3D printing with real engineering-grade thermoplastics

Written by: Stratasys GmbH | Published:

A good prototype doesn’t just look like the finished product, it functions like it as well. But, a great prototype will be made of the same material as in-service parts to blur the line between prototype and low-volume production, and offer near like-for-like physical properties as products made using traditional processes.

Using Stratasys FDM (fused deposition modelling) 3D printing machines allows engineers to make parts in a variety of thermoplastics including ABS, polycarbonate, ASA, Nylon 6, carbon fibre composites and even elastomer. The materials are all industrial-grade and include some high-performance engineered thermoplastics.

The 18 available FDM materials offer numerous properties that include transparency, biocompatibility, FST certification, biocompatibility, chemical resistance, sterilisation-compatibility, high thermal resistance and high strength.

FDM additive manufacturing extrudes micron layers of thermoplastic to build final parts. As with most additive manufacturing processes, FDM machines use a sacrificial support structure, but the ABS materials have something few others do: no-touch support removal. A soluble support material eliminates manual labour and parts can be placed in a tank for the supports to be dissolved away.

FDM thermoplastics are used in numerous industries from aerospace to automotive, rail to medical – to go beyond prototyping and into jig, fixtures, and low volume production end-use parts. Increasingly, FDM thermoplastics are replacing metals and helping many industries lightweight components.

Find out more in this white paper about the variety of standard, engineering and high-performance thermoplastics. Learn about the different FDM thermoplastics and get essential information regarding application fit, material characteristics and discover the best choice for your use case.

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