New York-based MakerBot is behind some of our favorite 3D printers. Today, December 11, it’s adding to its already impressive offerings with Method, a so-called “performance 3D printer” that aims to bridge the gap between home 3D printers and more industrial 3D printing tech. Tantalizingly, it promises some of the features that were previously available exclusively to industrial printers for a price more in line with what consumers would expect to pay.
“In an age of disruption, businesses are under pressure to innovate and bring products to market faster,” MakerBot CEO Nadav Goshen said in a statement. “Current desktop 3D printers derive their DNA from hobbyist 3D printers and are insufficient for many applications in the professional segment. We believe that Method is the next step in helping organizations adopt 3D printing at a larger scale. Method provides a breakthrough in 3D printing that enables industrial designers and mechanical engineers to innovate faster and become more agile.”
Method promises a faster workflow for users, courtesy of Dual Performance Extruders capable of delivering 2x faster print speeds than typical desktop 3D printers. It also aims to introduce new standards in desktop printer reliability, precision and — every bit as important — repeatability when it comes to 3D printer parts. Features such as its special circulating heated chamber control the temperature and quality of every layer you print. The result, at least according to MakerBot, is that Method boasts levels of precision previously found only in pricey industrial-grade 3D printers.
Another pro feature entering the home market for the first time are special dry-sealed material bays, which form a seal that stops your filament material from absorbing moisture. This is especially important for water-soluble PVA, which is prone to absorbing moisture when left in the open. The dry-sealed bays are aided by a suite of in-built sensors which constantly monitor humidity levels and let you know if there’s a significant change in the local environment.
All of this tech is controlled via a 5-inch capacitive touch display, capable of showing you all you need to know about your latest print job. It’s even possible to keep tabs on prints remotely, thanks to an onboard camera which streams footage to your app.
This all comes at a price, of course. However, that price is considerably lower than many of the high-end printers Method might be competing with. It starts at $6,499, with shipping set to start in early 2019. Pre-orders are available today. If you’re serious about your 3D printing, this could be the machine for you!