Many desktop 3D printers use heated build plates to try and regulate their environment and prevent warping on the print bed. This improves adhesion to the build plate for the first layer and… that’s about it. METHOD uses the patented Circulating Heated Chamber to rapidly warm the entire build chamber up to 100°C providing optimal print conditions from first layer to last. The result is a degree of dimensional accuracy typically reserved for industrial 3D printers (±0.007 in), at the base layer and everywhere else.
When it comes to FDM 3D printing, the toolhead or extruder is one of the most important features. Based on an industrial-grade design from Stratasys, METHOD’s extruder was designed from the ground up with the professional in mind. With an all new lengthened thermal core, dual drive gears with 19:1 gear ratio of torque, and MakerBot’s industry-leading intelligent sensor suite, METHOD comes with significantly improved print quality and speed.
With two of these extruders standard on METHOD and METHOD X, you can now print with dissolvable supports like PVA and SR-30 allowing you to design AND print real world production parts with the utmost complexity.
ABS is one of several polymers and composites that can be tricky to print because of its sensitivity to temperatures during the print (it shrinks up to 2% when cooled). Most 3D printers use a modified ABS, resulting in lower part strength (up to 26% lower) and heat resistance (up to 27°F lower). METHOD (like Stratasys) is able to control its print environment through hot air circulation. This allows METHOD to print with real, production-grade ABS resulting in superior parts.
With MakerBot LABS for METHOD, print in a range of polymers and composites like ABS Carbon Fiber, PETG ESD, and PC-FR.
PLA | TOUGH | PETG | PVA | ABS | ASA | NYLON | SR-30 | + more to come
One of the dirty little secrets of dual-extrusion 3D printers is the frustration that can come with the manual calibration of the extruders on most desktop machines. METHOD automates this process so you can focus more on product design and less on maintenance.
3D printing in even a remotely humid environment can negatively impact print quality, not to mention compromise reliability and part dimensional accuracy. In short, humidity is not the friend of FDM 3D printers. METHOD utilizes dual material bays that are sealed from the outside environment to protect your filament from exposure to damaging humidity. That, combined with desiccant in each Smart Spool, a protective mylar storage bag that comes with each Smart Spool, and the new Material Drying mode that allows you to revive old spools, allows METHOD to work reliably and accurately from the lab to factory floor.
Material loading on 3D printers can be a pain. METHOD’s material loading system is designed to take complexity and frustration out of the equation. Just drop the Smart Spool into the Dry Sealed Material Bays located on the front of the printer, and feed the filament tip into the slot, close the drawer and the printer loads the filament all the way up and into the extruders so that it’s ready to print.
Printer body stiffness translates directly into part reliability and precision. We’ve taken a page out of the Stratasys playbook by implementing a heavy-duty, all metal architecture utilizing die-cast and extruded aluminum that extends from the bottom of the printer to the top.
MakerBot was one of the first 3D printer companies to create a connected experience with WIFI connectivity, on-board camera monitoring, and print-from-anywhere control. Now, METHOD is MakerBot’s first fully-connected professional 3D printer, bringing added benefits like real-time filament information, humidity monitoring, custom material profiles, and native CAD integration with industry leaders Solidworks, Autodesk, and OnShape. All of these benefits are accessible remotely through the MakerBot Print desktop app and the MakerBot Cloud browser-based app, whether your printer is in the lab or in another time zone.
The build surface is another crucial element in FDM 3D printing. Whether you’re printing in ABS, Nylon, or just PLA, an uneven surface can lead to a warped print. METHOD combines two elements to create a unique solution. First is an aluminum base plate, machined and factory-calibrated for extreme flatness. Second is a spring steel build plate that magnetically conforms to the base plate via a dozen high-strength magnets. This not only provides flatness, but also makes print removal a breeze. Just pick up the build plate and flex it to pop the print off.
The steel build plate also quickly heats to the temperature of the chamber to give it extra hold throughout the print.
MakerBot developed one of the first interchangeable extruders for the desktop FDM 3D printer market with the Smart Extruder. With METHOD, that concept has taken a step forward. The ability to quickly swap the extruders makes METHOD a growing platform with ever-improving interchangeable hardware (ie. Experimental Extruder for METHOD) while allowing for simple, tool-free maintenance. Unlike the previous generation of MakerBot 3D printers, METHOD’s extruders are securely locked into place with a latch mechanism – minimizing extruder wobble and contributing to METHOD’s unique dimensional accuracy spec.