Markforged may always be known as the company that developed the world’s first carbon fiber 3D printer, the Mark One. Since introducing the now prolific 3D printer, however, the company has branched out into other types of machines – namely, metal. In January 2017 Markforged announced the release of the Metal X, the company’s first metal 3D printer. It wasn’t just an ordinary metal 3D printer, either, but one that introduced a new technology: Atomic Diffusion Additive Manufacturing, or ADAM.
ADAM works by printing parts from a metal powder contained in a plastic binder. The binder is removed after the print job is complete, and then the parts are sintered, allowing metal crystals to grow throughout them and imparting superb strength. The technology, according to Markforged, is fast, inexpensive, and can produce parts with geometries that other 3D printing techniques cannot, such as closed-cell honeycomb infill.
Markforged began shipping the Metal X in April of this year, and today the company announced that it has already shipped more than 100 machines. Markforged expects to double that number by the end of the year. Its shipments already represent 10% of the market.
“Demand for affordable, strong, and safe metal 3D printing has never been greater,” said Greg Mark, CEO and founder of Markforged. “Markforged is drastically reducing the barriers to entry and opening up additive to more and more businesses every day. We can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store.”
The Metal X retails for a fraction of the cost of other metal 3D printers as well as traditional manufacturing machines, and according to Markforged, customers are already saving hundreds of thousands of dollars per part, 3D printing functional prototypes, tools and fixtures, injection molds and even end-use parts. Metal X is helping manufacturers accelerate time to market for new hardware by rapidly decreasing iteration cycles of traditional product development. It’s also reducing the need for inventory, allowing manufacturers to 3D print parts on demand. Manufacturers are seeing reduction of shipping costs and simplification of logistics with the ability to send part designs directly to 3D printers anywhere.
Re3DTech is a service bureau that was founded in 2016 by Russell Beck and Jim Teuber, who now serve hundreds of customers using Markforged metal and composite 3D printers.
“Markforged – especially the Metal X – accelerated our ability to serve a higher level of the industry,” said Beck. “We’re educating more and more companies everyday on the power of additive. Customers can see the performance of the machines in an actual manufacturing environment and it’s incredible to watch them hold a Markforged-printed part for the first time. With Markforged, we nearly always exceed their expectations, and we don’t need hazmat suits or a million-dollar machine to do it.”
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