Makerbot's Unusual New Materials
Fabbaloo posted on January 15, 2015 |
While Makerbot didn't announce a new machine at last week's CES it did debut a host of new and uniqu...

3d printing, fabbaloo, makerbot, materialMakerBot did not announce any new machines this week, but they did announce some rather unusual filaments. 

Previously the company’s complement of official plastic filaments varied only by color and weight. Now, that’s changed. They announced the availability of what they’re calling “PLA Composite Filaments”. 

They’re standard PLA filament, but infused with other substances to form a composite 3D printing material. The prints then take on the properties of the added substances. MakerBot announced the availability in “late 2015” of four composite filaments: 

  • Limestone: produces a “stony” print for rock-like applications
  • Maple: includes wood fibers and produces sandable, drillable wood-like prints
  • Bronze: a polishable material can result in shiny objects
  • Iron: prints can be magnetized or presumably develop a rusted surface

These materials will permit printing of new object types with vastly larger practical uses. One early example produced by MakerBot is a standard hammer, shown above by MakerBot’s Tristan Hinds. The hammer’s head is printed in Iron, while the handle is Maple. The heft and feel of the hammer are correct, although a bit light as this particular print did not use solid infill. Nevertheless, it could definitely be used for light duty hammering. 

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