All-new MakerBot METHOD Carbon Fiber 3D printer builds metal replacement parts

After spending more than 10-years in business, MakerBot has unveiled yet another expansion to its 3D printer lineup. It’s dubbed MakerBot METHOD Carbon Fiber, and it consists of two models that are both capable of using carbon fiber reinforced nylon. This material is strong enough to replace metal parts, further broadening the capabilities of the MakerBot METHOD offerings. Continue reading to learn more.

MakerBot METHOD Carbon Fiber can replace metal

Whether it be from experience carrying out at-home projects or everyday work in a factory, we all know that machinery and tools need to be strong. 3D printing can be extremely handy for custom solutions, but utility is lost when items strong enough to handle the task at hand.

New MakerBot METHOD Carbon Fiber 3D printers aim to solve this by adding carbon fiber reinforced nylon to the material options at its disposal. This paves the way for replacing metal-based objects in some instances. According to MakerBot, carbon fiber reinforced nylon can actually be lower-cost alternative when compared to metal, which further increases its utility.

“With the launch of METHOD Carbon Fiber, we are making composite 3D printing more accessible to more users than ever before and opening the door to new applications. METHOD Carbon Fiber is the latest addition to the rapidly growing METHOD 3D printing platform,” said Nadav Goshen, President and CEO, MakerBot.

Pricing and availability

The new MakerBot METHOD Carbon Fiber edition 3D printers start at $4,999, but special introductory pricing brings it as low as $3,499.30. At any rate, that’s certainly a hefty chunk of change, but is in-line with what you’d expect to see from high-end 3D printer manufacturers. Unsurprisingly, this model costs more than some of the company’s other 3D printers, but that’s not a shock given the fact that those are more basic units that are incapable of using carbon fiber reinforced nylon.

9to5Toys’ Take

It shouldn’t come as a shock that I am very intrigued by the new MakerBot METHOD Carbon Fiber 3D printer offerings. On both my Creality CR-10 S5 and Flashforge Finder, I have stuck with PLA because it is highly affordable with a wide variety of offerings to choose from. That being said, PLA deforms in high temperatures and often isn’t strong enough to be used in heavy-duty or industrial projects.

The only unfortunate part of this release is that it is largely aimed at companies over consumers. While there’s no reason a consumer would not be able to buy it, price is certainly a barrier as is the requirement to contact MakerBot instead of just ordering on Amazon. All-in-all, I see this release as a win as its capabilities are likely to trickle down to more consumer-grade printers at some point in the future.

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