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World's First Carbon Fiber 3D Printer MarkForged Mark One


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Jan.28, 2014

Designed to overcome the strength limitations of other 3D printed materials, the MarkForged Mark One 3D printer is the world's first 3D printer designed to print composite materials. Now you can print parts, tooling, and fixtures with a higher strength-to-weight ratio than 6061-T6 Aluminum.
Gregory Mark, the President of MarkFoged, debuted the Mark One 3D printer at SolidWorks World 2014 in San Diego with a working prototype. Mark co-owns Aeromotions, which builds fastest carbon fiber racecar wings and spoilers. Carbon fiber is a super strong material that's also extremely lightweight. It's five times as strong as steel, yet weighs about two-thirds less. Most car components are made of steel. But engineers love carbon fiber because by replacing steel components with carbon fiber they could manage to reduce the weight of most cars by 60 percent.
However only a few cars available at your local dealership use carbon fiber, because making car parts out of carbon fiber is an expensive and difficult process that requires laying pieces by hand. To find a solution, Mark turned to 3D printing. However there is no such a printer existing that can print in carbon fiber.

So Mark designed and created his own: the MarkForged Mark One, the world's first carbon fiber 3D printer. The MarkForged Mark One allows you to 3D print parts in carbon fiber, fiberglass, nylon and PLA, one at a time. It features an anodized aluminum unibody and a translucent printing bed. Kinematic coupling makes it simple to level the bed - the bed clicks into the same place every time, within 10 microns. The printer itself is compact and elegant looking, measuring 22.6 x 14.2 x 12.7 in (574 x 361 x 323mm) which is suitable for your desktop.

Features and specifications:
Printing Technology: Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) / Composite Filament Fabrication (CFF)
Build Size: 305mm x 160mm x 160mm (12″ x 6.25″ x 6.25″, 486ci)
Material Compatibility: Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass, Nylon, PLA
Highest Layer Resolution: FFF Printing: 100 Microns / CFF Printing: 200 Microns
Extruders: Dual Quick Change
Filament Sizes: FFF: 1.75mm, CFF: MF4
Pause / Resume Prints: Yes
Chassis: Anodized Aluminum Unibody
Build Platform: Kinematically Coupled
Draft Blocking Enclosure: Yes
Software: Cloud Enabled
Supported OS: Mac OS 10.7 Lion +, Win XP+, Linux
Supported Browser: Chrome 30+, Firefox 10+, Safari 6+
Supported Files: STL, .OBJ
Connectivity: WiFi, USB, SD Card carbonfibe3

"We took the idea of 3D printing, that process of laying things down strand by strand, and we used it as a manufacturing process to make composite parts," he told PopMech. "We say it's like regular 3D printers do the form. We do form and function."

"Composite Filament Fabrication allows you to 3D print parts that are stronger than CNC machined aluminum by weight." says the company. The racecar wing (see image below) is printed with a nylon outershell and honeycomb structure, with a carbon fiber reinforced core. Carbon fiber is two times as stiff as steel, 20 times stiffer and five times stronger than ABS. Mark expects that customers could explore prosthetics, custom bones, tools, and fixtures with this Mark One carbon fiber 3D printer.

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