FDM Plastic 3D Printing

FDM (or FFF) is an important plastic 3D printing process suitable for functional parts with elevated performance specifications
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With FDM it is possible to use thermoplastic polymers with very similar characteristics with those used in injection molding, thus obtaining comparable specifications.

Typical Applications

Functional Prototypes
Small series production of functional products
Prototypes from serial production material for certification
FDM is now wide spread and there are 3d printers in the market, affordable even for home use. 3D Printing has never become more simple!

On the other hand, processing of demanding materials and providing finished parts with adequate mechnical properties is a far more complicated job.

Metal3D provides the necessary deep know-how in polymer processing and industrial level process engineering.



PLA is the most common material used in FDM. It is easy to process, but it is only suitable for visual mockups.

PLA melts at a relatively low temperature of about 175 degrees Celsius and printed parts start to lose their mechanical strength at temperatures just above 60 degrees Celsius (HDT 55).

It is an environent friendly and we strongly encourage its use for mockups and design perception and evaluation, as it is biodegradable. Although, biodegradeability and its low UV-Resistance makes PLA totally unappropriate for outdoor use.

Specs Data Sheet


PETG is a tough material with good thermal resistance and good processability. It is the more comon material for 3d printing of functional parts.

It shows an elevated heat resistance (HTD 68), it is a string material with improved elasticity compared to PLA and has a relatively good outdoor resistance.

Its use is universal but especially suitable for mechanical parts and both indoor and outdoor use.

PETG is also available for clear parts.

Specs Data Sheet


ASA is an engineering thermoplastic material available for 3d printing.

It is a temperature resistant material. Parts printed with ASA do not show signs of deformation even at 93 degrees Celsius (HDT 93).

ASA is a material known for its exceptional UV resistance, making this material ideal for outdoor use.

3d printings from ASA show a relative smooth outer surface.

Specs Data Sheet


One of the most wide spread thermoplastic materials, in almost all major processing technologies (injection molding, extrusion, blow molding).

It belongs to the family of the polyolfins that show exceptional chemical stability.

It is a champion in ballancing specifications. PP is Food contact compliant, dishwasher proof and microwave safe, lightweight, no brittle, offers improved wear-, abrasion-, and fatigue resistance and has an acceptable strength.

Specs Data Sheet

Technical Specifications

Max Build Envelope 250 x 210 x 210 mm
Layer Thickness 0.05 - 0.45 mm
Standard Dimensional Accuracy ±0.15 mm
Standard Delivery Time Minimum, 3 working days. Actual, related to part geometry, lot size and surface finish quality
As Printed Surface Quality The as printed part has a good smooth surface with visible lines between subsequent building layers, although surfaces attached to supports show the traces of them.
Surface Treatment varnishing
Other Post Printing Operations Basic Machining to adapt simple geometric features (holes) to elevated dimensional accuracies.