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Markforged to expand use of 3-D printing in aerospace and automotive

Posted on 24 Nov 2021 and read 780 times
Markforged to expand use of 3-D printing in aerospace and automotivePart being 3-D printed in the FX20 printer

US-based Markforged, the developer of Digital Forge — the integrated metal and carbon-fibre additive manufacturing platform — is ‘advancing its position as a leader in point-of-need production of industrial-strength end-use parts with its FX20 printer. 

This new production-ready hardware prints the flame-retardant, high-performance thermoplastic material ULTEM 9085 filament in combination with Markforged’s propriety ‘Continuous Fiber Reinforcement’ printing technology for high-strength heat-resistant high-performance parts that can meet the needs of ‘the most demanding industries’ such as aerospace, defence, automotive, and oil and gas.

The FX20 has a heated build chamber capable of maintaining temperatures up to a 200°C and the capacity to print parts up to 525 x 400 x 400mm. Moreover, it is up to eight-times faster than the ‘default print settings on Markforged’s existing line of composite printers’ and prints nearly five-times-larger builds than its next largest printer, the X7.

MarkforgedThe company says: “Bringing together ULTEM 9085 filament with our proprietary ‘Continuous Fiber Reinforcement’ technology will help manufacturers move from augmenting manufacturing operations with composite 3-D printing to replacing entire segments of the supply chain by bringing strong, accurate parts that solve demanding, end-use applications right where needed.”

Vestas Wind Systems A/S, a ‘global leader in sustainable energy solutions’, is planning to use the FX20 with existing Markforged composite materials and the new ULTEM 9085 filament with continuous fiber reinforcement to print strong high-volume parts.

Jeremy Haight, a principal engineer at Vestas, said: “The Digital Forge has given Vestas a powerful platform to circumvent expensive, multi-step and time-consuming conventional manufacturing methodology.

“When you factor in design iterations, these conventional parts are obsolete in a year or two. With the FX20 and ULTEM 9085, we will be able to design and manufacture larger, stronger parts, press a button and take that part right off the print bed to use it immediately with the confidence that it is very durable and robust.”

Shai Terem, president and CEO of Markforged, added: “By helping move composites toward robust production, we will unlock more functional parts, made of stronger materials of even more impressive size, with applications from the factory floor to flight.”

The FX20 and ULTEM 9085 filament are expected to be available worldwide in the first half of 2022.