Creatz3D Fun Fact Series #3 – FDM and FFF: Application Showdown

Welcome to the third installment of the Creatz3D Fun Fact Series!

Last month, we drew a line between the terms FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) and FFF (Fused Filament Fabrication) and their respective printing results. Click here if you missed that.

So in today’s fun fact, we will be revealing how applications come out in terms of printing when it comes to using FDM and FFF 3D printers respectively.

Results Matter

Application #1 – Prototype Thermoplastic Air Duct

The following are comparison images from 1 FDM and 3 FFF 3D printers. While they are all entry-level printers, they differ in terms of how they are designed, built, and priced. The results could not be any different.

FDM Printer

A professional FDM 3D printer built with hardware, software, and temperature controls lets you produce consistently accurate and professional results.

FFF Printer 1

While it might appear ok, the lower flange is slightly warped. Sufficient heat and tight temperature control is needed to produce wide, flat parts that don’t warp, when it comes to building thermoplastic parts. This is a consistent challenge for desktop FFF printers.

FFF Printer 2

Dimensional accuracy is worse compared to FFF printer 1. You have to reprint your model because of inaccuracies like this and this affects your time in prototyping faster

FFF Printer 3

This total build failure can be caused by a number of errors. This result means you have to consider whether you have the time and knowledge to troubleshoot and fix problems like this.

Application #2 – Interlocking Cube

In the case of an interlocking plastic cube (green) for a modular system, users encountered extremely high failure rate, low durability, uneven surfaces, and low repeatability due to weak layer bonding when 3D printing it with a hobbyist printer.

This is in stark contrast to a cube (beige) printed with an industrial-grade 3D printer with a heated chamber, which yielded smooth surfaces and high accuracy.

Application #3 – UAV Wing

Comparing the two parts that were printed with a hobbyist FFF 3D printer (grey) and an industrial-grade FDM 3D printer (beige), we can see that the latter comes out nicely with smooth surfaces.

This is unlike the FFF printed part which is frayed with stringing issues and uneven surfaces.


When you are new to 3D printing, you want to start small and at the lowest cost possible to get the best possible ROI. But from the above examples, there’s clearly a relationship between price and results.

Granted that FDM 3D printers are not the cheapest around when compared to FFF, but you are paying for something that’s built to last and producing consistent, professional results in every print.

You have to ask yourself – Do you want to make a one-time payment and then the only additional cost is the material you use, or do you want to continually pay to replace printers that don’t perform to your expectations.

So are you ready to take the next step towards reliable 3D printing that matches your goals?

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