In February metal 3D printing came to the METHOD Platform for the first time through a partnership with BASF. Just plug in the MakerBot LABS GEN 2 Experimental Extruder, and it’s ready to print BASF Ultrafuse 316L Stainless Steel. Once printed send your part out for debinding and sintering, and the result is a solid stainless steel part.
While STLs are often the goto for 3D printing, exporting an STL can cause issues with detail loss, disrupt your workflow or even just create additional clutter on your computer. That’s why CloudPrint added the ability to directly import native CAD files such as .catpart, .dae, .glb, .iges, .igs, .ipt, .obj, .par, .sab, .sat, .sldprt, .wrl, .x_t, .3mf - in addition of course to .stl and .makerbot ! As a bonus - you can see all files of an assembly grouped together in the model manager.
While METHOD X has been able to print ABS with unparalleled dimensional accuracy since its launch, one drawback was historically the need to print using dissolvable supports that required a chemical bath within a relatively expensive washtank. RapidRinse is a tap water soluble support material that is compatible with a new, improved formulation of ABS called ABS-R. RapidRinse not only dissolves in tap water, but it dissolves up to 10x faster than PVA or SR-30 making it the fastest dissolving support material for the METHOD platform!
The 2022 Guide to 3D Printing Materials
In June, the METHOD platform got the Clean Air System - a dual HEPA and active carbon filtration system that enables users to gain even more control over their work or classroom environment. Clean Air plugs directly into METHOD’s on board computer allowing it to be throttled up or down depending on material and chamber temperature providing optimal environmental conditions both inside the build chamber and out. UL’s Greenguard stamp of approval found it filters up to 100% UFPs and it is the only desktop 3D printer filter to also filter out VOCs thanks to its carbon filter.
Print Preview within CloudPrint got a major upgrade in 2021 with both a speed improvement - 70% faster to print preview - and the addition of Advanced Print Preview which allows you to see a detailed layer by layer view of the slice with the ability to toggle on heatmaps and other analytics such as speed and temperature - you can also compare two slices side-by-side.
While it’s true that METHOD X already had the best track record when it comes to reliability, consistency, and dimensional accuracy for ABS 3D printing in the desktop landscape, that doesn’t mean that our engineers were satisfied. Enter ABS-R, a new formulation of ABS with better performance characteristics and reliability unparalleled with any material on the METHOD platform with well over a 99% success rate.
MakerBot METHOD materials have hundreds of hours of print test optimization which is what you get in the standard print modes from balanced, to solid, to draft mode. That said, there are plenty of ways to customize your prints if you want to get more advanced - for example printing PLA faster without the heated chamber turned on and without the use of supports. Custom Print Modes in CloudPrint allows you to not just change the settings, but to actually save and name them for future use. You can also import custom print modes that your colleagues, friends, or your uncle Joe, have shared with you.
It’s no secret that METHOD-Series 3D printers are designed to control more environmental variables than other desktop 3D printers in order to achieve industrial print quality and consistency. In that same effort, the new Material Dry-Kit allows you to better recover moisture-sensitive material that has been exposed to high levels of humidity. Just insert your spool into the bag with the included desiccant packets, place the bag into the chamber of your printer, and start Material Drying Mode - found within settings.
CloudPrint introduced project queuing a year ago in which you could pre-slice jobs even if a job was currently running on the printer. With the latest update you can skip the queue - (ie. start your print immediately if there are no prints printing). You can also start the next print in the queue right from your printer’s touchscreen making for a seamless transition from one print to the next and maximizing your printer’s time.
In 2021 we made 2500+ settings exposed for customers who are using the LABS Experimental Extruders. To access, users can go into “Display Expert Settings” and expand the “Experimental Settings” category. You can search for settings using the search bar.