MakerBot has joined the carbon fibre party with the new Method and Method X Carbon Fiber Edition 3D printers.
Both are pre-configured to 3D print parts straight out of the box, with a new printhead specifically refined for the material profile of its new PA6/66 chopped carbon fibre-filled nylon filament, which was developed in-house.
The other option is to upgrade an existing MakerBot Method or Method X 3D Printer, with the new carbon fibre-ready printhead.
Although there are several 3D printers already on the market for desktop 3D printing carbon fibre-filled filaments, MakerBot’s VP of product development Johan-Till Broer, explained to us that its USP was down to the benefits provided by the Method’s heated build chamber and soluble support materials.
Broer explained that the heated chamber allows for better filament layer bonding, with the ABS-enabled Method X capable of reaching 110°C, and also results in a superior surface finish.
The final part can also be heat-treated for extra strength with the MakerBot Method’s new heated chamber annealing feature.
Additionally, users can print complex geometries with internal cavities by using Stratasys SR-30 soluble support material, while breakaway supports remain should you need a faster print.
A dry-sealed filament bay helps to keep the moisture-sensitive nylon carbon fibre material dry, enabling improved print quality and reliability.
With the Method CF starting at $4,999, and Method X CF costing $6,999, a 30% off offer at launch means both 3D printers squeeze under the $5,000 bracket for businesses looking to experiment with carbon fibre-strengthened parts without having to get sign-off on expensive machinery.
The extruder upgrade for existing Method customers cost $349, and features an interchangeable nozzle (replaceable for $69) which should make if forward compatible for future new filaments launched by MakerBot.
“Nylon carbon fiber is one of the most in-demand and exciting classes of materials,” said MakerBot president and CEO Nadav Goshen.
“Its high strength, heat resistance, and stiffness properties make it ideal for printing metal replacement parts, helping reduce costs and increase overall efficiency for companies.
“With the launch of Method Carbon Fiber, we are making composite 3D printing more accessible to more users than ever before and opening the door to new applications. Method Carbon Fiber is the latest addition to the rapidly growing Method 3D printing platform.”
Method Carbon Fiber, MakerBot Nylon Carbon Fiber, and the composite extruder are all expected to begin shipping in June 2020.
The CF platform stands separate from MakerBot Labs, its line of experimental and verified thirdparty materials and extruders.
The Method product line has been in continuous development almost entirely since its launch in late 2018, with MakerBot confirming even more upgrades and materials are in the pipline for the platform.