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Choosing Between MJF and FDM 3D Printing: A Comprehensive Comparison

Updated: Mar 5

When it comes to 3D printing, the Printing Portal offers two cutting-edge technologies: FDM (Fused Deposition Modelling) and MJF (Multi Jet Fusion). Understanding the nuances of each is crucial for selecting the best option for your specific needs.

FDM 3D Printing:

Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) stands out as one of the most recognized 3D printing technologies. Our Builder Extreme Large Format FDM machines are designed for versatility across diverse markets, making them larger and more efficient than typical desktop machines. The FDM process involves extruding layers of material, starting from the machine bed, with overhanging sections requiring additional support.

Large Format FDM 3D Printing a vase.  It is translucent in colour.

MJF 3D Printing:

Multi Jet Fusion (MJF) is a cutting-edge powder bed process developed by HP. Layers of powder are selectively fused using heat energy from lamps, controlled by deposition of binding and detailing agents. Unlike FDM, MJF requires no support material, allowing for efficient batch production with parts fully suspended within the powder. MJF offers superior surface finish and features automated finishing systems such as Vibro Polishing and AMT Vapour Smoothing.

MJF 3D Printing Nested build of parts

Surface Finish:

MJF excels in surface finish, offering a desirable look off the build with thinner layers and a uniform appearance. FDM, with its larger layer height, often requires hand finishing for optimal results. However, both technologies can achieve a glossy finish with additional labour and cost.

MJF Finish:

Multi Jet Fusion 3D Printed Model an eagle.  It is grey.

FDM Finish:

FDM 3D Printed Model Sink.  It is white,  the layer lines are visible.

Fully Finished FDM Part:

Fully hand finished painted large FDM 3D printed Part.  It is glossy white in colour, and the layer lines are fully hidden.

Small Features and Max Size:

MJF outperforms in printing small features due to its 0.08mm layer height and lack of support material. For large-scale projects, our Large Format FDM service is ideal, boasting substantial build volumes compared to MJF.

A 3D Printed oil rig model printed with MJF.  The purpose is to show the very fine details in the hand rails that can form with MJF.

Colour Options:

MJF defaults to a grey colour, but our DyeMansion DM60 can provide a vibrant range for batch colour-changing parts. FDM offers standard Black or White filament but can be customized with various PLA colours. Our paint shop is fully equipped to add a touch of colour or finish to both FDM and MJF prints.

DyeMansion Coloured Dyed MJF 3D Printed Parts.  It shows a range of colours that we can dye parts to.

Eco Credentials:

Choosing the environmentally friendly option depends on your values. While PLA in FDM is widely recycled, MJF materials have varying recyclability. We prioritize recycling PLA waste and offer multiple material options for MJF with different refresh rates and recyclability.

Price, Lead Time, and Strength:

FDM printing typically comes at a lower cost, but MJF's speed becomes advantageous for numerous small parts. For project-specific price comparisons, reach out to us. MJF boasts superior material properties compared to our PLA-only FDM machines.


For batch production & parts with fine details our MJF Printing Service is the better choice, for large models for a competitive price our FDM Service is the best.

Printing Portal is your partner in innovative 3D printing solutions. Whether you choose the versatility of FDM or the precision of MJF, our expertise and state-of-the-art technology ensure exceptional results. Dive into the world of 3D printing with us, where every project is a masterpiece in the making.

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