Additive Manufacturing Strategies

AM Investment Strategies Profile: Markforged

ST Medical Devices

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The speaker lineup planned for the SmarTech – Stifel AM Investment Strategies 2021 summit on September 9, 2021, will include Markforged (NYSE: MKFG) Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Mark Schwartz. The executive will join other AM experts in the first dedicated 3D printing investment event to discuss topics such as venture and private equity, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the public and private markets, and investments. There has been excitement surrounding the Massachusetts-based 3D printing company after it recently went public. Markforged started trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on July 15, 2021, under the ticker symbol “MKFG,” following its completed merger with the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) one.

Headquartered in Watertown, Massachusetts, the startup was the first to introduce continuous carbon fiber 3D printing to the industry before venturing into low-cost metal 3D printing. Since its inception in 2013, the company has been hoping to change the landscape of what is possible to manufacture, taping into the $13 trillion global manufacturing industry.

Focused on its carbon fiber and metal 3D printing offering, it has introduced a wide range of platforms to the market. Its complete line of machines includes the Onyx One, Onyx Pro, and Mark Two desktop composite systems, as well as industrial composite 3D printers the X3, X5, and X7. These machines are supported by composite base materials like nylon and onyx, as well as continuous fiber materials like aramid fiber and fiberglass.

So far, Markforged has been well-positioned to become a critical partner for leading manufacturers and organizations, including Toyota, Porsche, Bosch, Tesla, NASA, and the U.S. Air Force, just to name a few. In addition to providing scalable 3D printing products to nearly every vertical, from aerospace to energy, it has the world’s largest fleet of cloud-based industrial 3D printers, capable of powering thousands of top manufacturers and brands across the globe. For example, the technology has been leveraged by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)’s Team Co-STAR to print parts for field use in the DARPA Subterranean Challenge. At the same time, French multinational Saint-Gobain improved the overall workflow of production activities after they started using the Markforged X7.

Markforged has the world’s largest connected fleet of industrial 3D printers after the launch of its Digital Forge platform.

Markforged has the world’s largest connected fleet of industrial 3D printers after the launch of its Digital Forge platform. Image courtesy of Markforged.

In 2020, the company launched its new platform, a cloud-based 3D printing software called The Digital Forge. The novel system combines industrial-strength 3D printers and materials with AI-powered software, allowing designers, engineers, and manufacturers to go from design to part more efficiently through continuous learning to improve the parts’ quality. The Digital Forge platform seamlessly combines best-in-class machines, software, and metal and composite materials to help customers solve demanding applications across countless industries, like aerospace and healthcare.

Overall, thanks to its new SPAC merger and public status, Markforged wants to create a powerful path toward a more mature technology and more cost-effective end-use parts. Unlike 2020, this year saw some great foundations for the company. Aside from the new deal and initial public offering (IPO), Markforged had several key product launches, including a new ruggedized 3D printer for composites, an upgrade to its Metal X 3D printer, a software update, along with news that it will unveil its newest system, the FX20, at Formnext this November.

As its newest 3D printer, the FX20 is anticipated to be the largest, quickest, and “most sophisticated” 3D printer the company has yet produced. Users can expect to 3D print high-temperature thermoplastics reinforced with carbon fiber with greater strength, accuracy, and performance than previously possible with continuous fiber reinforcement. All of this will be powered by the Digital Forge.

Markforged goes public at the New York Stock Exchange.

Markforged goes public at the New York Stock Exchange. Image courtesy of Markforged.

As part of a series of announcements in early 2021, Markforged revealed that Schwartz would be joining its management team. The addition came when the company entered uncharted waters, just before it began trading publicly. Moreover, according to Markforged CEO Shai Terem, Mark Schwartz’s relevant experience and track record as a public company CFO is “invaluable.”

The seasoned financial executive has over two decades of experience leading capital markets transactions and as part of management teams at high-growth hardware manufacturing and SaaS and AI companies. Once an attorney specializing in M&A transactions, private placements, and technology licensing, Schwartz most recently served as the CFO of computer vision and artificial intelligence provider Trax. Before that role, he was the CFO & EVP Strategy & Corporate Development at Fabrinet, which provides precision optical and electromechanical engineering and manufacturing services.

Markforged CFO Mark Schwartz

Markforged CFO Mark Schwartz. Image courtesy of Business Wire.

Markforged CFO Mark Schwartz will be speaking with several other industry experts during the second half of the day at the upcoming SmarTech – Stifel AM Investment Strategies 2021 summit, discussing topics such as the firm’s SPAC merger. You can register for this free virtual discussion here.

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