Designing for Optimal FDM Surface Finish
FDM® technology is increasingly used to create final production parts, particularly in the aerospace and automotive industries. The durable but lightweight nature of FDM materials make them well-suited for industrial applications, and the FDM design process is ideal for applications that require custom part designs.
However, a barrier preventing the adoption of FDM for some production parts is its surface finish. Due to the nature of additive manufacturing, parts produced with FDM have visible build lines and surface inconsistencies. This is acceptable for most applications, but is undesirable for parts that require a smoother and/or more aesthetic finish. However, techniques are available to mitigate this surface roughness. These techniques optimize the appearance of parts and allow companies to use FDM technology to its maximum potential.