3D printing will become even more realistic as new filaments are now going to be available for use. MakerBot, the New-York City based 3D printer manufacturer announced at this year’s International CES that it will be using new PLA-based filaments which are made with the components of stone, wood and metal. With these new filaments, you can now print out different things without the least difficulty. Printing out new stone sculptures won’t be a problem any longer. The company has also announced a feature for its latest 3D printers which will allow monitoring them remotely.
Read Also – 3D Systems Showcases new 3D Printers at CES 2015
PLA Composite Filaments
The new PLA composite elements will be created in three categories- stone, metal and wood. The materials generally, are mixed in powder form with regular PLA filament which is used for 3D printing. By mixing these two, a special type of filament can be created. The objects which are printed with this filament will have a few characteristics of the material used and will look like it. For example, if you mix metal with PLA filament and use it to 3D print an object, the item will be magnetized and will be heavier to the same item which you print using pure plastic PLA filaments.
These objects printed with PLA Composite Filaments are realistic, beautiful materials of high stability.
At the CES, MakerBot displayed different samples of objects which were 3D printed using these new types of filaments. A 3D printed hammer was displayed which looked like a normal hammer and it could also be used to hammer light objects.
MakerBot Replicator Smart Extruder
The potential of the MakerBot Replicator Smart Extruder will be realized with the use of these new materials. This design is used in the 5th generation 3D printers of MakerBot and will be able to swap in a new extruder which is optimized for these filaments, within a few minutes. With the quick swapping ability, the Smart Extruder is crucial in creating composite 3D items. You don’t have to purchase a new 3D printer to create the realistic prototypes.
The extruders and these new filaments will be shipped in late 2015.
Mobile True Remote Monitoring
MakerBot is also planning to add this feature in its latest 3D printer. It will be available in early 2015. The feature will help in monitoring 3D printing jobs remotely via cell signal or Wi-Fi. This feature will be really helpful because a print job often continues for hours and might be difficult to sit in front of the printer for such a long time.
It can be expected that once the PLA Composite Filaments are released in commercial market, the demand for 3D printing will go even higher.
What’s your take?
Do you think the new filaments will help in the growth of 3D printing? Are you going to try them out? Share your views in the comments below.
Image & Article Source – makerbot.com