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Introduction to FDM printing

Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) or Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is certainly the technology most familiar to the general public. As one of the cheapest technologies available, it is now widely used by home users and SMEs.

The concept is very simple, involving the extrusion of a heated thermoplastic polymer thread through a nozzle (or printhead). The head follows the path defined by the 3D file to reproduce the part layer by layer.

At Axis, we use professional FDM printers whose print quality and repeatability enable us to meet all our customers’ needs.

The printing dimensions of our largest machine enable us to produce parts up to 900 x 600 x 900 mm.


The benefits of 3D printing technology

  • In addition to its attractive price, wire-dispensing technology offers great flexibility in terms of the materials used. From the simplest bio-sourced plastics such as PLA, to more technical materials like ABS, nylon, ASA, polycarbonate or Ultem, not forgetting TPU (flexible plastics) and filled filaments (wood, composite fibers…). The choice of colors is also very wide, allowing an infinite number of combinations.

    If you have a specific project in mind, don’t hesitate to
    to find the best materials together.

Materials and finishes for molten wire 3D printing

At Axis, which focuses on 3D printing for businesses, we work mainly with materials for professional prototyping. However, if you have a specific requirement, please do not hesitate to contact us so that together we can define the best material for your project. You can also consult our material sheets.

Stock and commonly used materials:

  • ABS ;
  • ASA ;
  • NYLON ;
  • PC ;
  • ULTEM.

Lead times and part design advice

For the dimensions of your parts, we are able to comply with standard NFT 58-000 normal class.

For your 3D printing projects using molten wire technology, please allow 2 to 5 working days, depending on the size and finish chosen. For mini-series, please contact us for a precise lead time based on your parts and quantities.

For the design of your parts, allow for a minimum wall thickness of 0.8 mm.

Our production facilities

    • 1 Stratasys FDM Fortus: 400 x 355 x 355 ;
    • 1 Fortus 900 : 900 x 600 x 900 ;
    • 1 Strateo DUAL 600 from e-motion tech: 600 mm X 420 mm X 500 mm.

How does it work?

Several steps are required to produce a part using molten wire technology:

  • Preparation:
    • First of all, it’s essential to have a 3D file obtained using 3D design software (CAD);
    • This file is then processed by our cutting software to prepare each layer according to your parameters (layer thickness = print fineness). Manufacturing supports are generated and associated with the part. These supports serve as scaffolding for the fabrication of overhanging parts.
  • Fabrication :
    • The file generated in the previous step is then transmitted to the machine (over the network or, more often, via a USB key). This 3D printer consists of a platform (heated or not, depending on the material), a print head that moves along the X and Y axes. A Z axis, which lowers the platform after each layer has been printed;
    • Once the head temperature reaches the level you have set, which corresponds to the melting point of your material, the head begins to move over the platform;
    • The path taken is the one defined in your file, and the plastic flows from the heated nozzle. The plastic cools quickly thanks to the fans attached to the print head. Once the layer is complete (the head has returned to its starting point), the machine lowers the platform by the height defined for a layer, and the process starts again.
  • Finish :
    • The part is lifted off the platform;
    • It is then cleaned and, if necessary, stripped of its supports;
    • Our model-makers sand it manually if necessary, then apply the finish(s) you desire (varnish, primer, paint, inserts, transfers, metallization, etc.).

To find out more about our other additive manufacturing production resources, please visit our our machines page.

Need a quote or information on rapid prototyping?

Ask us for a quick quote or call us on +33 (0)5 55 06 17 17