How It Works

3D printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital 3D data file. The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using an 'additive' process. In an additive process an object is created by laying down successive layers of material until the entire object is created. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.


3Dparts utilises the latest technology and materials available to print your model.

Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM)

Fused Deposition Modeling is an additive manufacturing technology where a semi-liquid thermoplastic material is extruded through a temperature-controlled print head which can be moved in both horizontal and vertical directions by a numerically controlled mechanism, directly controlled by a computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software package. One layer is 'built' at a time to produce highly accurate concept models, functional prototypes and end-use parts. The minimum layer resolution is 0.25mm.

3Dparts FDM 3D Printing Schematic FDM 3D Printing Schematic

Model Material

3Dparts ABSplus Material ABSplus Material

FDM parts are printed primarily in ABSplus material.

ABSplus is a production grade 100% RECYCLABLE thermoplastic and is stronger and more robust than other materials typically used to make 3D printed models. ABSplus models are made to stand up to functional testing under real-world conditions, and can be drilled, machined, sanded, painted, even chrome-plated.

Internal Structure

Low Density Fill Low Density Fill

There a 3 main types of 'fill' available for the closed internal structure or walls of the model. These are 'solid', 'low density' and 'high density'. The image shows a typical cross-section through a 3D printed model created using a low density fill. The type of fill required for a given model is determined during the software processing stage.

Model Size

3Dparts FDM 3D Printer Build Chamber FDM 3D Printer Build Chamber

The maximum build envelope per model is 203x203x152. Larger models are typically split into sections and glued together after printing. Location elements are added to the model sections for ease of assembly.

FDM 3D Printing Demonstration Video

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Useful Links

Free 3D CAD models from a community of mechanical engineers.


In-depth resources of 3D printing.


3D Printing News tracks developments in the world of 3D Printing, Additive Manufacturing and Rapid Prototyping.


TCT is now the only communication portfolio that covers AM and Industrial 3D Printing in print, online and in person — globally.