METHOD Pro Series | Robots – All Axis Robotics Case Study

This custom dual-grit robot sander attachment was designed and manufactured in-house by All Axis engineers in under two weeks using a MakerBot METHOD X 3D printer with strong and durable real ABS material. The robot sander automates the time-consuming manual aluminum sanding operation, helping a machine shop to run more efficiently by freeing up personnel for other tasks. It features two sides with different grid sand pads as well as a connection for a vacuum to remove debris.


SIZE 17cm x 15.1cm x13.7cm

VOLUME                                            410 cm3

CAD TO PART                                   66h 15m

PART COST                                       $110 USD

PRINTED ON                                      METHOD X

MODEL MATERIAL                      MakerBot ABS


• Tooling for robotic arms requires tight tolerances close to ±0.007 in (± 0.2 mm) and hole cylindricity for optimal fit and function. • Large overhangs, carve-outs, and other complex part features are near-impossible to machine, requiring Stratasys® SR-30 soluble support material. • All Axis was able to create their part using production-grade ABS.


The engineering team at All Axis used METHOD X to produce custom tooling with approximately 10 minutes of labor time and at an operational cost of $110—compared to 24 hours of labor time at an operational cost of $3,600 with an in-house CNC machine.

This ability to create custom solutions for customers— combined with rapid turnaround times—has helped All Axis gain a competitive advantage against competitors as more manufacturing facilities upgrade new and legacy equipment to meet the increasing demands of industry 4.0 and the modern global marketplace.


By producing the part with an in-house METHOD 3D printer, the team was able to eliminate undesirable factors typical of traditional manufacturing processes, including expensive machinist time and material costs. And by approaching the part design through the lens of freeform additive manufacturing, the engineers were able to 3D model the part quickly without having to account for complex assembly considerations typical of traditional manufacturing processes. The ability to print with soluble Stratasys® SR-30 supports allowed the engineers to design the sander as one complex part, which would’ve been impossible to machine. METHOD’s dimensional accuracy ensured that the part mated perfectly with the robot arm on the first try. The use of production-grade Real ABS printed in a heated chamber produced a very strong and durable tool that is built to last.

In House CNCPrinting on the Method X
MaterialsAluminumABS / Stratasys ® SR-30
Digital Preparation8 hours (CAM programming)5 minutes (slicing)
Material Preparation16 hr (blank preparation, fixturing)5 minutes (material loading)
Run Time12 hours44 hours
Total Labour Time24 Hours +10 minutes
Total Cost$3600$110

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Ultimaker’s complete solution: 3D printing with high-performance plastics and composites

Ultimaker has a complete solution for high-performance composites on the Ultimaker S5, following collaborations with leading materials companies, including Owens Corning and DSM.

Material profiles for Owens Corning XSTRAND™ and DSM Novamid® materials will become available in Ultimaker Cura. And a new abrasion-resistant print core for the Ultimaker S5 will enable reliable printing with composites.

The new CC Red 0.6 print core, developed in collaboration with Anders Olsson, features a precision-machined 0.6 mm diameter nozzle with a specially customized geometry. With a wear-resistant ruby cone at its tip, this print core ensures reliable 3D printing with composite materials. Also included in the packaging are four spare Ultimaker S5 nozzle covers, for long-term use.

Together with profiles in Ultimaker Cura, this swappable print core will make getting perfect results with these third-party materials as easy and seamless as using Ultimaker filament. No need to manually set printing parameters, and no need to worry about whether your nozzle can handle the abrasion – the print core CC Red was created for a lifetime of abrasion-ready 3D printing.

Owens Corning XSTRAND™

Owens Corning is a world leader in glass-fiber composites with 3D printing labs in France and the US. In response to customer demand, Owens Corning and Ultimaker have worked together to develop optimized Ultimaker S5 printing profiles for their XSTRAND™ GF30-PP and XSTRAND™ GF30-PA6 filament.

The material’s glass-fiber reinforcement ensures strong prints, with good chemical and UV resistance, able to withstand a large operating temperature range.

Dr Chris Skinner, Vice-President of Composites Strategic Marketing at Owens Corning explained: “We decided to partner with Ultimaker due to the high performance and reliability of Ultimaker 3D printers. Teaming up with their material experts resulted in the perfect settings for our materials in Ultimaker Cura.”

DSM Novamid®

Engineering plastics specialists DSM are also creating profiles for their Novamid® ID1030 CF10, a new polyamide for 3D printing parts with properties close to what is usually achievable only through injection molding.

This material is loaded with 10% carbon fiber, which produces stronger, tougher, and stiffer prints, with a printing speed that matches unreinforced plastics. The high strength of this material makes it optimal for demanding structural automotive applications.

Hugo da Silva, Vice President of Additive Manufacturing at DSM commented: “Together with Ultimaker we can contribute to offer a simple, hassle-free solution, as their software and the Ultimaker S5 are fully aligned with our materials to create unlimited high-demanding parts.”

‘Upgrade for each Ultimaker S5’

“Joining forces with these leading material experts will give each Ultimaker S5 in the field an extra upgrade and there will be much more to come,” said Jos Burger, Ultimaker CEO.

The new preconfigured material profiles and print core give Ultimaker customers superior print quality and easier setup when using the best 3D printing materials in the world.

Over time, even more leading brands will release Ultimaker Cura profiles and advanced composites and plastics, providing more material options suitable for professional applications from functional prototyping to end-use parts.

You can buy this amazing upgrade for your S5 here:

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