Any news from 3D printer and materials manufacturer Markforged tends to be big news. The company burst into the spotlight a couple of years ago when they released the world’s first FDM carbon 3D printer, the Mark One, which subsequently evolved into the Mark Two, a powerful and unique machine capable of printing with Markforged’s super-strong composite materials, including carbon fiber, Kevlar, fiberglass and nylon. Now, Markforged has announced the release of their newest printer, even more powerful than the others: the industrial Mark X.
According to Markforged, the Mark X is the most powerful 3D printer on the market. The fiber composite printer is a bigger, stronger version of the Mark Two, building on the earlier printer’s features while adding plenty of new ones. Unlike the desktop-sized Mark Two, the Mark X is a full industrial-sized printer that boasts a big print volume of 330 x 250 x 200 mm. It’s still compact, though, as industrial models go, measuring 575 x 467 x 928 mm for an easy fit inside an office or shop.
The Mark X also features superior print resolution of up to 50 microns, but its most defining new feature is an in-process inspection mechanism that allows users to monitor the dimensional accuracy of parts while they’re being printed. A laser sensor, attached to the print head, can scan parts at any layer the user desires, controlled by Markforged’s cloud-based Eiger software and ensuring that critical tolerances are being met. Users just need to designate a tolerance specification in the software, and if it’s not being met, they can cancel the print remotely before additional time and material is wasted.
The Mark X also includes a high precision build plate, silent stepper motors, and a high-stiffness Z axis motor for both strength and quality. The printer is capable of printing in Markforged’s fiber materials: carbon fiber, fiberglass, Kevlar, high strength and high temperature fiberglass, as well as plastic materials including nylon and the recently introduced Onyx.
“In order to print real end-use parts, you need a trifecta of strength, beautiful surface finish and quality control,” Markforged founder and CEO Greg Mark told 3DPrint.com. “With other printers on the market, you’re making a tradeoff and nothing else out there has all three. The Mark X is meant to be a fully capable production machine for finished parts.”
With the Mark X, manufacturers can 3D print parts with the strength and durability of metal at much lower cost, with a surface finish that closely resembles that of injection molded parts.
“For over a year many of my customers have been interested in a Markforged 3D printer with a larger build volume,” said Daniel Held, CEO of COFFEE GmbH, a value-added reseller of Markforged in Germany. “The combination of a large build size, in-process inspection, composite reinforcement, and the continued reliability and robustness that has become synonymous with Markforged 3D printers is a powerful solution. For companies looking for a way to speed up product lead times or increase bandwidth for revenue generating parts without taking on an expensive total cost of ownership, the Mark X is a must-have.”
The Mark X will begin shipping in the fourth quarter of this year and will retail for $69,000. Discuss further in the Mark X 3D Printer forum over at 3DPB.com.