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Beyond Prototyping: Making Functional Parts with MarkForged

by Pete Basiliere  |  February 1, 2016  |  Submit a Comment

Every company that makes something requires tools, jigs, fixtures and sensors throughout their operation. 3D printers enable manufacturers to modify their equipment and assembly processes to be more efficient and have higher quality.

I recently visited 2015 Gartner Cool Vendor MarkForged for an update on their progress. I held off writing about the visit until today’s unveiling of the new Mark Two printer.

MarkForged came into the market two years ago. Since then they have grown to about 45 employees and moved from a classic startup’s garage to a modern 17,500 square foot office and R&D space in Cambridge MA. The company’s printers are manufactured in another part of the state.

MarkForged is known for its unique ability to create parts with one material (nylon) or two materials in the same part (nylon and either carbon fiber, Kevlar or fiberglass). For example, a 10 ton (20,000 pound) weight was required to finally break this chain link printed with carbon fiber:

MarkForged Chain Link Failed at 10 Ton Load

Photo source: Pete Basiliere

MarkForged positions its printers as not only providing strong mechanical performance and fine details but also affordability. The Mark Two features an enhanced printhead that enables smaller dual material parts to be built. Fiber reinforcement in areas that are 15 times smaller than in the original printer is now possible. Throughput has increased with 40% faster fiber extrusion and a new, higher heat deflection temperature of 140 degrees F.

Mark One Part with Hard Mounting Points

MarkForged Carbon Fiber with Metal Inserts

 

Photo source: Pete Basiliere

The Mark Two is available in three packages. Its base model lists at $5,499 and the Professional version at $8,799. The new Enterprise bundle comes with a higher temperature fiberglass, making it well-suited to automotive and aerospace parts. This model lists at $13,499.

Mark One Output with Attached Electronics and Sliding Sensor

MarkForged Carbon Fiber with Electronics

Photo source: Pete Basiliere

This attractive price point—within the reach of manufacturers worldwide—coupled with its capabilities will place this desktop 3D printer in design studios, R&D labs and production operations worldwide. The most obvious industries that can quickly take advantage of MarkForged include aerospace, automotive, industrial tools, furniture, sporting equipment, industrial machinery, footwear, and medical devices.

Additional Resources

Category: 3d-printing  

Tags: 3-d-print  3d-print  3d-printer  additive-manufacturing  aerospace  automotive  carbon-fiber  cool-vendor  desktop-3d-printer  desktop-3d-printing  fiberglass  fixtures  gartner-cool-vendor  jigs  kevlar  manufacturing  markforged  medical-devices  rd  tools  

Pete Basiliere
Research Vice President
12 years at Gartner
18 years IT Industry

Mr. Basiliere provides research-based insights on 3D printing and digital printing hardware, software and materials. Mr. Basiliere's Maverick research coined the term Generation AI, people born after 2010 who will not know a world without application intelligence in their lives. Read Full Bio




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