Your Guide to Buying Markforged 3D Printers

This comprehensive guide was created to answer some of the most common questions people have before investing in Markforged 3D printers.

GETTING STARTED

Understanding the Place for 3D Printing in Your Business

For years, 3D printing has been getting press as being “the future of manufacturing” but that is not exactly the case. 3D printing, or additive manufacturing, does offer exciting new technologies and opportunities which have made a lot of manufacturers start doing their research. Before diving in, it is important to really examine your business and the products you make and gain a true understanding of if and how 3D printing can create a positive impact for your bottom line.

Is Your Shop Ready for 3D Printing?

The first step any company thinking about adding 3D printing needs to do is determine if it makes sense for their business. The biggest factor is the type of parts they make. There are three big questions to ask to help determine if and how 3D printing can be incorporated.

  1. What kinds of materials are you working with?
    Examining what materials you currently work with (and the properties those materials have) will help guide you to know what type of 3D printing technology would work best for your application.
  2. Is there flexibility in the manufacturing process or design of the parts you make?
    Parts such as jigs with less strict process or geometry requirements can make good candidates for additive manufacturing.
  3. What is the part’s end use?
    Understanding the function, installation and performance requirements of the parts will help determine if 3D printing is an option.

 

Download the full article from Modern Machine Shop to learn more.

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Identifying Opportunities for Additive Manufacturing

While 3D printing has a lot of hype, it cannot (currently) economically replace high volume manufacturing and massive production capabilities of high-speed processes like injection molding. Instead, one significant way manufacturers are finding they can leverage high strength 3D printing is to complement their maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) efforts. Manufacturers are examining these operations in three key ways:

Additive Manufacturing on the Line
  1. Identifying pain points and cost drivers
    Identify applications for additive technology on your factory floor by going to the source of the challenges that keep you up at night — manufacturing steps that frequently stop or slow production, or are expensive to fix. High strength 3D printing can be used to quickly produce replacement parts or custom alignment jigs, making these challenges excellent starting points for building your additive manufacturing strategy.
  2. Examining factory applications
    Many manufacturers have found success driving down tooling costs in their factories by leveraging high strength 3D printing for applications such as machine setup, fixturing and line optimization. Large cost saving opportunities lie in low volume production such as small batch, custom tooling.
  3. Determining materials in MRO equipment
    One of the broadest ways to discover potential cost reductions with 3D printing in your plant is to search for a few key plastics and metals that are common in MRO parts or manufacturing tooling. Common plastic and metal materials have properties that are readily matched or exceeded by modern high strength 3D printing materials, sometimes in combination with commonly available commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components.

 

Download the "Guide to 3D Printing on the Production Line" whitepaper for a deeper look into this topic.

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How to Buy a 3D Printer

Once you've decided that 3D printing could help you bottom line, you might not know how to get started with making a purchase. We’ve outlined 5 recommended steps to point you in the right direction.

Step 1: Know Your Needs

The most important step in making a 3D printer purchase is to have an internal discussion about your needs. There are many questions you need to answer internally before you can really start any effective research, including:

  • What do you plan to use the printer for? 
  • What types of parts will you be printing, and in what volume? 
  • What specifications do those parts need to meet? 
  • How much room do you have in your shop for printers? 
  • What is your budget?

Step 2: Do Your Research

Once you have identified your needs from a 3D printer, you can start to do some effective research into machines that fit your specifications. Look into materials, features, size and cost to fit your production needs. One of the quickest ways to find suitable machines is to download data sheets from manufacturer or reseller websites. You may also want to attend educational events or trade shows to see printers in action, hold parts printed on them or discuss your needs with a 3D printing expert.

Step 3: Product Demonstration

The next step is often to request a demonstration of the printer(s) you want so that you can discuss applications and your needs with a 3D printing expert in a one-on-one setting. You will have dedicated time to review your specific products needs and budget to determine the best fit. You can also request a sample part to ensure the printer can meet your specifications.

Industrial 3D Printer

Step 4: Quote & Purchasing Process

Once you have decided on the right hardware for your application, the next step will be to request a proposal or quote that includes the details of the product(s), all associated costs, as well as any potential services recommended. From there, you would work on issuing a purchase order and securing payment to complete the purchase.

Step 5: Delivery & Setup

Once your order has been processed, Markforged will ship your new 3D printer directly to you. You will receive shipping notifications as well as a tracking number.

If you purchased a metal printer, the installation guide and prerequisites will be reviewed with you prior to purchase.

For composite 3D printers, once you have taken delivery, setup is simple. Simply follow the appropriate Quick Start Guide. You can also contact the EXBuild Technical Support team for assistance.

 

Markforged 3D Printing Technologies

 

Markforged is known for its industry-leading technologies. Through their metal and composite 3D printing methods, they are changing the additive manufacturing industry with strong, durable parts at affordable price points.

Composite 3D Printing & Continuous Filament Fabrication (CFF)

Many of the Markforged composite 3D printers use Continuous Filament Fabrication (CFF), the company’s flagship technology. These printers use two print nozzles: one for the thermoplastic matrix and a second to lay down continuous reinforcement fibers which provide significant additional strength to the composite parts. By combining thermoplastics with different reinforcement fiber materials, you can get a wide array of combined material properties for different applications.

Composite Printing Materials

Markforged uses a composite material called Onyx for the base thermoplastic material, which is stronger than standard ABS and nylon materials used by other printers. Onyx parts also have a smooth surface finish.

Markforged composite parts

Reinforcement fiber materials include:

  • Fiberglass: for high strength and rigidity
  • High Strength High Temperature Fiberglass: for greater strength, heat deflection and elasticity
  • Carbon fiber: for the highest strength-to-weight ratio
  • Kevlar: for high durability, low density and the ability to bend

 

Composite 3D Printers

Markforged offers two lines of composite 3D printers: Desktop and Industrial.

The Desktop Series includes:

  • Onyx One: for strong composite parts
  • Onyx Pro: for strong parts reinforced with fiberglass
  • Mark Two: for high-performance parts reinforced with any continuous fiber material


The Industrial Series includes:

  • X3: for industrial-grade composite parts
  • X5: for industrial-strength parts reinforced with fiberglass
  • X7: for high-performance parts reinforced with any continuous fiber material, printed fast

For an in-depth look at composite 3D printing, the CFF technology and offerings from Markforged, be sure to review our Complete Guide to Composite 3D Printing.

Read the Guide

Metal 3D Printing & Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing (ADAM)

Markforged introduced Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing in 2017 as they entered the metal 3D printing space. The ADAM method uses metal powder bound together with waxy polymers, eliminating the risks and training associated with using loose metal powders. The bound powder media is spooled similar to plastic 3D printing materials and printed layer by layer. After printing, the parts are washed and sintered to remove the binding and fuse the metal powder together.

Metal Materials

There are already a wide array of metal materials available, with more in development. Current metals available include:

  • Steels: for strength, stiffness and versatility
  • Inconel Superalloy: for corrosion resistance and extreme strength
  • Titanium: for heat resistance and excellent strength-to-weight ratio
  • Copper: for thermal and electrical conductivity

Metal X 3D Printer

The Markforged Metal X system is a best-in-class solution providing everything you need to go from design to fully functional metal parts. The complete system includes the printer itself, a wash system and sintering furnace.

 

For an in-depth look at metal 3D printing and the offerings from Markforged, be sure to review our Complete Guide to Metal 3D Printing.

Read the Guide

Eiger Software

All Markforged printers come equipped with Eiger printing software to import and orient part models. This software is powerful and easy to use right in your web browser. Eiger features powerful fiber routing and slicing intelligence, allowing for granular control when needed. This is also where you select your printing materials. For metal applications, the software will automatically scale up the print to accommodate for shrinkage that occurs in the sintering process.

Want to see one of the 3D printers in action? Contact EXBuild today for a custom demonstration.

Request Demo

Why Markforged?

Cloud Technology & Continuous Improvement

When Markforged 3D printers came out in 2014, people wondered about the Cloud infrastructure. No one was using it in the industry. However, customers noticed the "Power of the Cloud" made it possible to quickly push updates to their printers, something they do quite frequently. As a user, you'll see a pop up window in the Eiger software that details the new features when they're rolled out.

Using the cloud infrastructure enables them to continuously improve the printer technologies and get away from the "obsolescence" conversation. Your 3D printer will not become obsolete, it will be improved via the Cloud to keep on the leading edge of technology and adjust for customer needs. 

Markforged-X5-small

Where to Buy Markforged 3D Printers

Find a Markforged Reseller

The only way to buy Markforged 3D Printers is through a certified reseller like EXBuild.

Markforged printers are sold through a network of certified resellers which provide additional services, product training and ongoing support.

EXBuild is your certified reseller for Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Browse our office locations to find one near you.

Not located in our territory? Head over to the Markforged website to request your quote.

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What is the Price of Markforged 3D Printers?

How much do Markforged 3D printers cost?

Costs of the 3D printers vary greatly based on the size of printer and type of materials you need. As a starting point, the Onyx Pro desktop printer is $9,999. There are also Success Plans available for all Markforged printers which cover priority support, replacement printer parts and more.

Download our Markforged Price List (PDF) to get a comprehensive look at pricing and specs for all of our printers.

Get Price List

Top 3D Printing Resources

Dive in Deeper on 3D Printing

Browse our recommended resources below to learn more about Markforged products and benefits of 3D Printing:

  1. Article: Is Your Shop Ready for 3D Printing?
  2. White Paper: 3D Printing Buyers Guide
  3. White Paper: Guide to Leveraging Continuous Fiber for Strong 3D Printing
  4. eBook: Five Applications of Metal 3D Printing

Inside Markforged Printer

 

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