CIREX can also produce prototypes using FDM, which stands for Fused Deposition Modelling. This technique prints a plastic model in layers. A plastic thread (called a filament) is melted in a heated extruder head, which prints the lines layer by layer. The plastic 3D model is constructed by printing multiple layers on top of each other.
After the 3D model has been printed, it can go through the normal CIREX process. In this process, besides melting the wax, the plastic must also be burnt out.
Read more about the prototyping process here:
A 3D model can be produced relatively quickly at acceptable costs. Two of the aspects that lower the costs are that 3D models made using FDM have clear layers and seams because of the material used. Nevertheless, this technique is extremely suitable for functional testing and for the start-up of batch production.
Read more about the material used in this process here:
- High surface roughness compared to an FDM print, but very suitable for functional testing
- Lower dimensional accuracy, but very suitable for functional testing
- 3D models can be larger than is possible with wax printing
- Relatively low costs of start-up process, as improvements to the design are quick and easy to implement
- Suitable for production of larger numbers of prototypes