Are you looking for a 3D printer or additive manufacturing? Are you thinking, how should I start with 3D Printing? You can try the FDM or FFF 3D printer. FDM is a good starting point for a 3D printing career. FDM 3D printers are the most common 3D printers and most popular among kids, hobbyists, enthusiasts, prosumers, designers, and in some industries.
Hi, I am Prakhar. And today we are talking about FDM 3D printers. FDM or FFF 3D printers melt the plastic wire and put a layer of material in the given shape and put another layer over it. The process repeats until the shape is completely formed.
What does FDM or FFF mean? FDM is short for Fused Deposition Model and FFF is short for Fused Filament Fabrication. Both of the terms are generally used as synonyms but there are arguments that make them a little different but the overall principle is the same.
My Journey with FDM 3D printers
In 2016, I and my colleague came across the Anet A8 FDM 3D printer kit. We have assembled it put it in the Marlin Firmware, tweaked the firmware, and made the printer custom as per our needs. The bed size of this printer was 220x220mm.
Then in 2017, we planned for the bigger printer and purchased parts for the FDM printer with a printable size of 500x500x500mm. we have made the printer and tweaked the firmware, and flashed the firmware.
These two printers taught us a lot and we have tweaked, and optimized them to make them faster, more accurate, and increased overall performance.
In 2018, I have purchased the Original Prusa i3 MK2S kit by Josef Prusa. As soon as it arrived, I assembled it. It took me the whole night to assemble it and do all the initial installation work. In the morning it was ready to print. The UX of the Prusa printers is well-designed and there are some features that are more user-friendly than others.
Then I gave away the Anet A8. I have started using the Prusa printer heavily.
At the end of 2021 and starting of 2022, I purchased two Ender printers from Creality. One was Ender 3Pro and the other was Ender 3 S1. Ender 3Pro is my only bowden type printer and all the others are direct drive printers.
How I am using them now?
Now I am using my Prusa and Ender printers alternatively. I use them for my designs and automation systems. I use them to quickly create parts that give me a visual angle. A design on a computer looks fine but when you print it and physically see in real life and use it, it gives a better perspective. I use these 3D prints for proof of concepts, to check if the dimensions are correct and mounts are well defined, etc.
My go-to material is PLA. PLA is biodegradable and made of starch. It has good strength and is easy to print at 210C with a heated bed at 60C.
In conclusion, FDM printers are great for starting 3D printing. The experience is good and these are less messy and cumbersome than other 3D printing technologies. The price point is good and you can keep them in your house. My recommendation is everyone who is into design and technology must have an FDM 3D printer at home. All the kids must learn about 3D printing and should have access to FDM 3D printers.
Start with 3D printing from FDM types. Learn how I use 3D printers for my designs.
What 3D printer you are planning for?