At CES 2015, MakerBot unveiled some impressive new 3D printing material composites that are intended to help designs look more realistic. The PLA-based filaments include real composites of materials like stone, metal and wood, so that the prints are able to look, feel and function the same way these natural materials do. Among the new composites offered are limestone, maplewood, bronze and iron. When printing with a metal filament for example, these new offerings from MakerBot mean that an object will be inherently magnetic, or with wood, an object can even be sand and drilled after it is printed.
These filamants are optimized for the Smart Extruder, now used in MakerBot's 5th-gen printers. Although still in development, it's expected that these materials will be ready to ship later on this year.