The UK retailer of desktop 3D computers CREAT3D will now sell MarkForged’s Mark One 3D printer (Somerville, MA, US), which is the world's first composite 3D printer.
The motivation behind creating the Mark One was to use 3D printing hardware to automate the composite layup process to offer a broader capability over standard FDM desktop 3D printers, while producing high-strength parts that would have an end-use application.
With dual extruders, the Mark One uses FFF (fused filament fabrication) and CFF (composite filament fabrication) to provide functional nylon parts with the ability to add reinforced fibers in carbon fiber, Kevlar or fiberglass, producing parts with the strength of aluminum. With the Mark One, you can also pause a print and add components before continuing the print, allowing you to embed sensors, electronics, hard mounting points and more into the 3D-printed part.
The Mark One uses engineering grade nylon to evenly fill contours and curves with close-packed reinforcement. The printer actively switches between two nozzles during a print, creating fiber-reinforced plastic parts with a strength-to-weight ratio reportedly better than aluminum. Finished parts are at least five times stronger than the plastic routinely used in 3D printing, according to the company, enabling engineers to print real parts, tooling and fixtures.
"We’re making the most mechanically robust desktop 3D printer," said Greg Mark, founder and CEO of MarkForged. "No other printer can match the printing repeatability and print head accuracy at this price. On top of that, we’ve commercialized the best method for printing usable parts with fiber reinforcement to enable faster design cycles, more meaningful prototype testing and will change the way that products are developed for years to come.”
The Mark One can connect via Wi-Fi, Ethernet or USB memory stick and is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems. It comes with MarkForged’s Eiger Software which is cloud enabled to allow for easy access and collaboration, with faster processing times.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be adding the Mark One 3D printer to our existing line-up of high quality desktop 3D printers,” said Simon Chandler, managing director of CREAT3D. “As the UK’s supplier of MarkForged products, this printer offers an unparalleled ability to really push product design and development for both our business and higher-education customers. With the ability to print in Nylon with fiber reinforcements, it provides the opportunity to create not only advanced prototypes, but high quality end-use parts.”