As technology advances and we step into the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI), technological advancements like 3D printing have changed the way of work in many industries.
For many years, thermoplastic was the key material in parts production. But now, the industry of 3D printing is moving past the use of thermoplastic material for parts production. While thermoplastic is surely beneficial in many ways for 3D printing, it is slowly becoming evident to many that to take the 3D printing development technology to another level, it is crucial to explore new materials.
Before delving into how to choose the best Markforged materials for manufacturing, let’s first understand what Markforged is!
What is Markforged?
Markforged is one of the biggest organisations in the 3D printing industry that designs and develops materials, software, and hardware needed to manufacture 3D printed objects and utilise them in different industries. This 3D printing platform is categorised as the first of its type to dig its feet in the field of continuous carbon fibre reinforcement, using the modified process of fused filament fabrication and introducing a second nozzle for depositing a single strand of fibre at the same time as the other nozzle heats and prints the base material..
With the help of the second nozzle introduced by Markforged, the company has enabled the use of composite materials, which are much more powerful compared to conventional thermoplastics. Besides, it has introduced metal material in 3D printing.
Markforged stands as the first ever organisation in the field of 3D printing to introduce such groundbreaking advancements. Indeed, it became the key promoter of advancements in the field industry of 3D printing and a leader as well.
How is Markforged Different?
Upon the introduction of the second nozzle in a 3D printer, Markforged has changed the game of 3D printing and its uses in real life. On top of that, the feature of continuous carbon fibre in a 3D printer has completely transformed the game and doubled the power and utility of the parts of 3D printers.
Furthermore, the point of differentiation with Markforged manufacturing materials and processes is actually in the infill. While on the one hand, the outer form of an object manufactured with a 3D printer influences its performance and shape that directly has an impact on its overall experience.
An infill of a 3D printer is more significant in terms of determining the object’s performance because it has a direct influence on the object’s strength and its effects. Besides that, if we go into specifications, infills come in a particular shape and are typically triangles, placed across the object’s interior in the shape of tiles. While triangles are usually the preferred shape because the object distributes load, other shapes are also possible.
Markforged Manufacturing Materials
As already discussed, Markforged’s introduction of an upgraded and advanced printer design, that enabled the use of all new composite materials, was a key evolution that led to the adoption of different materials and metals in the field of additive manufacturing. Both the new materials along with the new hardware had a big influence on the 3D printing industry.
Here are some new materials that are now commonly used in Markforged 3d printing:
Metal Markforged Materials
With the ability to use metal in 3D printing now, there has been an emergence of endless opportunities in the field of 3D printing object manufacturing. This technology helps in the creation of quick, reliable, and solid materials compared to the time it took in traditional printing methods.
17-4 Stainless Steel
One of the most important and versatile metal materials is stainless steel used in the work of industrial applications. This is because it is a durable, strong, and heat-resistant metal that can withstand high washing pressure.
Copper is the second most used metal for industrial use because of its immense conductivity, which also comes with conventional manufacturing settings and a high labour cost.
Markforged introduced the use of copper materials because of its immense ability to conduct electricity and heat in a much more improved way than alloyed copper. It is best suitable for applications that fit the use of copper already.
Inconel is another metal that is mostly used in manufacturing sectors because of its ability to withstand high temperatures and resist corrosion because of being a nickel-based alloy. This is the reason behind this material being consistently used in the parts of automotive and aerospace industries.
H13 Tool Steel
Tool-steel is a metal named after a tool because its steel perfectly adapts to the process of creating tools. However, this material is much stronger than stainless steel, as it can resist deformation and abrasions while also withstanding high temperatures.
A2 and D2 Steel
A2 and D2 steel are perfectly used for 3D printing because of their hardness. A2, on the one hand, is tougher than D2, but D2 is more resistant to wear and tear. These metals are used for cutting immensely hard objects.
Composite Base Markforged Materials
Markforged is significantly known in the industry because of its enhanced advancements in the field of 3D additive manufacturing. This company’s printers are primarily built upon the base material of innovative Onyx ™ composite.
Markforged Onyx ™
Markforged’s blend of nylon filled with carbon fibre, making it highly versatile and helping produce strong, chemical resistant, durable automation and aerospace parts with a high-quality finish.
Markforged Onyx FR
Onyx FR is a flame-retardant variation of Onyx ™ purpose built for aerospace and automotive industries. It is certified UL 94 V-0 rated flame-retardant and can be used with Carbon Fibre FR to yield parts as strong as 6061-T6 Aluminium.
Markforged Onyx ESD
Onyx ESD is a static-dissipative chopped carbon Fibre nylon material that meets ESD-safe requirements meaning it is suitable for advanced manufacturing applications from robotics to electronics.
Markforged’s first high temperature printing polymer which is an extremely durable thermoplastic and exhibits excellent flame, smoke, and toxicity (FST) characteristics.
Continuous Fibre Markforged Materials
Continuous Carbon Fibre is Markforged’s flagship material. Utilising Onyx ™ with a material combination with a carbon continuous fibre to print powerful objects with strengths similar to aluminium
Carbon Fibre FR
Carbon fibre FR is commonly used and popular for its durability, strength, and high flame resistance it is purpose built for aerospace and automotive industries. It is certified UL 94 V-0 rated flame-retardant.
Aramid Fibre Kevlar®
Aramid fibre is a more tough material than Carbon Fibre. They are also commonly known as Kevlar and are popular for their durability and strength, as well as they are impossible to run into any fracture.
HSHT is capable of handling both high temperatures and high strength. While the parts made with HSHT fibreglass are not equally stiff as carbon fibre, they can withstand both high and low temperatures.
When combined with Onyx ™, fibreglass is not as stiff as objects made with carbon fibre. Still, it produces 10x stronger parts than thermoplastic, a traditional material used in 3D printing.
Markforged 3D Printing Applications
Markforged 3D printing objects can be used for the aerospace industry because this field of work needs strong, durable heat and temperature resistance. Onxy FR and Carbon Fibre FR are purpose-built for the requirements of the aerospace industry.
The automotive industry, much like the aerospace industry, also needs high-standard and strong 3D-oriented objects that must pass the line of work’s strict safety standards.
- Consumer Goods
Consumer goods like hair brushes, sporting goods, razors, and many more can require the assistance of additive manufacturing for the production of durable products that sell faster.
- Education and Research
Markforged printers are also used at major universities for the training of tech engineers and are used in the medical field, to train future nurses and doctors.
3D printer products are highly needed in the electronics industry to deliver quality products to the consumers and stay upgraded with technology as well. Markforged Onyx ESD is designed for proof-of-concept and rapid tooling parts that need to be ESD safe.
Markforged 3D printers that can withstand high temperature and heat resistance objects printing are also needed in the energy industry, as in any other industry.
With advancements in technology and competition that raises higher than one’s walls, Markforged’s 3D printing is needed in every industry. This is because it helps various sectors achieve the heights of success and rise above the competition, by manufacturing different parts efficiently.