Fused Filament Fabrication

Widely regarded as a consumer material, filament-based additive manufacturing unjustly receives a lot of skeptical glances when it comes to an industrial application.  Despite a respectable attempt, the material and process simply did not make as big a splash on the consumer market as it would have liked.

However, fused filament fabrication still stands strong as one of the best rapid prototyping and low-volume manufacturing solutions.  With its accessibility only growing, industrial designers and engineers have come to recognize that the process can provide real benefits.  The ability to make a significant impact in the shortening of lead times and reduction of cost means that extruded filament is here and here to stay.

 

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

Material Class:  Thermoplastic Terpolymer

Use Cases:  Medium-Load Fixtures and Brackets, Higher Temperature Environments

Value:  Low Cost Barrier, Speedy Additive Manufacturing Process, Repeatable and Reliable

Precision:  Dimensional Tolerance as low as +/- 0.010"

Glass Transition Temperature:  ~105°C  (221°F)

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Polylactic Acid (PLA)

Material Class:  Thermoplastic Aliphatic Polyester

Use Cases:  Complex Shape Form Studies, Low-Load Fixtures and Brackets, General Prototyping

Value:  Low Cost Barrier, Speedy Additive Manufacturing Process, Repeatable and Reliable

Precision:  Dimensional Tolerance as low as +/- 0.007"

Glass Transition Temperature:  55°C - 65°C  (131°F - 149°F)