MakerBot has announced that they have qualified BASF Ultrafuse 316L Stainless Steel material via MakerBot LABS Gen 2 Experimental Extruder for the METHOD platform. This means that the METHOD platform is the only industrial desktop 3D printer in its price range with a heated chamber that can print metals, composites, and plastics, and become even more accessible than ever before to a larger audience.
Combining high strength, rigidity, and durability, Ultrafuse 316L Stainless Steel supports a range of applications including functional prototypes and manufacturing tools. With the LABS experimental extruder, users have an accessible and cost-effective option to experiment with metal 3D printing without having to invest heavily in a dedicated solution.
Compared to traditional methods, 3D printing stainless steel parts can not only shorten the time it takes to produce them but also reduce operational costs. The heated chamber of METHOD X and the ability to control the cooling down speed during the printing process, also helps to reduce the delamination risk.
After printing is completed, the “green” part needs to be sent to a service provider for debinding and sintering, so that the part printed with the composite material can be turned into solid stainless steel.
Final parts can achieve up to 96%1 of the density of pure 316L metal material and they can include lightweight, hollow metal parts with high tensile strength compared to plastics that would otherwise be difficult to do in other ways.
By supporting a metal filament as part of the MakerBot LABS program, customers now have an easier and more affordable way to experiment with 3D printing metal before investing in a full printing, debinding, and sintering solution.Johan-Till Broer, vice president of Product Development, MakerBot
The material properties of Ultrafuse 316L make it ideal for:
- manufacturing tools
- jigs and fixtures
- end-use parts
- workholdings that need to withstand high temperatures
- brackets that require high strength and custom designs for specialty machinery
- robotic grippers that need to be strong, lightweight, and wear resistant