by hearingearly hearingearly

FDM technology was first created in 1988 by Scott Crump. The process works by melting a plastic filament in the print head. The temperature is controlled so that it delivers plastic in a gel state that has enough energy to fuse, but not enough to flow. The printing head translates in the X-Y plane and extrudes this gel as a continuous strand. The strands fuse together, but even the best printers cannot prevent porosity or make the material homogeneous.

FDM prints successive 2D slices of a model to build a solid 3D representation of the file. The nozzle moves horizontally to pack strands neatly against the layer below. FDM offers two major advantages over PolyJet: material and machine costs. FDM material generally costs 1/10 as much per kilogram as PolyJet resin. The machines are also three to five times cheaper.

What Are the Advantages of FDM Compared to PolyJet?

Listed below are the advantages of FDM vs. PolyJet:

  1. FDM printing materials are cheaper than those for PolyJet.
  2. Faster builds are possible with FDM using low resolution.
  3. FDM wastes less material.
  4. FDM machines require less maintenance.

What Are the Disadvantages of FDM Compared to PolyJet?

Listed below are the disadvantages of FDM vs. PolyJet:

  1. FDM has a poorer resolution along all three axes.
  2. FDM layers do not fully fuse, so they are weaker than PolyJet. This creates anisotropic strength in printed parts.
  3. FDM has a poorer resolution, so it is cosmetically inferior.
  4. Poorer resolution means some small model features will be blunted or left out of FDM models.

FDM vs. PolyJet: Differences and Comparison