Printing parts that “work” – the engineer’s desktop

3D Printing brings a whole new dimension to the world of engineers, fabrication and designers. We’ve discussed at length in previous articles the many misconceptions about the world of 3D Printing. In the following article, I’ll focus on the true value of having a 3D Printer in your workflow as an engineer or designer. Just like anything else, a 3D Printer is only one tool among many. But using the right tool for the right job will open new possibilities. It can cut costs, and most significantly, save time.

There’s a lot of hype in the consumer market right now. We all hear of big dreams of a 3D Printer of every home. But currently the technology really shines in prototype development. In particular, this is true for engineers and designers involved in new product development or the redesign of existing products. The ability to get your hands on prototype components, assemblies and complete products and review design issues, improvements and changes is quite simply, invaluable.

The speed of 3D prints

Whether you’re building a tool or fixture, designing a new product, or developing a prototype, as an engineer or designer, you need to fail often and recover quickly. As we know, creating the best possible part design usually requires multiple iterations and redesigns. Previously you would have to wait weeks or even months to see a physical version of your design. But now, 3D Printing has made it possible to get that part created the same day or the next day. This allows creators to print the design quickly, review errors or find improvements, make the changes to the file and print again within a very short time frame.

Today, you can go through 10 iterations in the same time it used 3d-systems-visijet-m3-crystal-mjp-heroto take to complete one using traditional manufacturing methods. Even if that print takes hours or days to complete, you’re still cutting your production cycle down to a fraction of the time spent using traditional methods. Rest assured, there is immense value in turning a design into an object in a timely manner.

 

Complexity is free

This is a phrase you’ll hear thrown around quite a bit in the world of Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing). Traditional manufacturing processes have certain limitations. If you’re using milling or using CNC (Computer Numerical Control) to create a part, you’re removing material from the outside of your block of material and working your way inward. This means any kind of complex internal shape is usually impossible. A CNC machine cannot wrap around corners, but when you’re building from the bottom up, the 3D printer has no problem building organic, complex shapes and structures. If you’re using injection molding, you have to worry about hollow parts, drafting and maintaining wall thickness.

3D Printing doesn’t care about complexity. As long as you’re using some kind of support material system for your part – and using the right material and print method for the job – the complexity of your designs are virtually limitless. Please note that each individual printer will have it’s own limitations you’ll have to work within. However, having access to multiple printer technologies will give you a lot more freedom.

 

MarkForged Printers

Markforged offers a wide range of 3D Printers all specializing in creating parts strong enough for actual everyday use. Developed and manufactured in the United States, these are the only printers on the market that can print parts as strong as aluminum. Their printers generally use two printheads. One builds Nylon parts (or the amazing proprietary Onyx material). The other is a revolutionary new printhead that extrudes composite materials to reinforce the nylon to make solid, strong-as-aluminum 3D Prints. The composite materials used in the machine are Carbon Fibre, Fiberglass and Kevlar, and High-Strength High Temperature Fiberglass.

Mark_x_3D PrinterThe reinforced prints are up to 30 times stronger and 30 times stiffer than ABS 3D-Printed parts. Furthermore, the carbon fibre prints have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than 6061 aluminum. This enables you to create fully functional parts on the printer – rather than pieces prototyped simply for fit before being machined from metal.

Markforged offers a range of options for those looking for more than the standard plastic-jet printers in the ‘prosumer’ price range. Starting at $3499 USD with the Onyx One 3D Printer. Even at its low price point, it has a place in the professional environment. It’s an excellent addition to the Engineer or Designer’s desktop (and totally safe for office use).

The printer ships with everything you need to get started. Including cloud-based Eiger software, giving you full control over customizing your 3D Printed composite fibre model. If you need more materials, you can opt for the Onyx Pro, which has the ability to reinforce with Fiberglass, or the Mark Two, which can print the full range of materials available. Additionally there’s the Mark X, which can print everything the Mark Two can print. However, it has a much larger build size and has a built in scanner to check the part for deficiencies during the print cycle.

Not sure if this printer fits your needs? Give us a call!

If you have any questions, want to see the printers in action, or are looking to order, please don’t hesitate to contact Objex Unlimited 3D Print Studio. You can also read more about the Markforged printers at www.objexunlimited.com

Markforged Announces Onyx – Their most advanced material yet

Markforged announced today the immediate release of Onyx–the most advanced material for Markforged yet–available to all Mark Two Enterprise users. The Onyx material is made up of chopped carbon, and is the first alternative to the base Nylon material. Before all users needed to print with Nylon and reinforce with one of the four fiber materials (Carbon Fiber, Kevlar, Fiberglass, and High-Strength High Temperature Fiberglass). Now users have the choice to print in either Nylon or Onyx and reinforce either with continuous fiber filament (CFF).

The new Nylon material delivers high-performance, finished parts:

  • Embedded carbon enhances performance: Dispersed micro-fibers drive excellent rigidity, dimensional stability, and environmental resistance in parts for rugged use.
  • Cut post-processing out of your process: Onyx parts can be used right off the build plate.
  • Remarkable surface quality: Onyx delivers a stunning matte black finish.

“After hundreds of broken beams and countless reformulations, we’ve created a new material that raises the standard for strength and accuracy,” remarked Markforged’s Chief Scientist Tony Gozdz, “Onyx has more than three times the stiffness of ordinary nylons, and with a heat deflection temperature of 145C, Onyx is perfectly suited for vehicles, machinery, and automation equipment.”

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Onyx’s dispersed micro-fiber is fully compatible with Markforged’s suite of continuous carbon, Kevlar, and glass fibers – both Onyx nylon and Markforged Standard nylon can achieve part strength comparable with metal.

Here’s what people have been saying:

Revolutionary Material

“Now, all of a sudden, you can get great engineering materials, with the properties that you would want in finished products, and that’s really going to be a game changer,” said Carl Bass, Autodesk Chief Executive (and well-known workshop addict). Mr. Bass was the first person to get his hands on Onyx, and immediately put it to use developing parts for his autonomous go-kart.

Industrial Strength

“The new material from Markforged is a critical component of our design process. This material allows us to turn a prototype into a functional part in hours. While the majority of conventional polymers cannot survive as a production part in our manufacturing environment, this new material is thriving. Markforged has developed a material that takes additive manufacturing one step further,” said Rodney Everett, Automation Technician at Dixon Valve Company, a worldwide leader in couplings and fittings.

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Finished Products

“It’s a stiffer material, the edges are true…parts look better and they fit together better. I think we’re going to never look back with this new material… it’s helping us make parts that are direct sale to market,” declared Alan Rencher of Media Blackout, a specialist in customized professional video equipment.

Battle Tested

“This material is fantastic… my team and I are impressed,” said Jamison Go of fighting robot Team SawBlaze. “The dragon head functions as a protective cover and aesthetic. We expect this part to take a lot of abuse, which attests to the confidence we have in this material.”

Team SawBlaze and Team Overhaul, each sporting Onyx and other Markforged reinforced parts in their massive combat robots, will be appearing in televised competition.

Onyx is available on Markforged’s Mark Two Enterprise Kit. The Enterprise Kit includes:

  • A wear-resistant print head that enables the 3D printing of advanced new materials such as Onyx and High-Strength, High-Temperature Fiberglass
  • Software features such as single sign-on, two-factor authentication, and an organizational admin portal
  • Early access to future materials

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About Markforged

Markforged’s mission is to bring high strength 3D printing to everyday engineering. Offering the world’s only 3D printing systems capable of automatically reinforcing engineering plastics to aluminum levels of performance and beyond, Markforged enables every business to easily manufacture parts with structural strength right on the desktop. The Mark Two 3D Printer empowers professional users to affordably create workhorse 3D parts that solve real problems, as well as realize reinforced structures never before possible. Markforged technologies are delivered with thoughtful, powerful software designed for collaboration, sharing, and scaling. For more information, visit https://www.Markforged.com (https://www.markforged.com/).

About Objex Unlimited

Objex Unlimited 3D Printing Studio is a 3D solutions provider and 3D product reseller specializing in 3D Printing, 3D Scanning, 3D Design and 3D Services. We’re leading the 3D printing revolution to explore, develop, and commercialize new applications in 3D. Leveraging unparalleled expertise in 3D technologies, we work with you personally to find a product or solution that will save you time, effort, and money. We will bring your ideas and designs to life by creating working parts, beautiful full-colour models, and rapid prototypes.  Authorized resellers of 3D Systems, Artec, Markforged and LMI Technologies.

Introducing the MarkForged Mark Two

We’re excited to announce the next generation in the line of MarkForged industrial strength 3D printers:

The Mark Two

Just like the previous generation “Mark One,” the Mark Two continues to be the perfect Engineer’s Desktop tool. Designed to create strong parts, while maintaining intuitive and reliable operation, the Mark Two introduces some new key features to help push it ahead. The biggest improvements with the Mark Two are:

  1. Fiber reinforcement in features that are 15 times smaller than before.
  2. 40% faster fiber printing process.
  3. Increased print reliability with additional sensors in the print heads.
  4. Many incremental improvements in software, hardware, and materials to enhance the overall experience, and ease-of-use

This all wraps up into a new printer that’s easier to use and prints even stronger parts.

High Strength Universal Ball Joint

High Strength Universal Ball Joint

The MarkForged Vision

Two years ago, MarkForged blew everyone a way when they unveiled the first ever 3D Printer that could produce parts made of Carbon Fiber, Kevlar and Fiberglass at the SolidWorks show. It was the first time ever you could make end-use and workable parts, strong as aluminum (and a fraction of the weight). And, you could get it all in a printer that sits on your desk. MarkForged has a lot of happy customers by offering a one-of-a-kind machine, backed up with rock solid reliability, and the included Eiger software that is designed to be extremely powerful, while remaining intuitive and easy-to-use.

Our Experience

In our year of working with previous generation Mark One 3D Printer, we can certainly vouch for the reliability of this printer. The MarkForged Mark One is known around here as the printer that “just works.” However, bear in mind there are no miracles. Like any 3D printer, part of the operation includes the basic upkeep such as build plate levelling and the occasional calibration to keep things running smoothly.

With the Mark Two, MarkForged is taking things one step further. While the 40% faster fiber print speed is a welcome addition, we never really found the previous generation to be “slow” for an FDM printer. The biggest breakthrough in our eyes being the ability to fit Fiber into areas and features 15 times smaller than the previous generation. We certainly came across parts and fine features that the Mark One simply couldn’t fit fiber into the build, leading to redesign of he model or tricky work-arounds. The new Mark Two fiber printing capabilities eliminate many of the limitations of the previous generation.

MarkForged has managed to take what is already a reliable, well-designed printer, and improved key aspects to really take it to the next level.

 

Mark Two Composite 3D Printer Standard Kit
$5,499.00 USD

  • Mark Two 3D Printer
  • MarkForged software
  • Fiberglass filament sample, 50 cm3 (3.06 in3)
  • Nylon filament, 1000 cm3 (61 in3)
  • 1 x CFF Quick-change nozzle
  • 1 x FFF Quick-change nozzle
  • Carbon Fiber Filament NOT included

Mark Two 3D Printer and Professional Kit
$8,799.00 USD

  • Mark Two Composite 3D Printer.
  • MarkForged software. Premium software support.
  • Kevlar® filament, 100 cm3 (6.1 in3)
  • Carbon fiber filament, 100 cm3 (6.1 in3)
  • Fiberglass filament, 200 cm3 (12.2 in3)
  • Nylon filament, 2000 cm3 (122 in3)
  • 3 x CFF Quick-change nozzle
  • 3 x FFF Quick-change nozzle
  • 1 additional print beds

Mark Two 3D Printer and Enterprise Bundle
$13,499.00 USD

  • Mark Two Composite 3D Printer.
  • MarkForged software. Premium software support.
  • Kevlar® filament, 100 cm3 (6.1 in3)
  • Carbon fiber filament, 100 cm3 (6.1 in3)
  • Fiberglass filament, 100 cm3 (6.1 in3)
  • High Temp Fiberglass 100 cm3 (6.1 in3)
  • Nylon filament, 2000 cm3 (122 in3)
  • 3 x CFF Quick-change nozzle
  • 3 x FFF Quick-change nozzle
  • 1 additional print beds

MarkForged has announced the Enterprise bundle to their lineup of kits. It includes everything above in addition to a few other key features:

  • The enterprise kit allows you to print fiber material with a heat deflection temperature of 140°C. This is especially important for those of you in the aerospace and automotive industries.
  • Single Sign-On: simplifies access control for companies by tying Eiger access to company specific account

  • Optional two-factor authentication for enhanced security: two different types of logins (ex, phone, txt a code to the phone)

  • Early access to new features (we will start releasing features early as preliminary trial, pre-release, test user reaction with enterprise customers first, by couple of weeks or 1-2 months)

  • Company admin portal: gate access to files, what visible for who, controlling user accounts, access, etc.. 

I encourage you to request a demo with Objex Unlimited. The Mark One was a fantastic innovation that delivered a solution no one else can. The Mark Two takes that innovation to the next level. 

Objex Unlimited 3D Printing Studio is a 3D solutions provider and 3D product reseller specializing in 3D Printing, 3D Scanning, 3D Design and 3D Services. We’re leading the 3D printing revolution to explore, develop, and commercialize new applications in 3D.Leveraging unparalleled expertise in 3D technologies, we work with you personally to find a product or solution that will save you time, effort, and money. We will bring your ideas and designs to life by creating working parts, beautiful full-colour models, and rapid prototypes.  Authorized resellers of 3D Systems, Artec, Markforged and LMI Technologies.