Services | 3D Print Bureau of Texas

Which Technology Do I Need: FDM or PolyJet?

FDM Thermoplastics

PolyJet Photopolymers

Real Thermoplastics

Smooth Surface Finish

Strong, Stable & Durable

High Resolution

Tight Tolerances

Final Product "Look & Feel"

Production Grade Materials

Multiple Colors & Materials














3D Print Bureau of Texas offers a variety of technologies and materials for your project. The following provides an overview of the FDM and PolyJet processes. 

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)

FDM is an extrusion process which builds parts from layers of a variety of extruded materials. FDM is often selected when dimensional accuracy and physical part strength are required. If your part will be used in production and are under load, FDM materials provide strength and dimensional stability over time. 

FDM offers real thermoplastics with functionality and durability. Ten material options range from commonly used plastics like ABS to the highly advanced, like Ultem. Material options include anti-static, FST rating (Flame, Smoke, and Toxicity), chemical resistance, and very high temperature resistance. FDM can also make soluble patterns for challenging manufacturing jobs.

Both FDM and PolyJet offer biocompatible materials with USP Plastic Class VI to ISO 10993 ratings.

The FDM extrusion process can produce visible layer lines on side walls and "tool paths" on top and bottom surfaces. These can be reduced or eliminated with post processing techniques including vapor smoothing and sanding.

PolyJet Photopolymers

High resolution and fine feature detail are hallmarks of the PolyJet process. Using 600 x 600 dpi printing in 16 to 32 micron layers, PolyJet will reproduce very small features and fine-grained textures. When feature resolution is a prime consideration, PolyJet is the best fit.

PolyJet provides a near paint ready surface right out of the 3D printer. With minimal wet-sanding and polishing, it can deliver a smooth, glossy surface that is ready for fine finishing such as electroplating and a mirror-like finish.

FDM and PolyJet have comparable dimensional accuracy. Both technologies deliver tight tolerances for engineering prototypes. If your application has considerable strength requirements for the 3D printed parts, FDM is generally the preferred option.

PolyJet offers an incredible variety of materials. Over 130 options are available, ranging from real thermoplastics to thermoplastic-like resin, rigid to flexible, and opaque to transparent.

PolyJet offers product realism across a wide spectrum of requirements. With it's unique unmatched digital Materials (3 materials blended at the print head), there are over 130 options offering range of hues, colors, transparencies, strength, rigidity, and flexibility.