FDM printing

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Welcome to our exploration of Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printing, a prominent technique within our array of 3D printing offerings. FDM operates on the principle of melting plastic filament, meticulously layering it to bring your envisioned designs to life. This technique excels in prototyping, presenting an accessible and user-friendly avenue for materializing your creative concepts. Delve into the world of FDM printing to discover its specifications, delve into associated costs, explore suitable materials, understand the intricate workings of an FDM 3D printer, uncover its special features, and prioritize safety considerations throughout the printing process. Whether you are a seasoned designer or a novice enthusiast, FDM printing opens a realm where you can either craft your designs using software like Solidworks or effortlessly download free 3D models online. Let's embark on a journey that blends innovation, efficiency, and creativity through the lens of FDM printing technology.

How to

FDM seamlessly translates your digital designs into tangible objects with precision and efficiency. Let's delve into the key steps that bring your ideas to life:

  1. Prepare Cura: Begin by setting up your 3D model using software like Cura. Adjust settings as needed for your desired outcome.
  2. Export to carrier: Once satisfied, export the G-code to a carrier, such as an SD card or an USB.
  3. Prepare the printer: Insert the carrier, power up the FDM printer, and set temperature parameters.
  4. Start printing: Initiate the print process trough the control panel or software interface.
  5. Retrieve the print: Once finished, carefully remove your completed print from the printer's bed.


Ultimaker tutorials

The tutorials below were made for the Ultimaker 2 (+ (extended)). The tutorials were made before the Ultimaker' s 3, s5, and 2+ connect were available in FabLab. The use of the 3, s5, and 2+ connect printers slightly differs from what the tutorials below show. However, the tutorials can still be very much used. Additional the display of the printer also provides a guide on what to do, which will make up for the differences.  

Before every print: Bed leveling

Filament change

From preparing the design to starting the printer

Cleaning the nozzle


The Help section of our 3D printing guide is a comprehensive resource that provides additional insights into optimizing your printing experience. Explore these valuable resources to navigate the intricacies of 3D printing, ensuring a seamless and successful printing journey.

Tips an tricks:

Here are some 3D printing tips and tricks that might help you print more efficiently and with better quality at the same time!

  • Weak lines: Prints are weak at their layer lines, so avoid printing tall objects upright. Instead try to lay them flat in parallel with the build plate.
  • Mesh tools plugin: This plugin adds several mesh analysis and manipulation tools, which makes it possible to split up parts, rename parts, check models and even fix them. To use these features right click an object and select “Mesh Tools”
  • Auto orientation: This plugin will rotate the object efficiently to reduce the needed support. To use this go to extensions and select “Auto orientation”
  • Tab+ AntiWarping: This plugin adds disks on the corner of an object to prevent warping. To use this click on your object and press “J”
  • Avoid sharp corners: Having sharp corners makes a print more fragile, rounding this corner with a fillet will strengthen them.
  • Avoid vertical slopes: These vertical slopes show more defined layer lines, lay them flat when possible.
  • Matte filament for smoother prints: This filament will look more smooth since it reflects less light.


Whether you're a novice or an experienced user, this section is dedicated to addressing common issues through effective troubleshooting strategies. Below are the most common FDM printing issues, each accompanied by the cause of the problem and a corresponding guide on how to resolve it.

  • Filament problems: Issues related to filament, such as inconsistent extrusion, tangling, or poor filament quality.
  • First layer: Challenges specifically tied to the initial layer of the print, covering adhesion, leveling, and proper deposition.
  • Printing fails: General problems leading to unsuccessful prints, encompassing issues like print stoppages, layer misalignment, or abrupt halts.
  • Print deformation: Concerns associated with the overall shape and structure of the print, including warping, bending, or distortion during the printing process.
  • Surface defects: Problems affecting the external appearance of the printed object, such as layer lines, rough surfaces, or irregularities.
  • Print finishing problems: Issues encountered during the post-printing stage, encompassing challenges related to cleaning, smoothing, or post-processing.
  • Print quality problems: General concerns impacting the overall quality of the print, covering a range of issues like resolution, accuracy, and detail fidelity.

Maintenance (staff only)

Ensuring the long-term reliability and optimal performance of your 3D printer requires consistent maintenance. Explore the following essential tasks to keep the printers in top condition:

  • Cleaning under the builder plate: Ensure the print area stays free from debris and residue by routinely cleaning under the builder plate.
  • Changing the nozzle temperature: Adapt your 3D printer to different materials and printing requirements by adjusting the nozzle temperature as needed.
  • Replacing the nozzle: Address wear and tear by periodically replacing the nozzle, promoting consistent printing quality over time.
  • Cleaning the nozzle: Maintain optimal performance by regularly cleaning the nozzle to remove any residual filament or buildup.
  • Fixing a clogged nozzle: Troubleshoot and resolve common print inconsistencies by following step-by-step instructions to fix a clogged nozzle.