MakerBot, a global leader in 3D printing and subsidiary of Stratasys launched METHOD Carbon Fiber. The new METHOD Carbon Fiber Editions enable engineers to print stronger and more accurate parts for manufacturing tools, jigs and fixtures, and end-use production, and can be used to print metal replacement parts in some applications.
The carbon fiber editions print carbon fiber reinforced nylon optimized for high strength and heat resistance. The METHOD 3D printers come pre-configured with a new composite extruder optimized to handle abrasive materials. The new extruder, which is also available as an upgrade for the METHOD and METHOD X 3D printers, has hardened metal drive gears, a metal filament switch, and an interchangeable hardened steel nozzle. It can print MakerBot Nylon Carbon Fiber and all other model materials supported on the METHOD platform.
The material is a lightweight alternative to metal for structural applications such as vehicular brackets and inspection gauge, manufacturing tools such as robotic end effectors, and under-hood and tooling applications. Used as an alternative to metal parts, carbon fiber can help reduce costs and increase overall efficiencies for companies.
METHOD’s heated chamber produces strong manufacturing-grade nylon carbon fiber parts with good surface finish. Users can print complex geometries with internal cavities with MakerBot’s PVA soluble support material and anneal the final part for extra strength with METHOD’s heated chamber annealing feature. With the METHOD X Carbon Fiber Edition, users can print complex geometries using Stratasys SR-30 soluble supports for an even better surface finish. Breakaway supports are also available for faster print results. METHOD’s dry-sealed filament bays help to keep the moisture-sensitive nylon carbon fiber material dry, resulting in better print quality and reliability.
MakerBot plans to offer additional composite materials available for METHOD Carbon Fiber and the composite extruder for METHOD in the future. Since the METHOD X has a higher chamber temperature of up to 110°C on the build plane, it will be able to support a wider range of high-performance composite materials in the future than METHOD, which has a chamber temperature of up to 60°C. METHOD Carbon Fiber, MakerBot Nylon Carbon Fiber, and the composite extruder are expected to begin shipping in June 2020.