High-Quality
Fused Filament
Fabrication Parts

Parts in 1 to 5 days.

Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) is used for:

Quality Matters  |  AS9100D Certified, ISO 9001:2015, ISO 13485:2016, & ITAR Registered

Certifications and Registrations

* Not all locations have all certifications and registrations. Parts requiring these will be made at facilities with the correct certifications and registrations.

Additive Manufacturing Technology | Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)
Table of Contents

What is Fused Filament Fabrication?

Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) or Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) is a popular 3D printing process. It involves melting a thermoplastic filament through a heated nozzle and selectively extruding it to build layer upon layer. The process is highly versatile and offers engineers and designers several material options to create parts with specific mechanical properties. Fused Filament Fabrication 3D printing is a cost-effective process that can produce durable and rigid parts with moderate detail. This makes it ideal for businesses and individuals looking to create check fixtures, specialized tools, functional prototypes, and end-use parts.

How does Fused Filament Fabrication work?

To begin our Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) process, our customers create and submit a 3D model of the object they require using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software. Once we receive the CAD file, we export it to slicing software that prepares the model for printing. This involves dividing the model into thin layers and generating a set of instructions for the printer to follow. These instructions contain details like the temperature at which the filament should be melted, the speed at which it should be extruded, and the nozzle’s position.

Subsequently, the printer feeds the filament and softens it using a heated nozzle or extruder. The melted plastic is then extruded, and it quickly solidifies to form a layer. The printer repeats this process for each layer until the object is finished. Finally, the object is removed and ready for finishing and post-processing.

AM Technology | Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF)

Advantages to Fused Filament Fabrication

Fused filament fabrication technology has revolutionized the way products are designed and manufactured. The following are a few of the advantages of fused filament fabrication:

Disadvantages to Fused Filament Fabrication

While there are a lot of advantages to fused filament fabrication, there are also some disadvantages to consider:

Fused Filament Fabrication at Prototek

OEM:

Stratasys

Max Build Area:

36 x 24 x 36 in

Lead Time:

1 – 5 Days

Material:

ABS-ESD7, ABS-M30, ASA, PC-ISO, Polycarbonate (PC), Ultem 9085, Ultem 1010, and other materials may be available upon request.

Tolerances:

± 0.005 for the first inch and ± 0.002 for each additional inch.

Layer Thickness:

The standard layer thickness is 0.010 inch. We can do 0.005, 0.007, and 0.013-inch layers as well.

Prototek's Materials

Material

Description

Characteristics 

More Information

This material is a mixture of ABS polymer and a conductive substance such as carbon nanotubes, carbon fibers, conductive carbon black, or Graphene NanoPlatelets. It protects against ESD, making it ideal for manufacturing and packaging electronic devices.

  • Black
  • Static Dissipative

It is a filament made of ABS and an additive that enhances strength and toughness. It’s famous for functional prototypes, end-use parts, and low-volume production runs. ABS-M30 is known for its excellent dimensional stability, high tensile strength, and abrasion resistance.

  • Multiple Colors
  • Abrasion Resistant
  • High Strength
  • Impact Resistant

ASA

This FFF material boasts a remarkable durability that ensures it can withstand the test of time. Whether exposed to the sun for extended periods or subjected to high temperatures, it remains resistant to damage and degradation. 

  • Multiple Colors
  • UV Stability

This fused filament fabrication material has been specifically formulated to meet the stringent safety standards of ISO 10993-1, making it an ideal choice for medical devices, surgical instruments, and implants. Its biocompatibility and durability make it a reliable and long-lasting option for these critical applications.

  • White
  • Biocompatible*
  • High Strength
  • Sterilizable 
  • Temperature Resistant

Polycarbonate is a transparent, impact-resistant, lightweight thermoplastic polymer commonly used in electronic components, automotive parts, construction materials, and eyewear.

  • White
  • High Strength
  • Impact Resistant
  • Temperature Resistant

It is a high-strength, amorphous thermoplastic made from polyetherimide (PEI) resin. It is known for its exceptional thermal, chemical, and impact resistance, which makes it ideal for various applications.

  • Amber
  • Biocompatible*
  • Chemical Resistant
  • High Strength
  • Sterilizable
  • Temperature Resistant

This FFF material is a high-performance thermoplastic that finds application in various industries such as aerospace, automotive, and medical. It is a lightweight and robust material that exhibits exceptional mechanical and thermal properties, making it an ideal choice for applications that require high strength and heat resistance.

  • Natural (tan)
  • Chemical Resistant
  • High Strength
  • Temperature Resistant

*Special processing may be required. Please notify us of any biocompatibility needs.

Design Recomendations

When designing parts for Fused Filament Fabrication 3D printing, consider the orientation, wall thickness, overhangs, support structures, and material selection. Choose the correct orientation and avoid thin walls to achieve a consistent, vital part. Use features such as fillets, chamfers, or draft angles to reduce overhangs. Complex designs require support structures, placed with consideration for functionality and post-printing finishing. The material selection affects the characteristics of the final product, such as strength, durability, and flexibility.

Prototek's Additive Design Poster
Feature Measurement

Connecting & Moving Parts

0.008 in

Escape Holes

0.04 in

Embossing & Engraving

Width: 0.024 in
Height/Depth: 0.08 in

Holes & Openings

0.04 in

Horizontal Spans

0.4 in

Minimum Features

0.08 in

Pin Diameter

0.04 in

Supports & Overhangs

45°

Walls (Supported)

0.03 in

Walls (Unsupported)

0.03 in
Feature Measurement

Connecting & Moving Parts

0.2 mm

Escape Holes

1 mm

Embossing & Engraving

Width: 0.6 mm
Height/Depth: 2 mm

Holes & Openings

1 mm

Horizontal Spans

10 mm

Minimum Features

2 mm

Pin Diameter

1 mm

Supports & Overhangs

45°

Walls (Supported)

0.8 mm

Walls (Unsupported)

0.8 mm

Fused Filament Fabrication Finishes

Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) prints can be finished in various ways, including sanding, vapor smoothing, priming, and painting.

Sanding is the most common method to smooth out rough surfaces on FFF prints. It involves using sandpaper of different grits to remove surface imperfections and achieve a smoother finish. This process can be time-consuming, but the result can be a professionally finished print.

Vapor smoothing is another technique for giving FFF prints a smooth and polished finish. This involves exposing the printed object to a solvent vapor, such as acetone, which melts the plastic’s surface layer and creates a smooth finish.

Priming is a technique that involves applying a layer of primer to the surface of the FFF print. This can help create a smooth surface for painting and provide better paint adhesion to the print. Priming can also help to fill in any minor imperfections on the print’s surface.

Painting is a popular finishing technique that can add color and aesthetic appeal to FFF prints. Painting the object can create a more polished look while concealing surface blemishes and scratches. Additionally, painting can increase the durability and strength of the printed thing.

These post-processing techniques can achieve smoother, more polished, and professionally finished FFF prints with improved durability and strength.

Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) - PC-ISO
Why choose Prototek for your next fused filament fabrication project?

Prototek, a leading 3D printing service provider, is dedicated to providing the best quality products with their Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) technology. They use state-of-the-art equipment and quality materials to ensure precision and high-quality manufacturing of durable and reliable parts. What sets Prototek apart is its unmatched team of skilled technicians who strive to deliver customized solutions catered to each client’s specific needs. They pride themselves on their competitive pricing while not sacrificing production quality. When you choose Prototek, you’re not just getting a superior quality product, but you’re also getting a reliable partner dedicated to your every need.

What do our customers say about us?
They are competitively priced for their services and a very personable team to work with. If you haven't used them - do it! You'll have a lifelong vendor you be happy with that repeatedly goes above and beyond what is asked.
Product Designer
Great design input to ensure the prototype build went smoothly. The parts look phenomenal and function better than we had anticipated.
Outdoor Sports Industry