MakerBot Method 3D Printer Offers High-Performance Solution

Originally titled 'High-Performance Desktop 3D Printer Offers Industrial Features'

MakerBot has launched its Method 3D printer, bridging the gap between desktop and industrial 3D printing.

MakerBot has launched Method, a “performance” 3D printer said to bridge the gap between desktop and industrial 3D printing. Method leverages industrial technologies and expertise from Stratasys combined with accessibility and ease of use, the company says.

The 3D printer’s industrial features control the 3D-printing process to deliver a high level of precision, reliability and dimensional accuracy, the company says. Method is designed to deliver industrial reliability and precision by controlling every aspect of the 3D printing environment, resulting in repeatable and consistent parts with ±0.2 mm dimensional accuracy as well as vertical layer uniformity and cylindricity. The printer’s dual extrusion system combined with water-soluble PVA provides an improved surface finish, and enables design freedom and unusual geometries, such as complex overhangs without scarring.

The circulating heated chamber provides full active heat immersion during the duration of the print. The printed materials cool at a controlled rate, which enables higher dimensional accuracy, layer adhesion and part strength, the company says. Dual extruders support high-speed printing without compromising part accuracy. A dual-drive gear system grips the material securely while a 19-1 gear ratio allows Method to provide a constant feed of material into the hot end to produce consistent geometry. The new lengthened thermal core is longer than a standard desktop hot end to enable faster extrusion rates and allow for smooth extrusion throughout its high-speed movements and accelerations. The dry-sealed material bays form a seal to keep filament material pristine and reduce moisture absorption, especially for water-soluble PVA. A suite of built-in sensors monitors humidity and alerts users to any changes in the environment.

MakerBot offers two categories of materials for use with Method: Precision and Specialty. Precision materials are extensively tested by MakerBot for the highest reliability and measurably accurate parts and include MakerBot Tough, MakerBot PLA, and MakerBot PVA. Specialty materials are for users looking for materials with advanced properties.

The printer’s Smart Spool provides valuable information, including type, color and amount of material remaining via an RFID chip directly to MakerBot Print, while desiccant in the spool maintains a low moisture level inside the drawer bay. MakerBot Print Software integrates with 25 CAD programs to allow designers and engineers to design with what they know best. For easy collaboration, teams can also save 3D files as projects and share them via the native Cloud Management platform.