Choose the Right FDM 3D Printing Material

Find the best fit for your Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) project.

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) stands out as a versatile, reliable, and affordable 3D printing technology in the fast-paced world of additive manufacturing.

This guide explores eight popular FDM materials, delving into their unique characteristics, potential applications, and why they might be the ideal choice for your next project. We’ve got you covered, from the electrostatic discharge properties of ABS-ESD7 to the high-performance capabilities of the ULTEM® materials.

Want even more insights? Our interactive technology and material advisor tool is designed to streamline your material selection process.

ABS-ESD7

Key Features

ABS-ESD7 combines the strength and durability of ABS with the addition of carbon, creating a material that possesses electrostatic discharge (ESD) properties. This prevents the buildup of static electricity, protecting products from damage and making ABS-ESD7 distinct from other FDM materials.

Applications

Used predominantly in the electronics industry, ABS-ESD7 is ideal for fixtures, housings, and customized packaging. Its ESD properties also make it a safe choice in hazardous environments, such as near fuel tanks or for packaging dangerous goods.

ABS-M30

Key Features

A modified version of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, ABS-M30 blends strength, durability, and lightweight with a high load capacity. It offers a balanced compromise between mechanical properties, cost, and precision, surpassing standard ABS in terms of mechanical strength.

Applications

ABS-M30 is versatile, finding use in loaded functional prototypes, production gears, jigs, fixtures, and manufacturing tools. Its affordability and versatility make it a popular choice across various industries, especially for form and fit testing.

ABS-M30i

Key Features

Sharing similar characteristics with ABS-M30, ABS-M30i stands out due to its biocompatibility, certified under ISO 10993 and USP Class VI standards, and its ability to be sterilized.

Applications

Applications extend to medical devices, surgical aids, and manufacturing tools within the food industry, particularly where biocompatibility, strength, and sterilization are required.

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ASA

Key Features

ASA serves as a versatile, general-purpose thermoplastic. With a chemical structure similar to ABS, it improves upon ABS in mechanical properties, surface finish, and UV resistance. It is also available in 10 different colors.

Applications

ASA’s aesthetic appeal and UV resistance make it the top FDM material for industrial-grade polymer prototypes, especially in outdoor applications, consumer goods prototypes, and the automotive industry.

PC (Polycarbonate) 

Key Features

Polycarbonate is recognized for its impressive combination of impact resistance, strength, rigidity, and hardness, as well as its resistance to high temperatures and stability under heat.

Applications

Its application range includes visual models, cases, jigs, and fixtures.

PC-ABS

Key Features

PC-ABS is a blend of polycarbonate and ABS, providing a unique combination of temperature resistance from PC and flexural strength from ABS. It is noted for its high-impact strength, particularly in low-temperature conditions.

Applications

This material is suitable for creating robust tools and functional prototypes, with frequent applications in the automotive and electronics industries.

ULTEM® 1010

Key Features

ULTEM 1010 is a high-performance thermoplastic polyetherimide, offering the highest levels of heat resistance, tensile strength, and chemical resistance. It also has an exceptionally low coefficient of thermal expansion.

Applications

The material is widely used across industries for high-strength jigs and lightweight composite tooling. Certified grades of ULTEM 1010 can be used in food contact production tools and customized medical applications.

ULTEM® 9085

Key Features

ULTEM 9085 is a high-performance thermoplastic, renowned for its outstanding strength and flame retardancy, making it a viable alternative to metal.

Applications

Its primary applications are in the aviation and rail industries, creating flame-retardant parts required in planes and trains. Its low toxicity also makes it suitable for components in medicine and food industries.

Use the interactive technology and material advisor to find the perfect material for your next project. Try it now to get tailored recommendations based on your project requirements.

Get Started with FDM

Navigating the many material options in FDM 3D printing can be daunting, but with the right information and tools, you can confidently select the material that best suits your project’s needs.

Our team of experts can make that selection process easier for you. Use our on-demand manufacturing platform to upload your design and get an instant quote. Let us know if you’d like a consultation to help select the best-fitting material for your project. We’re here to help.