Are you searching the internet in desperation to find out the answer to this brain-racking question; What is FDM 3D Printing? We have the answer right here! Fused deposition modeling, known as FDM 3D Printing, is an additive manufacturing technique in which layers of materials are fused together in a pattern to form an object. Typically, the material is melted just past its glass transition temperature, then extruded in a pattern next to or on top of previous extrusions, layer by layer, to create an object.
In layman’s terms, a typical FDM 3D printer squeezes plastic filament through a hot end, melts it, and then deposits it in layers on the print bed. These layers are fused as they build up during the print, eventually forming the finished part.
FDM is the same as fused filament fabrication (FFF), but Stratasys trademarked the term “fused deposition modeling” and the abbreviated “FDM” in 1991, necessitating the need for a second name.
FDM techniques can be used with various materials, including thermoplastics, chocolate, pastes, and even “exotic” materials such as metal- or wood-infused thermoplastic.
FDM is widely regarded as the simplest method of 3D printing because it is both inexpensive and efficient. FDM 3D printers have nearly supplanted more expensive methods in the 3D printing market.
Popular FDM 3D Printers
First, it’s important to state that this list is subjective as the writer does not claim to be the ultimate authority on 3D printing. However, this list of the three most Popular FDM 3D Printers is made from the vast knowledge and experience the writer has garnered in the area of 3D printers over the years. Let’s go straight into our list of popular FDM 3D printers.
Raise3D Pro2 is one of the most popular FDM 3D printers on the market because it is the definition of a workhorse 3D printer. The fact that it is the go-to printer for an FDM 3D printing service demonstrates how highly this printer is regarded.
It also has a large 305 x 305 mm print volume. The Pro2 has a dual extruder option for people who need to print multiple materials and colors, though this reduces dimensions to 280 x 305 x 300 mm. The Pro2 demonstrates that large print sizes and accuracy can coexist thanks to its extremely precise 0.01mm minimum layer thickness.
The Raise3D Pro2 is also very easy to use, with a 7-inch touchscreen for controlling the printer. The Pro2 is a solid industrial FDM 3D printer priced at $3,999 that can handle print after print with ease — the printer has been tested over 100,000 times and can handle it
- Company Based: China
- Build volume: 305 x 305 x 300 mm
- Price: $3,999
Ultimaker, a Dutch FDM 3D printer manufacturer, is well-deserving of its position due to the superiority of the Ultimaker S3. The Ultimaker S3 is the ideal printer for prototyping, small business solutions, makers, and more, thanks to its dual extruder and accuracy of up to 20 microns.
With its built-in camera, you can remotely monitor your prints and print multiple high-quality parts in the 230 x 190 x 200 mm build volume. It is also a very versatile FDM 3D printer that can be operated via a USB stick, WiFi, or Ethernet, and it has a fantastic sleek design.
The Ultimaker S3 is a great printer for those who value reliability, consistency, and high quality. However, it’s expensive
- Company-based: Netherlands
- Build volume: 230 x 190 x 200 mm
- Price: $4,030
The Anycubic Vyper makes its way into our list of the most popular FDM 3D Printers as it’s sought after because it’s a compact 3D printer with good build volume; you can build it in about 5-10 minutes (it comes almost fully assembled), and the 4.3-inch touchscreen and intuitive UI ensures its super simple to get right to printing.
The Vyper’s 1-click auto-leveling makes life easier, and the magnetic spring steel build platform can be removed after printing to help with adhesion and more conveniently remove your finished prints
Anycubic’s double-fan cooling system for rapidly cooling prints, which they claim allows you to print faster than you would expect from an FDM 3D printer, is perhaps the most intriguing addition. They claim that you can print at 100mm/s without problems, but this has not been independently verified. It is therefore recommended that you first test this on larger models.
For the money, the Vyper is a consistent and reliable FDM printer, and hence its popularity
- Price: $429
- Build volume: 245 x 245 x 260 mm
Qidi Tech i-Mate S
The Qidi Tech i-Mate S is a rare pre-assembled FDM 3D printer in a price range where most 3D printers are DIY kits. It picks up where the X-Pro left off. It is enclosed, so you can keep the temperature stable when printing tougher filaments like ABS, and the sturdy frame is made of metal, which improves stability and prevents print quality from being affected by vibrations
The i-Mate, unlike almost all other printers, comes with a 0.2mm nozzle for super intricate and precise detailing, making it ideal for 3D printing miniatures and other parts with detailed elements. You can replace it with a standard 0.4mm nozzle (both are included), but it appears that Qidi Tech has positioned the i-Mate S as a precise, accurate 3D printer for hobbyists.
Overall, the pre-assembled, enclosed metal frame of the Qidi Tech i-Mate S provides excellent safety and durability, and it builds on Qidi’s stellar reputation for workhorse reliability, little wonder why it’s it’s on this list
Having talked about the most popular FDM 3D Printers, many prospective buyers love to read FDM 3D Printer reviews before spending their hard-earned money to purchase one. To ease customers’ stress on that, you can read the FDM 3D Printer reviews here.