MakerBot, a Stratasys company announced that the BASF Ultrafuse 316L Stainless Steel material by Forward AM has been qualified for the MakerBot LABS Experimental Extruder for the MakerBot METHOD 3D printers. These 3D printers work with an open materials platform and a growing portfolio of engineering-grade materials. The printers have a heated chamber that can print polymer, composite, and metal materials.
Ultrafuse 316L Stainless Steel material combines high strength, rigidity and durability for a range of applications including functional prototypes and manufacturing tools. Available using the MakerBot LABS GEN 2 Experimental Extruder, this metal-polymer composite material lets users experiment with metal 3D printing applications without the cost of other options. METHOD’s heated chamber and ability to control the speed at which a part cools down during the printing process can help reduce the risk of delamination.
Once the part is printed with BASF Forward AM Ultrafuse 316L, it can then be sent out to post-processing or specialized manufacturing facilities for debinding and sintering, which turns the part printed with the composite material into solid stainless steel. This process allows users to create stainless steel parts without investing in debinding and sintering equipment. Final parts can achieve up to 96% of the density of pure 316L metal material. Users can produce lightweight, hollow metal parts with high tensile strength compared to polymers that would be difficult to produce in other ways.
Ultrafuse 316L material properties suit manufacturing tools, jigs and fixtures, and end-use parts, such as workholdings that need to withstand high temperatures; brackets that require high strength and custom designs for specialty machinery; or robotic grippers that need to be strong, lightweight, and wear-resistant.
Processing tickets for debinding and sintering are available through Matterhackers, a material and 3D printer reseller in the U.S. MatterHackers is an Ultrafuse 316L authorized reseller, and also offers build plate adhesives needed to print the material and design consultation, which is highly recommended due to the special design requirements for this material.
Ultrafuse 316L and additional debinding and sintering options are available through authorized resellers.
The MakerBot LABS GEN 2 Experimental Extruder enables users to print with a diverse list of third-party materials on METHOD. Users can print engineering-grade plastics and carbon fiber materials, while also exploring applications with experimental metal 3D printing solutions. METHOD’s modular platform lets users easily switch between six different extruders that allow them to print different base and model materials.