- 2017 SPIE. After years of development, Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) has become the most popular technique in commercial 3D printing due to its cost effectiveness and easy-to-operate fabrication process. Mechanical strength and dimensional accuracy are two of the most important factors for reliability of FDM products. However, the solid-liquid-solid state changes of material in the FDM process make it difficult to monitor and model. In this paper, an experimental model was developed to apply cost-effective infrared thermography imaging method to acquire temperature history of filaments at the interface and their corresponding cooling mechanism. A three-dimensional finite element model was constructed to simulate the same process using element birth and death feature and validated with the thermal response from the experimental model. In 6 of 9 experimental conditions, a maximum of 13% difference existed between the experimental and numerical models. This work suggests that numerical modeling of FDM process is reliable and can facilitate better understanding of bead spreading and road-to-road bonding mechanics during fabrication.