Prototyping & batch production

Fused Deposition Modelling

Fused Deposition Modeling 3D printing, better known as FDM, is the most common additive manufacturing process seen in everything from desktop hobby machines to industrial scale applications.  FDM excels in creating low cost prints for everything from cosmetic to ‘function over form’ style prints such as internal components, jigs and fixtures.

FDM works by precisely extruding melted plastic filament from a spool or pellets, building your design layer by layer.  When printed, parts are identificable as FDM by the visible layers ranging from 0.1mm to over 0.5mm in thickness depending on the print resolution chosen.

We use a fleet of FDM machines for volume manufacturing and one-off prints where there are budget constraints or specific material property requirements.

3d print farm
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Volume FDM Manufacturing

Our FDM print farm can produce low cost FDM printed parts in a range of materials from recycled PLA, PETG and ABS, to carbon filled and specialist filaments in a range of colours.

FDM/FFF (Fused Deposition Modelling / Fused Filament Fabrication)

  • Produce parts using layers of filament from spools of plastic
  • Typically 0.1 to 0.3mm layer heights mean layers are easily visible
  • Requires support material for overhangs, so part design is important
  • Lower strength to alternative technologies such as MJF

Layer Heights – Draft 0.3mm, Standard 0.2mm, Fine 0.1mm
For guidance and an explanation of layer heights – here

Accuracy – ± 0.5% (min: ± 0.5 mm)

Wall thickness – By default we use 3 outer walls with a 0.4mm nozzle meaning walls are 1.2mm thick as a minimum.  With larger nozzle sizes we will reduce the wall count e.g. 0.6mm nozzle would be 2 walls giving a 1.2mm thick wall.

Infill % – Standard infill for prints smaller than 300x300x300 is 20%.

Note: Wall thickness and infill rate are variables that can be defined and priced to your specific requirements.

We have over 100 FDM printers of increasing size and capability enabling the production of one or many orders at the same time.

Sizes (x,y,z)
Batch Production
– Up to 400 x 400 x 400

Large Format (Tall) – 600 x 600 x 1200

Large Format (Cube) – 1000 x 1000 x 1000

Large Format (Long) – 1200 x 600 x 600


FDM prints can be filled, sanded and painted for a smooth finish to your required colour.  This process is most suited to large format FDM rather than smaller prints, where the MJF process more suited.

FDM print time is determined by the complexity, size and resolution requested.  Print times can be only a few minutes to many days for large format.

For batch orders we use our large farm of over 100 printers to enable parallel production reducing lead times without compromising quality.

FDM printing offers the widest range of materials from recycled and decorative to engineering grade carbon filled nylon.  Check our materials page for a full list of available FDM filaments from stock, however we can usually source a specific material if needed.

In Summary:

Low cost prototypes for indoor use – Use PLA or PETG

Outdoor applications – Use PETG or ASA for UV resistance

Higher temperature resistance – ABS, ASA or Nylon based materials

Highest temperature resistance – PEEK

Flexibility – TPU in 85A or 95A shore hardness

Make it BIG!

FDM is the most common method of large format printing.  Our large format 3d printing capability uses a range of printers to offer large, tall or long prints, although in reality many large format prints are produced in sections offering significant opportunities for large format printing.