Fused Filament Fabrication
Material Extrusion operates in a similar fashion to a hot glue gun; plastic filament is heated to a malleable state and extruded through a nozzle. In order to create a part, a CAD model is sliced into layers. The nozzle uses g-code to draw each layer, one at a time, with the heated plastic, which then cools and transitions back into a solid state.
If the part has large overhangs, support material is required to prevent sagging and protect part integrity. This support material is created either through thin, breakable trusses of the build material or a second soluble material.
Material Extrusion of ABS allows for:
- Strong parts (Tensile strength of ABS is 5,000 psi)
- Material Extrusion ABS is machineable, sandable and paintable
- Can be treated with resins to strengthen the plastic and increase heat resistance
- Relatively cheap compared to other AM processes (~$250.00 per 56 in3 of material)