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.
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.
Download the full article from Modern Machine Shop to learn more.
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:
Download the "Guide to 3D Printing on the Production Line" whitepaper for a deeper look into this topic.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Reinforcement fiber materials include:
Markforged offers two lines of composite 3D printers: Desktop and Industrial.
The Desktop Series includes:
The Industrial Series includes:
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.
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.
There are already a wide array of metal materials available, with more in development. Current metals available include:
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.
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.
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.
The only way to buy Markforged 3D Printers is through a certified reseller like EXBuild.
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.
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.
Browse our recommended resources below to learn more about Markforged products and benefits of 3D Printing:
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