Aug 16, 2017 | By David

Leading 3D printing company Markforge today announced a couple of new additions to its line of 3D printers, which should greatly expand its reach into the industrial 3D printing market as well as improving the options available for existing customers. The release of the X2 and X5 industrial 3D printers will mean that the company has more price points covered than ever before, and there will now be few serious manufacturers of any size that don’t stand to benefit from Markforge’s impressive products and services.

Markforged has established a reputation for itself as the only 3D printing platform that prints the entire range of strong parts, from carbon fiber to metal, as well as offering a complete cloud managed 3D solution to clients. The company has experienced growth of around 300 percent in 2017 alone. NASA, Google, Ford, Amazon, General Electric and many other companies in 50 different countries have made use of Markforged’s services, for end-use parts as well as same-day prototypes.

Markforged’s Industrial Series is a range of high-end 3D printers that is perfect for companies who still want to manufacture locally. Local 3D printing is growing in popularity but can still often prove difficult for companies to implement, due to the long lead times involved with some machines, and the relative weakness of parts produced using other, faster 3D printing systems.

“For 30 years, 3D printing customers have been forced to accept trade-offs between strength, time, and affordability -- lacking the opportunity to benefit from all three. With the complete Industrial Series and new Metal X printer, these trade-offs no longer exist,” said Greg Mark, Markforged’s founder and CEO. “Customers can now, with ease, print same-day parts that optimize strength and affordability for their specific needs.”

The company’s flagship Continuous Carbon Fiber (CCF) 3D printer is the X7, which is currently available for around $69,000. The machine, which was previously known as the Mark X, is capable of printing parts that are 23 times stronger than ones 3D printed using conventional ABS materials, and it is also the only machine on the market for under $1m that offers integrated laser-based quality control and inspection.

The X3 and X5 will be joining this illustrious line of 3D printing products, and hopefully adding their own value to the company’s portfolio. The X3 is available for the disruptive price of $36, 990 and prints with Onyx, a high temperature capable carbon fiber filled nylon. The thermoplastic parts it produces are all engineering-grade, with impressive material strength and stiffness.

The X5 also prints with Onyx, but offers some other features and capabilities that make it stand out, for the still relatively affordable price of $49, 900. It can reinforce its 3D printed parts with a strand of fibreglass, which makes them 19 times stronger and 10 times stiffer than those produced using conventional 3D printing plastics.

Markforged is also offering an affordable, industry-exclusive upgrade program that allows customers at any time to leverage their initial investment in an X3 to upgrade to an X5 or X7, thus gaining access to stronger materials and better inspection utilities.

Dixon Valve, a hose fitting and accessories company, implemented Markforged’s products to accelerate its production cycle some years ago, bringing their 3D printing in-house in order to save time and money. “Our first Markforged printer paid itself off in less than 1.5 months and saved us over 81% versus machining,” said Bill Hollingsworth, vice president of engineering at Dixon Valve. “This is why we're excited to be first in line to bring the capabilities of one of Markforged's new industrial line printers in-house."

 

 

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