FDM Printing process

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The 3D printing process works

by building up layer upon layer of molten plastic to create an object. As each

layer sets, the next layer is printed on top and the object is built up.

In the example shown down below, the

filament holder is loaded with a filament spool. The filament is fed through

the drive and the Bowden tube to the hot end where it melts and is extruded

through the hole in the nozzle onto the shape that the printer builds. The

width of the filament trail left by the nozzle is always slightly larger than

the nozzle diameter.

When a layer of filament is placed, the filament needs to be cooled before the next layer of filament can be placed. This is done by the fans that are placed next to the nozzle of the printer, see the image down below:

The build plate is the surface onto which

your design is built. The bed is typically heated to lessen the internal stress

in the print and this bed must bond to the printed filament well enough to keep

it in place while printing. After the print has finished and the bed has

completely cooled down it should be possible to dislodge the print with ease.

The drive typically consists of a motor

which drives a toothed gear which contains edges sharp enough to claw into the

filament. A spring is used to force the filament into these sharp edges. The

spring’s tension can be adjusted.