With an anodized aluminum body and minimalist design, the strikingly sleek Mark One is the world’s first 3D printer designed to print in carbon fiber, fiberglass, nylon, and PLA was unveiled at SolidWorks World 2014 in San Diego. At 22.6 inches wide, 14.2 inches tall, and 12.7 inches deep, the Mark One can easily be a matching desktop companion to a Macbook. The creator of this Boston area-based startup, Mark Forged, wanted to overcome the strength limitations of current 3D printed materials to allow for a greater range of products that can be printed. With the Mark One, you can print parts, tooling, and fixtures that impressively have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than 6061-T6 Aluminum. In the world of 3D printing, where plastics reign supreme, The MarkForged is a big step towards more precise, functional prototyping that expands possible real-world applications.
We wanted to make it really easy for people to start printing with it, so they can explore prosthetics, custom bones, tools, and fixtures.
Carbon fiber, usually dauntingly complex and expensive to work with, becomes much more accessible with the Mark One, opening up a whole realm of prototyping possibilities, from race car parts to medical prosthetics. With kinematic coupling that yields consistent bed leveling, users can trust that the bed is leveled accurately after each print.
The core selling point? The Mark One can print parts that are 20 times stiffer and five times stronger than ABS, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, a material known for its impact resistance and toughness (which also happens to be what Legos are made of). Each of the printed objects that come out of the Mark One are tightly packed with tens of thousands of full length, continuous carbon fiber strands.
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. We say it’s like regular 3D printers do the form. We do form and function.
The Mark Forged Mark One will be available for pre-order in February. To be one of the first, sign up for notifications on the company’s website. Actual Mark One units will start shipping during the second half of 2014.
Images: Mark Forged