Additive Manufacturing Strategies

FX20 Printer & Continuous Fiber Reinforced ULTEM 9085 Increase 3D Printing in Demanding Industries

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Metal and carbon fiber 3D printing company Markforged, which officially went public via a SPAC merger this year and recently launched the cloud-based Eiger Fleet software solution, has been working to maintain its top position for 3D printed industrial end-use parts at the point of need and introduced the new production-ready FX20 3D printer this summer. The official launch of this hardware will occur at Formnext 2021 in November, and everyone in the industry will be able to see how the system, paired with Markforged’s new Continuous Fiber Reinforced ULTEM 9085 filament, can help expand the use of 3D printing in demanding industries like automotive, defense, aerospace, and oil and gas.

The first glimpse of the FX20.

“Markforged continues to build on our innovative legacy and lead the way in composite 3D printing – the future of manufacturing. With the releases of the FX20 and Continuous Fiber Reinforced ULTEM 9085 filament, we’re now fulfilling that promise to manufacturers who previously, in the most demanding environments, were unable to experience the benefits of the Digital Forge and our unique materials. By helping move composites toward robust production, we’ll unlock more functional parts, made of stronger materials of even more impressive size, with applications from the factory floor to flight,” said Shai Terem, President and CEO of Markforged.

The FX20 was precision-designed to scale “distributed global production” and is the company’s fastest, largest, and smartest 3D printer yet. Driven by sensors for high accuracy, reliability, and quality, this new technology can work with high-temperature printing capabilities to take the company’s Digital Forge platform from industrial-strength, accessible composite fabrication to more robust production. Markforged says the system can print the new flame-retardant, high-performance thermoplastic with ULTEM 9085 filament, together with its proprietary Continuous Fiber Reinforcement (CFR) technology, in order to achieve heat-resistant, strong, high-performance parts; this then expands the company’s market for faster, larger, stronger, heat-resistant parts for tough industries.

Markforged 3D printing with Digital Forge.

By pairing Continuous Fiber Reinforcement with ULTEM 9085 and adding the new FX20 to the Digital Forge platform, manufacturers should be able to print composite parts—with just the push of a button—at the point-of-need, which helps beef up operations and replace weaker parts of the supply chain by creating accurate, high-strength parts for more end-use applications.

Markforged says that its FX20 3D printer can produce parts up to eight times faster than the default settings on its other composite systems and is also able to print parts that are almost five times larger than what its next largest printer, the X7, is capable of fabricating, at 525 x 400 x 400 mm in size. Also featuring a heated build chamber that can maintain temperatures up to 200°C, it sounds like the FX20 really is “a beast of a machine,” just like Terem said when the system was first introduced this summer.

The FX20 3D printer by Markforged.

If you’re planning on going to Germany for Formnext 2021, November 16-19, you can see the new FX20 3D printer in-person at the Markforged booth D01 in Hall 12. The printer, and ULTEM 9085 filament, are expected to start shipping worldwide in the first part of 2022.

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