Oct 4, 2016 | By Tess

Cambridge, Massachusetts-based 3D printer manufacturer Markforged has just unveiled its latest product: the Mark X 3D printer. The newly launched printer is being marketed as the industry’s “most powerful fiber composite 3D printer” and will be available through all of Markforged’s regular retailers for the retail price of $69,000.

The Mark X 3D printer boasts a number of new features over the company’s established Mark Two 3D printer, including a larger build volume (330m x 250 x 200 mm), in-process laser inspection, and a surface finish as fine as 50 microns. According to Markforged, these new features will make the Mark X a game-changer in terms of advancing additive manufacturing, design, and supply chain processes.

The new 3D printer integrates Markforged’s innovative continuous fiber filament (CFF) 3D printing technology, which allows for the manufacturing of fiber composite parts. This, in turn, means that without 3D printing directly in metal, the Mark X can print incredibly strong and precise end-use parts using plastic materials reinforced with various fibers. The Mark X could therefore have applications in the automotive, robotics, prosthetics, and athletic equipment industries, to name but a few. Additionally, with a much lower price tag than industrial metal 3D printing systems, clients might find that the Mark X suits many of their industrial manufacturing needs.

Greg Mark, CEO and founder of Markforged, said of the new release: “We have taken a different path from most of the 3D printing industry with innovation that will create a new bottom line benefit for many manufacturers. We already had success with the breakthrough strength and light weight of continuous carbon fiber in our Mark Two 3D printer - now we added in-process inspection for exact dimensional accuracy, high resolution beautiful surface finish, and scale to open entirely new segments of the industry to efficiencies of what printing can accomplish.”

One of the Mark X’s most notable features is its new in-process inspection system, which functions using a laser sensor to continually test dimensional accuracy to ensure that printed parts are the exact same as their digital model counterpart. Essentially, the laser beam, which is attached to the print head, can scan the printed part at any selected layer to check whether the part meets the expected requirements and tolerances. The laser sensor itself can be controlled by users using Markforged’s signature Eiger software.

Other notable features, such as a high precision build plate, encoders built into the print head for high accuracy, silent stepper motors, and a high stiffness Z-axis motor, all contribute to the Mark X’s promise. Additionally, in using Eiger software, users will now be able to monitor multiple networked printers at the same time, making scaled manufacturing easier than ever. The new 3D printer also boasts a conservative footprint of only 575 x 467 x 920mm, which will allow it to fit into many workspaces or shops.

In terms of materials, the Mark X can accommodate the same materials as the Mark Two, which include Markforged’ plastic materials Nylon and Onyx, as well as the company’s numerous fiber reinforced materials, such as Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass, Kevlar, High Strength, and High Temperature Fiberglass.

According to a press release, the Mark X will ship in 2016’s fourth quarter (Q4).



Posted in 3D Printer



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