Polymaker qualifies Polycarbonates for Makerbot

Polymaker has qualified three polycarbonate materials for use with MakerBot’s Method X printer through its Labs extruder, which I’ve previously covered here.

Polymaker has qualified three new polycarbonate materials for use with Makerbot’s Labs extruder for the Method X 3D printer.

Essentially, the Labs extruder adds value to the Method X printers by opening them up to work with materials from a number of other materials specialists, including Polymaker. The materials have to be tested to work with the Method X and Polymaker has already qualified its PolyMax PC polycarbonate from earlier this year when the extruder was officially launched.

However, Polymaker has now qualified three further polycarbonate materials for use with the Method X. These include the Polymaker PC-PBT, a polymer blend that combines the chemical resistance of PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) with the strength and toughness of polycarbonate. It’s said to do  well under extreme circumstances, whether in contact with hydrocarbon-based chemicals or operating at subzero temperatures. It maintains good toughness and natural ductile fracture behavior at low temperatures.

Then there’s PolyMax PC-FR, a flame retardant polycarbonate material that meets the UL-94 V0 standard on fire safety. It’s said to be strong with good heat resistance and is said to be suitable for use in the automotive, railway, and aerospace industries.

The third of these materials is PolyLite PC, made with a polycarbonate resin specifically engineered for 3D printing. It’s suitable for applications that require good stiffness and light diffusion, such as outdoor light housings. It has a transparent colour with good optical clarity.

Polycarbonate offers a good balance of toughness, light transmissions, heat resistance and electrical resistance. Consequently polucarbonate is often used for functional prototyping and end-use parts in the production of automotive components, protective gear, medical device components, and exterior lighting fixtures. But it can be a difficult material for 3D printing as it requires good temperature control. 

Xiaofan Luo, PhD, president of Polymaker, commented: “Anyone who is serious about printing polycarbonate knows that a heated chamber is essential for printing large and strong complex parts. 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.”

To further strengthen PC parts, Polymaker recommends annealing them right after the printing process to release the residual internal stress. The combination of Method’s heated chamber and annealing feature is designed to enable users to produce strong, manufacturing-grade parts. 

You can find more information on these materials from polymaker.com and on the Method printers from makerbot.com.





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