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MakerBot unveils 3 composite materials for 3D printer

Dec '20
Pic: Business Wire
Pic: Business Wire
MakerBot, a global leader in 3D printing and subsidiary of Stratasys, has introduced three new Kimya ABS composite materials by Armor. These materials have been qualified for MakerBot Labs for the MakerBot Method X 3D printer. The new additions to MakerBot’s materials portfolio bring the total number of materials available for Method customers to 23.

Composites are one of the most in-demand material categories for manufacturing applications due to their enhanced properties compared to unfilled thermoplastics. The new materials include Kimya ABS Kevlar for parts with high strength, abrasion-resistance, and dimensional stability; Kimya ABS-ESD, which protects against electrostatic discharges; and Kimya ABS-EC, a new and unique material that is electrically-conductive.

Kimya ABS Kevlar is an extremely strong yet lightweight and durable material that is known for its use in bullet proof vests and race tires. Reinforced with aramid fibres, this is a composite filament that gives finished 3D printed parts greater strength and dimensional stability. The addition of aramid fibres reduces shrinkage to achieve high precision and high resistance to abrasion. Due to its properties, Kimya ABS Kevlar is ideal for jigs, fixtures, tolls, and end use parts, such as robotic end effectors and protective gear.

Kimya ABS-ESD is an ABS material which has been formulated to possess electrostatic discharge (ESD) properties, which protects against electrostatic discharges that can cause damages to electronics systems and create fire and personal safety hazards. Kimya ABS-ESD is a lightweight and rigid material that offers good impact resistance. The material is easy to print, and is ideal for applications that require protection against electrostatic discharge, such as electronics housings and production fixtures.

Kimya ABS-EC is a new composite material consisting of ABS with the addition of carbon nanotubes, an electrically-active additive. The material allows for the circulation of electrons along its surface, making it electrically-conductive (EC). The material is also resistant to impact, heat, and ageing. Its unique properties open up new applications in the automotive and electronics industry, such as touch sensors.

Parts 3D printed with composite materials can often replace traditionally-manufactured parts, resulting in significant time and cost savings. Armor, for example, has demonstrated cost savings of up to 80 per cent compared to traditional manufacturing methods by 3D printing tools and fixtures with the ABS Kevlar material in its own production facilities. Armor Group specialises in the industrial formulation of innovative materials and thin film coating and is the global market leader in the design and manufacturing of thermal transfer ribbons for printing variable traceability data on labels and flexible packaging.

With its up to 110 degrees Celsius heated chamber and ability to control the speed at which parts cool during the printing process, Method can print strong manufacturing-grade parts from advanced engineering materials more successfully than traditional desktop 3D printers. Users can also produce parts that have internal structures or complex geometries on Method when printing with Stratasys SR-30 soluble supports.

Kimya ABS Kevlar, Kimya ABS-ESD, and Kimya ABS-EC are available to print on the Method X 3D printer with the new MakerBot Labs Gen 2 Experimental Extruder, the latest edition of the Labs extruder. The Gen 2 Experimental Extruder is optimised to print more abrasive third-party composites and polymers for longer periods of time due to its upgraded hardened-steel components, such as the hardened gears and a metal filament switch designed to reduce wear from these materials.

“The MakerBot Labs extruder provides Method users access to a wide variety of 3D printing materials from third-party suppliers," said Johan-Till Broer, VP of Product Development, MakerBot. “The three new ABS composite materials from Kimya continue our expansion into advanced engineering materials that unlock new manufacturing applications. With its up to 110 degrees Celsius heated chamber, Method is the first truly industrial 3D printing platform in its price class, delivering higher precision and strength than desktop 3D printers.”

“The ability to 3D print Kimya composites like ABS Kevlar and Carbon Fibre on the MakerBot Method X has given us a unique combination of tool-grade part performance and high precision in an extremely affordable and accessible package. In our own manufacturing facility, we’ve been able to replace several traditionally-manufactured parts with printed parts gaining a savings of up to 99.4 per cent per part,” said Pierre-Antoine Pluvinage, business director, Armor 3D.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (SV)

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