MarkForged is a 3D printer manufacturer based in Somerville, Massachusetts, in the United States of America.
In 2014 at the 3D conference SolidWorks World, MarkForged introduced their first 3D printer to the general public, the Mark One. The Mark One was available in two different versions at this time: the Mark One Standard and the Mark One Professional. Both 3D printers were designed for a professional use, but the Professional version added an extended customer support and a few features compared to the Standard.
The Mark One is one-of-a-kind 3D printer with two extruders using the Composite Filament Fabrication (CFF), an innovative 3D printing technology. The first print head extrudes a Nylon substrate. The other print head is a composite 3D print head which reinforce the substrate (also called thermoplastic matrix) with continuous fibers. The parts 3D printed with the MarkForged Mark One printers are up to 20 times stiffer and 5 times stronger than similar parts 3D printed using regular ABS plastic.
In fact, parts 3D printed with the Mark 3D printers can be designed to be stronger than 6061-T6 aluminum by weight and up to one third the strength of carbon fiber composites available on the market nowadays according to MakerForged tests and benchmarks.
Early 2016, MarkForged announced a new version of their printer, called the Mark Two. This new generation 3D printer introduces a 40% faster fiber printing process and fiber reinforcement in features that are 15 times smaller than before.
All MarkForged Mark Two 3D printers are delivered with a browser-based 3D printing operating software called Eiger. Eiger is also capable of optimizing the strength of the 3D printed parts in critical areas by placing the reinforcement material in optimum positions. It is also possible to edit the orientation of the fiber reinforcement along the most demanding direction in each specific layer to get optimal performance results. Once the thermoplastic matrix has cooled down, the 3D printed parts are directly ready for use.
The MarkForged Mark Two 3D printers is capable of using several different materials; including Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass, Kevlar and HSHT Fiberglass. Recently, MarkForged introduced a new material for its Mark Two called Onyx.
Carbon fiber has an excellent strength to weight ratio, and also a very high thermal conductivity. Carbon fiber is a great match for applications that requires stiffness and strength.
HSHT (High Strength High Temperature) Fiberglass is a material designed for users who need strong parts in higher temperature environments. This interesting material offers a resistance at temperatures up to 105°C, with a heat deflection point as high as 140°C.
Fiberglass is the most cost-effective material offered on Mark Two 3D printers. It’s as strong as Carbon Fiber, but 40% as stiff, and twice heavier.
Kevlar has the best abrasion resistance and is our the flexible material available for Mark Two 3D printers. It is the perfect fit for users who want 3D parts that are durable and resistant to impact.
Onyx is MarkForged newest material. Onyx combines nylon with micro-carbon fibers, which makes it not only tougher than regular 3D printing thermoplastics plastics, but also stiffer, more heat tolerant, and more dimensionally stable. Onyx is available to all MakerForged clients who own a Mark Two Enterprise Kit.
What’s perhaps the most interesting fact about the MarkForged 3D printers is their price points. The Mark Two can be ordered now at a price of $5,499 for the Standard version. Two other versions are available, the MarkForge Mark Two Professional ($8,799) and the MarkForge Mark Two Enterprise ($13,499). They differ by the number of 3D printing material available, as indicated in the table below. It is important to note that in this price range there are very few commercial-grade 3D printers available, let alone 3D printers with similar capacities.