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One of the fastest growing types of 3D printing is the FDM/FFF or fused deposition modeling and fused filament fabrication. Both terminologies are correct depending on what exact printer you are referring to. The main idea of these printers is that material is extruded or shot out of an extruder head, allowing for additive manufacturing; wherein material is added to itself to create an object. Real life analogs may include a hot glue gun or a baker frosting a cake.

 

Advantages

-Generally speaking, this is the cheapest form of 3D printing

-Filaments are common and available in many types of material

-Printers spread across the price gambit; from $300-5000 for consumer/hobbyist printers

-Enterprise versions also spread the price gambit

-Easiest to service as consumers

-Filament can be recycled with special hardware

-Supports are easily detached or melted with limonene, water or a number of solvents

Disadvantages

-Some printers have propriety material cartirdges (primarily Stratsys and 3D Systems printers, such as the Makerbot 5th Gen or Cube series)

-ABS can be dissolved and smoothed by Acetone and Acetone Vapor (nail polish remover) but PLA requires harsher chemicals

-Parts are not generally watertight

-Parts generally have a great amount of friction, making it more difficult to create functional gears

-Depending on the printer, only up to 3 different materials can be used in one print, compared to 12 for other forms of printing

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