MakerBot introduced the MakerBot LABS Experimental Extruder for METHOD. The new extruder turns METHOD into an open materials platform, enabling users to print with a wide variety of third-party materials on an industrial 3D printing platform. The MakerBot LABS Experimental Extruder for METHOD is now available for sale and shipping to customers.
The news comes on the heels of the successful launch of the METHOD Materials Development Program, announced in November 2019, which allows leading filament companies to qualify their materials for the MakerBot LABS extruder. The program has gained significant momentum since it was announced and MakerBot has added leading materials suppliers BASF 3D Printing Solutions and LEHVOSS Group to its growing list of partners, which also includes Jabil, Polymaker, Kimya, and Mitsubishi Chemical.
"By transforming METHOD into an open materials platform, we provide our users with an incredibly powerful tool to realize their ideas. Engineers can now print a growing number of advanced third-party materials on an industrial 3D printing platform, which was designed to produce stronger and more accurate parts than competing desktop 3D printers," said Johan-Till Broer, VP of Product Development, MakerBot. "We have partnered with some of the best material companies in the industry to rapidly expand and diversify the materials portfolio for METHOD. With our partners and customers, we will explore the boundaries of what's possible with METHOD to unlock new applications."
New 3D printing materials
The new MakerBot LABS extruder encourages engineers to push the limits of what’s possible with METHOD 3D printers by experimenting with new 3D printing materials. METHOD’s industrial capabilities are ideal for printing parts with advanced materials that allow engineers to unlock new 3D printing applications. With its 100°C heated chamber, METHOD can produce parts that are stronger and more accurate than those printed on a desktop 3D printer with a heated build plate. Soluble SR-30 supports from Stratasys and water soluble PVA enables the user to print complex geometries with advanced engineering materials that are difficult to print successfully on a desktop 3D printer.
With a modified hot end, the new MakerBot LABS extruder gives users advanced customization options for new materials, including interchangeable nozzle assemblies and expanded print settings in MakerBot’s print preparation software, MakerBot Print. The LABS extruder can reach up to 300°C, and includes sensors that track temperature, materials, and extruder jams.
MakerBot is actively working with its partners to qualify specific materials for the METHOD platform. Recommended materials for the MakerBot LABS Experimental Extruder for METHOD include:
- Polymaker PolyMax™ PC: Polycarbonate (PC) has excellent toughness, strength and heat resistance. PolyMax PC works well with METHOD’s soluble SR-30 supports to print more complex parts than on a desktop 3D printer. This filament opens new applications in the automotive, railway and aerospace industries.
- Jabil PETg ESD: Jabil Engineered Materials PETg ESD is an easy processing, Electrostatic Dissipative (ESD) product for printing parts that meet sensitive electronics and could be damaged by electrostatic discharge.
- Jabil TPE SEBS 1300 95A: A flexible material with a 95A durometer that bends, flexes, and stretches, and has demonstrated success in printing complex geometries. Unlike other elastomers, SEBS 95A is not sensitive to moisture and doesn’t require drying.
- Kimya ABS CARBON: An ABS composite material with 30% chopped carbon fiber for improved stiffness and compression strength, as well as lower weight than regular ABS.
- Kimya PETG CARBON: PETG reinforced with carbon fibers for excellent stiffness and increased tensile strength over regular PETG.
- Mitsubishi Chemical DURABIO™: DURABIO is an engineering, bio-based, BPA free resin. It combines PMMA’s transparency with a higher chemical and scratch resistance compared to polycarbonate (PC). The core applications for the material are in automotive, housing, interior and exterior décor.
The MakerBot LABS Experimental Extruder for METHOD can be purchased as an additional accessory. New materials for the MakerBot LABS extruder can be purchased directly from MakerBot’s partners. Companies interested in joining the MakerBot Materials Development Program can contact MakerBot at firstname.lastname@example.org.