Popular Applications of FDM 3D Printing Technology

Fused Deposition Modeling – FDM 3D printing technology, also known as Fused Filament Fabrication – FFF 3D printing technology is one of the most popular forms of additive manufacturing technology. It is by far the most accessible and democratized 3D printing technology all over the world.

2004 saw the rise of this technology and since then it has spread across various sectors and its application shave encompassed various sectors.

Here, through this article we will explain some of the popular applications of this technology.

Popular Applications of FDM 3D Printing Technology


Gaming mouse prototype/Courtesy: 3D Hubs

This is one of the earliest application of the FDM 3D printing technology. It is a well-known fact that the 3D printing technology was invented with the basic premise of rapidly manufacturing prototypes and hence for a long time 3D printing was also known as Rapid Prototyping.

And so, one of the most popular applications of the FDM technology still remains prototyping. According to a report by Sculpteo (The Start of 3D Printing 2019), an online 3D printing service provider from France, Proof of concept and Prototyping still remains one of the most dominating application of 3D printing.

FDM offers a very easy, affordable and quick alternative to manufacturing prototypes.


3D printed arm – Cyborg Beast/Courtesy: Enabling the Future

One of the most rapidly growing application of FDM 3D printing is the field of prosthetics. Since traditional prosthetics are heavy, costly and take a long time to be manufactured, 3D printed prosthetics are largely seen as the disrupters, especially FDM 3D printed prosthetic arms.

A lot of companies manufacture such cost-effective and still functional prosthetics for kids.


Miniature model 3D printing in sandstone/Courtesy: Shapeways

As mentioned FDM is one of the most democratized 3D printing technology and so it helps hobbyists and enthusiasts to rapidly develop new products. They can easily design, iterate, redesign and print a part according to their needs and requirements. Riding the wave of customization, gifting industry is also using 3D printing technology to manufacture gifting items. FDM 3D printing technology perfectly suits the scheme of things as it offer dimensionally accurate, strong and affordable option for gifting products.

Additionally, the FDM 3D printed parts can also be post-processed in multiple ways which helps in creating aesthetically appealing products.

Industrial applications

Manifold-Carbon PA-Automotive/Courtesy: Roboze

It is a common misconception that FDM 3D printing technology can only manufacture gifting products and prototypes. It is an established fact that FDM produces strong and functional products which can be installed in end-use applications.

Parts from desktop FDM 3D printers are sometimes not as strong but industrial 3D printers are capable of producing end-use application parts which can be used in aerospace, automotive, manufacturing and medical applications.


3D printed architectural model/Courtesy: Stratasys

There was a time when architectural models of residential complexes, power plants, stadiums and the like were made by using multiple materials like wood, polystyrene, acrylic, etc. These were not only costlier to make but were also difficult to transport in addition to the long manufacturing lead time.

With the availability of FDM 3D printing technology, the architectural models can now be rapidly printed, transported easily in pieces and easily assembled on location. Additionally, they resemble the original structure to the point.

Pre-surgical models

3D printed Heart/Courtesy: Stratasys

FDM 3D printing technology has been instrumental in helping numerous doctors all across the globe to plan surgeries better by providing them organs which are an exact replica of the specific patient in question. They are accurate in structure, are made hollow or solid according to the requirement, and printed rapidly in a few hours.

This has improved the planning & quality of surgeries, reduced the time required for surgery and even helped in better operation experience for the patients.

Household Items

The FDM 3D printing has not only helped industries and engineers but also influenced regular households by giving them a machine which can be used in their homes to create tools and products needed at home.

By rapidly manufacturing replacement products like buttons, hooks, clips, shower heads, customized luxury items like mobile covers, lamps, and simple goods like pen holders, planters, stackable drawers, keychains, etc. the 3D printing can help the household a lot.

Props & Cosplay

3D printed cosplay – Warhammer/Courtesy: Gambody

3D printing allows for manufacturing detailed models fairly easily. Earlier it was difficult to manufacture cosplay products but FDM 3D printing has helped fans to recreate popular items from their favorite games, TV shows, movies and more.

Artists, enthusiasts and hobbyists have used 3D printing to create such models.

3D printing service bureaus have been largely instrumental in helping people leverage the benefits of the 3D printing technology. Service bureaus are centers where creative artists & engineers come together to provide masses the necessary services and products they need by not only helping them print the product they desire but also conceptualize, design, and later post-process them.

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