What is FFF 3D Printing?

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Updated February 3, 2023

If you are new to the world of physical printing, you may wonder what is FFF 3D printing. Some of the best printers, after all, are 3D printers. The acronym “FFF” stands for fused filament fabrication, using fused layers of material to create the object, and it’s a very popular sub-type of the category. So what exactly is FFF printing, and what are some advantages to this method? Keep reading to find out.


  • FFF stands for fused filament fabrication and refers to printers that use standard 3D filament as part of the 3D printing process.
  • This is one of the most common types of 3D printing technologies out there, available to consumers and commercial sectors in equal measure.
  • FFF printers are budget-friendly and excel at a wide variety of printing tasks, from rapid prototyping to making small toys. Filament boasts a wide range of mechanical properties and is considered a relatively flexible material.

What is FFF Printing?

Fused filament fabrication (FFF) is an extremely popular type of 3D printing in which filament is fused together layer by layer after being heated and extruded via a filament nozzle. This is the most popular method of 3D printing for garden variety consumer printers. This is the same 3D printer design going back to the 1980s when it was first invented and in the late 2000s when the modern version of a consumer-grade 3D printer became a thing.

Insider Tip

When you shop for this type of printer, be sure to also buy various filament spools in different colors to suit your tastes.

Before learning what 3D printer filament is strongest and other queries relevant to FFF printers, it is helpful to understand the basics of 3D printing. 3D printers work by extruding heated materials onto a print bed if you are wondering what FDM 3D printing is. The 3D object is slowly built layer by layer until completed, even if you are wondering why your 3D printer is making a clicking noise.

Of course, there are many types of 3D printers out there if you are learning what an FEP film 3D printer is.

Benefits of FFF Printing

There is a reason why this type of printer remains the most popular for consumers, despite ample competition in recent years. Here are some benefits of choosing a standard FFF printer.


If you are looking for a 3D printer to start a new hobby and you are not looking to lose your home in the process, FFF printers are a good bet. This is a tried-and-true technology, allowing it to shrink in cost in recent years. Sure, you can spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on an advanced design, but you can also spend just a few hundred and get a decent enough printer.

STAT: While it has its origins as a proprietary manufacturing technology from the 1980s, desktop FFF really took off just over ten years ago when patents expired, and projects like the open-source RepRap initiative led to greater innovation and affordability. (source)


These printers find many uses, from rapid prototyping to making small toys, gadgets, and models. They can even make a wide variety of simple tools and replacement components for larger items, as the filament is considered a flexible material.

FFF Printing FAQs

How does FFF work?

This is a standard additive manufacturing process in which filament is heated and extruded. The printing speeds are not the highest here, but filament integrates with materials of varying mechanical properties as part of the additive manufacturing process.

Which solution best fits your needs?

There are many types of printers out there in the world of additive manufacturing, so choose based on desired printing speeds, mechanical properties, your preferred extrusion process, and more.

How does the metal FFF 3D printing process work?

Filament spools are often mixed with metal and other materials with different mechanical properties. This does not impact the additive manufacturing extrusion process, though you might have to adjust the extrusion temperature to account for any melted material and to quicken printing speeds.
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