Smallestwall thickness: nozzle diameter 0.4 mm + 0.05 mm = 0.45mm
    • Smallest details should always be at least 2x larger than the nozzle diameter in their smallest dimension: i.e. at least 0.8 mm
    • Slopes should never have a smaller overhang angle than 45°, otherwise support material becomes necessary
    • Overhangs (whole surfaces) should never be longer than approx. 20 mm, otherwise support material will be necessary


    Want to know more about general design topics in 3D printing? Continue reading here:

    Many 3D printing materials can be processed with FDM:

    Attractively priced standard materials: PLA, PETG, ABS.


    The plastics PLA, PETG and ABS can be printed in a wide range of colors, also according to RAL color code on request. The materials are relatively inexpensive and are ideal as all-rounders.


    The materials are suitable for models for training and exhibitions, quickly available prototypes, low-cost series components, spare parts from 3D printing.

    Fiber-reinforced plastics for more stability: PETG-CF, Onyx

    In fiber-reinforced materials, the components are reinforced with stable short or continuous fibers. This optimizes the properties of additively manufactured parts to high tensile and flexural strengths of 71 MPa and high heat resistance of 145 °C.


    The following reinforcements are available, for example:

    • Carbon fiber reinforced: Onyx, Onyx-FR, PETG-CF
    • Glass fiber reinforced: Onyx with continuous filament glass fibers*.
    • Kevlar fiber reinforced: Onyx with continuous Kevlar fibers*.

    Application: The fiber-reinforced materials are suitable for functional prototypes, among other applications. In addition, lightweight components for motor sports and aviation can be produced, or parts for use in automation and robotics.

    *Select "post-processing" or "individual request" in the store.

    High-tech materials: ULTEM, PPSU, PC-ISO, Onyx

    The highly technical materials are suitable for special professional applications where specific properties are required as follows:

    3D printing materials made from renewable resources: PLA, GreenTEC

    When it comes to sustainability, materials can also be found for this in FDM. Thus, components can be manufactured in 100% renewable raw materials.

    • Biodegradable (DIN EN ISO 14855): GreenTEC
    • Made from lactic acid: PLA
    • Raw material with food approval (FDA): GreenTEC
    • RoHS and REACH compliant: GreenTECPLA

    Post-processing for components from FDM 3D printing

    Depending on the purpose of the application, the following finishing operations are suitable:

    • Insertion of thread inserts
    • Insertion of standard components into the 3D printed parts (the printing process is stopped in between, the components are inserted and printed again)
    • Filling, grinding and painting of the surfaces


    Note on ordering: For finishing operations that are not available in the configurator, please make an "individual request" and describe the application.


    Your Jellypipe


    Markus Grimm
    Chief Virtual Printfactory

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