Markforged and Hartwig Join Forces for a New Era in Midwest 3D Printing

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In a move to enhance the Midwest’s manufacturing landscape, Hartwig, a key player in advanced manufacturing solutions, has teamed up with 3D printing specialist Markforged (NYSE: MKFG). This collaboration holds the potential to impact the industrial capabilities in the region, introducing new technological avenues.

Recognized for its range of 3D printing solutions, Markforged offers technologies enabling high-performance parts production. Their product range, which includes the newly unveiled FX10 printer, is designed to meet the evolving needs of the factory floor. Markforged’s technology has metal 3D printing capabilities, facilitating the creation of intricately designed parts with less demand for post-processing.

“This collaboration is a game-changer for Hartwig’s customers looking to embark on their additive manufacturing journey,” says Hartwig Vice President Greg Hartwig. “Both of our companies have very similar mission statements and are closely aligned in our values, with the goal being to help manufacturers every day, at every level.”

Markforged’s FX10. Image courtesy of Markforged.

Markforged’s president and CEO, Shai Terem, shared similar views: “Together, we can empower more customers across the Midwest to leverage the power of 3D printing to create stronger, lighter, and more efficient parts and reduce their reliance on the supply chain for tools, fixtures, and jigs. Markforged is on a mission to reinvent manufacturing with The Digital Forge, our complete additive manufacturing platform consisting of industrial 3D printers, enterprise software with process improvement tools, and a wide range of industrial materials.”

In fact, Digital Forge, Markforged’s comprehensive additive manufacturing platform, plays a pivotal role in this partnership. This platform integrates industrial 3D printers, enterprise software, and various industrial materials, potentially significantly modifying manufacturing practices in the Midwest.

As for Hartwig, the brand has a significant footprint in the Midwest, with over 12,000 machine tools installed across 14 states. The company’s expertise covers a broad spectrum of manufacturing processes, including additive manufacturing, turning, milling, grinding, and electrical discharge machining (EDM). Hartwig has come a long way since being established in 1960. In the field of AM, it has already partnered with EOS, FormAlloy, Sodick, and Solukon. The Markforged activities at Hartwig will be coordinated by Additive Manufacturing Sales Engineer Jens Kautzor, who stated that Markforged products will enable customers to create parts that are not possible with other traditional manufacturing methods that Hartwig offers.

Strides in 3D tech

This partnership comes at a time when the Midwest (traditionally known for its manufacturing prowess) is progressively adopting 3D printing, mirroring a global trend toward additive manufacturing. For example, in automotive, companies like Ford in Michigan are leveraging 3D printing for rapid prototyping and production of complex components. Similarly, in healthcare, the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota is pioneering the use of 3D printing for surgical planning and producing patient-specific models.

Educational institutions are also playing a crucial role in this shift. For instance, the University of Michigan‘s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning is exploring innovative architectural designs and construction methods through its advanced 3D printing lab. This is preparing a new generation of architects and engineers skilled in these emerging technologies. Furthermore, the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) in Wisconsin has recognized the need for skilled 3D printing professionals. It has established a dedicated Rapid Prototyping Center that serves the needs of its students but also offers training and services to local businesses, helping to bridge the skills gap in the region. The Hartwig-Markforged partnership is expected to boost this technological adoption, offering localized, cutting-edge solutions across various industries.

Blueprints for progress

Yet, it’s essential to acknowledge the recent challenges faced by Markforged. The company has been notified by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) of non-compliance with specific listing standards, highlighting some financial hurdles. Despite a strong performance over the past three years, Markforged has experienced slower-than-expected revenue growth, with forecasts indicating a potential downturn next year, in contrast to the broader industry’s growth trajectory.

While this financial aspect is essential for stakeholders and potential investors, the partnership with Hartwig presents Markforged with potential opportunities. These opportunities might help improve its market position. However, it’s important to note that such outcomes are not guaranteed and tend to depend on a combination of factors beyond this single partnership. By leveraging Hartwig’s extensive network in the Midwest, Markforged can tackle some immediate financial challenges while seeking long-term strategic objectives. Ultimately, this alliance is set to be a critical factor in shaping the additive manufacturing landscape of the region.

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