MakerBot is arguably the “biggest” name in consumer-grade 3D Printers, and at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show they have come to the party in a huge way after announcing a new line of filament.
Dubbed Composite PLA, these four new flavours of filament will allow makers to create more beautiful and realistic objects than ever before. Let’s take a peek at them:
These new filaments are composed of both PLA, the common thermoplastic we all know and love, and fragments of the materials that each ‘flavour’ is designed to replicate; wood, bronze, iron and limetsone. The benefits that these new additions to the MakerBot family will bring are chiefly surrounding the way prints look and feel. That is, as MakerBot’s Kevin Miller writes, customers will be granted the ability “to create prototypes that look and feel like the real thing so that [they] can accelerate Real-Time Prototyping—without purchasing a new 3D printer!”
In addition to simply replicating the aesthetics of metal, wood and stone, MakerBot’s Composite Filaments will also take on some characteristics typical of the materials they are imitating. For example, an object printed using Iron Composite Filament will adopt magnetic properties, and may carry additional weight to its standard PLA counterparts, whilst prints built of Maple Composite Filament can be sanded or stained– just like traditional wooden sculptures.
MakerBot’s Composite Filament will be available for purchase towards the end of the year, and we’re very excited to see what the community is able to produce using them. These, in combination with a fifth-generation printer and the new Smart Extruder, will help bring a new dimension to MakerBot’s already impressive catalog of products.