, a ‘global leader’ in 3-D printing and a subsidiary of Stratasys Ltd, has announced that Polymaker
, a leading provider of 3-D printing materials, has qualified three polycarbonate materials for the MakerBot Method X 3-D printer.
Polymaker PC-PBT, PolyMax PC-FR and PolyLite PC are available for printing on the Method X 3-D printer with the MakerBot LABS Experimental Extruder; this extruder turns Method into an open materials platform that enables users to print with a wide variety of third-party materials on an industrial 3-D printing platform.
These latest materials from Polymaker aim to enable Method X users to harness the ‘strong’ mechanical and thermal properties of polycarbonate (PC), while reducing problems such as warping and curling that typically occur when used with conventional desktop 3-D printing machines.
Polycarbonate is a popular high-performance lightweight engineering material that possesses an ‘excellent balance’ of toughness, good light transmission, a high level of heat resistance and electrical resistance.
These properties see PC materials commonly used for functional prototyping and end-use parts in the production of automotive components, protective gear, medical device components, and exterior lighting fixtures.
However, polycarbonate can be challenging to print due to it contracting if cooled too quickly, so controlling the ambient temperature is one of the most critical factors when printing polycarbonate.
The MakerBot Method X 3-D printer features a heated chamber that reaches up to 110°C, letting the parts cool down gradually to minimise curling and warping.
Xiaofan Luo, president of Polymaker, said: “Polycarbonate is often the choice for parts that function in demanding applications. However, anyone who is serious about printing polycarbonate knows that a heated chamber is essential for printing large and strong complex parts.
“MakerBot’s Method is bringing industrial capabilities to a desktop machine, and we think its users will really benefit from the material properties our PC range offers.”