MakerBot’s Method X brings real ABS 3D printing to manufacturing at a fraction of the cost

MakerBot has announced the launch of Method X, a manufacturing workstation engineered to challenge traditional manufacturing with real ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) material, a 100°C chamber, and Stratasys SR-30 soluble supports to deliver exceptional dimensional accuracy and precision for complex, durable parts. Method X is capable of printing real ABS that can withstand up to 15°C higher temperatures, is up to 26% more rigid, and up to 12% stronger than modified ABS formulations used on desktop 3D printer competitors. Real ABS parts printed on Method X have no warping or cracking that typically occurs when printing modified ABS on desktop platforms without heated chambers.

Desktop 3D printer manufacturers attempt to get around part deformation that occurs, due to the high shrinkage rate of the material, by using a heated build plate in combination with altered ABS formulations that are easier to print but compromise thermal and mechanical properties. MakerBot Precision ABS has a heat deflection temperature of up to 15°C higher than competitors’ ABS, which are modified to make material printable without a heated chamber. With Method X, the 100°C circulating heated chamber significantly reduces part deformation while increasing part durability and surface finish.

The MakerBot Method X combines industry expertise and technologies from Stratasys with MakerBot’s accessibility and ease of use to provide professionals with an industrial 3D printer at a disruptive price point.

MakerBot ABS for Method has excellent thermal and mechanical properties similar to ABS materials used for injection moulding applications—making it ideal for a wide range of applications, including end-use parts, manufacturing tools, and functional prototypes. A 100°C Circulating Heated Chamber provides a stable print environment for superior Z-layer bonding—resulting in high-strength parts with superior surface finish. With the MakerBot Method X, engineers can design, test, and produce models and custom end-use parts with durable, production- grade ABS for their manufacturing needs.

Also new is the availability of Stratasys SR-30 material for easy and fast support removal. Method X is the only 3D printer in its price class that uses SR-30—enabling unlimited design freedom and the ability to print unrestricted geometries, such as large overhangs, cavities, and shelled parts. The combination of SR-30 and MakerBot ABS is designed to provide outstanding surface finish and print precision.

“When we initially launched Method, we broke the price-to-performance barrier by delivering a 3D printer that was designed to bridge the technology gap between industrial and desktop 3D printers. This made industrial 3D printing accessible to professionals for the first time. Since then, we have shipped hundreds of printers and received positive feedback from our customers on the precision and reliability of the machine,” says Nadav Goshen, CEO, MakerBot. “With Method X, we are taking a step further to revolutionise manufacturing.Method X was created for engineers who need true ABS for production-ready parts that are dimensionally-accurate with no geometric restrictions. Method X delivers industrial-level 3D printing without compromising on ABS material properties and automation in a new price category.”

Engineered as an automated, tinker-free industrial 3D printing system, Method X includes industrial features such as Dry-Sealed Material Bays, Dual Performance Extruders, Soluble Supports, and an Ultra-Rigid Metal Frame. Method X’s automation and industrial technologies create a controlled printing environment so professionals can design, test, and iterate faster. The lengthened thermal core in the performance extruders are up to 50% longer than a standard hot end to enable faster extrusion, resulting in up to two times faster print speeds than desktop 3D printers.

These key technologies—combined with MakerBot ABS for Method—are designed to help engineers achieve dimensionally-accurate, production-grade parts at a significantly lower cost than traditional manufacturing processes. Engineers can print repeatable and consistent parts, such as jigs, fixtures, and end-effectors, with a measurable dimensional accuracy of ± 0.2mm.

This announcement from MakerBot comes hot on the heels of its expansion of its materials offering with polyethylene terephthalate glycol, better known as PETG. PETG is the first Specialty Material to be released for the MakerBot Method 3D Printer. Method Specialty Materials are designed to provide advanced material properties for engineers who demand even higher performance.

“PETG is the first in a new line of materials for Method. Our customers have been asking for different materials to use for a wide range of applications that require high strength and durability,” said Goshen. “PETG is one of the most widely used polymers today. Because of its advanced properties and versatility, we view PETG as an excellent material to be used on the manufacturing line and for short-run production runs.”

Engineers and designers use 3D printable parts made of PETG with speed and agility that can withstand industrial applications, including functional prototypes, jigs and fixtures, and end-use parts.

This industrial-grade material has a heat deflection temperature of up to 70°C and strong layer adhesion designed to reduce shrinkage and warping during printing. PETG is resistant to moisture and many chemicals, including some alkali and acidic substances. It can be used with Method’s water-soluble PVA for complex parts and effortless support removal.

PETG has greater strength and flexibility qualities than other materials, such as PLA and ABS, and is odourless when printing. Further, the material prints with a glossy finish and has a good degree of ductility.

Method Specialty Materials are intended for users looking for advanced material properties. They provide basic print performance and can require additional workflow steps to print successfully. PETG requires the application of an adhesion stick to the build plate prior to printing.

MakerBot also has a line of Precision Materials that are the primary materials developed for Method and cover the majority of use cases for prototyping, jigs and fixtures, and end-use parts. These materials have been extensively tested by MakerBot for the highest reliability and measurably accurate parts. These materials currently include MakerBot Tough, MakerBot PLA, and MakerBot PVA.

Author
Engineering Materials

This material is protected by MA Business copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.

 

Supporting Information
Do you have any comments about this article?
Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

© MA Business Ltd (a Mark Allen Group Company) 2019