Stratasys-owned 3D printer manufacturer MakerBot has announced the release of a new material for its METHOD 3D printer, ASA (acrylonitrile styrene acrylate). The filament is the latest addition to MakerBot’s Precision Materials series for METHOD and is well suited for outdoor applications that require resistance to harsh environments—such as those in the automotive, power and gas, agriculture, oil and gas and transit industries.
The engineering-grade ASA material is compatible with the METHOD X 3D printer, which boasts a Circulating Heated Chamber with temperatures up to 100°C. The filament offers a high degree of weather resistance and can thus be used for a range of applications, including outdoor electrical box covers, gardening equipment and side-view mirror housings for cars.
“We are committed to adding a wide range of materials to the METHOD platform to support the different needs of our customers and their applications,” commented Nadav Goshen, CEO of MakerBot. “The METHOD X Circulating Heated Chamber allows engineers to produce strong and durable parts with industrial materials. We believe that ASA can deliver high-performing mechanical properties that will enable companies to develop better products.”
In terms of characteristics, MakerBot’s ASA has similar mechanical properties to ABS but offers better UV resistance, long-term heat resistance and chemical resistance. Even when left outdoors in harsh environments, the material retains its color, gloss and properties much better than ABS.
Used in combination with Stratasys’ SR-30 industrial support material (also compatible with the METHOD X), users can print a limitless range of geometries and parts. According to MakerBot, the two materials result in parts with ± 0.2 mm in dimensional accuracy.
ASA joins MakerBot’s existing line of Precision Materials for METHOD, which includes MakerBot Tough, PLA, PVA and ABS. The range is marketed to the production of prototypes, jigs and fixtures and end-use parts.