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How does FDM 3D Printing work?


Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is a popular 3D printing process that uses a thermoplastic filament as the printing material. Your model is sliced into thin layers, and the FDM 3D printer starts building the object layer by layer. The printer heats the thermoplastic filament until it reaches a semi-liquid state, and then deposits it onto a build platform in a precise pattern based on the sliced layers. As each layer cools and solidifies, the printer moves up to the next layer, gradually building the object. 


FDM offers versatility and affordability, making it suitable for various applications, including rapid prototyping, manufacturing parts, and creating functional prototypes.

Fused Model Deposition Capabilities

Maximum Part Size Tolerances Layer Height Infill Options Standard Lead Time
Industrial FDM
356 x 305 x 305mm or (14 x 12 x 12in)
± 0.25% with a lower limit: ± 0.25 mm (0.01 in)
Ultra-light, Light, Solid
From 2 business days
Desktop FDM
400 x 400 x 400mm (15.7in)
± 0.5% with a lower limit on ± 0.5 mm (0.0196 in)
From 4 Business days

FDM 3D Printing Material Selection


Industrial FDM Materials

Print My Parts leverages Stratasys 3D Production systems to provide High Quality Parts for parts that need robust mechanical properties.

Objects printed on 3D printer from plastic close-up. New 3D printing technology. Concept modern new progressive additive technology. 3D models red yellow white blue created by additive 3d printing

Desktop FDM Materials

A quick and affordable way to prototype and validate your designs. Wide variety of materials with many different properties.

Pros and Cons of Choosing FDM


3d printer. The printing process close up


FDM Quality Standards

All FDM Prints will have visual layer lines and Z seems and be free of major print defects.


Desktop FDM Quality Standards:

  • Support removal
  • sanding of supported surface if applicable


Industrial FDM Quality Standards

  •  Supports will be dissolved and model cleaned up
Type of Feature Recommended Minimum
Unsupported Overhang Angle
60 Degrees
Minimum Hole Diameter
2.5mm (0.0984in)
Minimum Wall Size
1.0mm (0.0393in)
Minimum Feature size (text, etc)
2.5mm (0.0984in)

Designing for FDM

Keep these values in mind for when you are designing specifically for the FDM process.

Please note: Large flat pieces may be subject to slight warping <1mm.