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Category: 3D Printing

25 Oct 2018

The Push to Carbon Fiber Composites and a Key Player in 3D Composite Printing

According to a recent report from Global Market Insights Inc. carbon fiber composites are in strong demand from the aerospace, defense, and automotive industries. Lightweight materials in vehicles reduce fuel consumption. Other industries such as sports and leisure, robotics, and construction are also increasing use of composites. We should expect to see growth in composites through 2024.

Greater durability, superior strength and stiffness, lighter weight materials, high impact resistance, shorter processing times and extended shelf life are all pushing these industries towards composites.

As a result, more companies are trying to tackle and offer carbon fiber composite 3D printing. Engineers, designers, and manufacturers want to evaluate design concepts much sooner, make changes on the fly, and craft components that can’t be produced with conventional methods. They want to create faster and better ways to make strong, durable, and stable parts for prototyping and production. And they’re looking to do this all at a fraction of the cost of standard methods.

In this article, we’ll examine one 3D composite printer that has become a key player in this race to composites with several innovations it has brought to the finish line.

One of 3D HUBS Best Prosumer 3D Printers for 2018

One printer that stands out from the crowd is Mark Two by Markforged. Yes, it’s a desktop printer, but don’t let that fool you. It was selected as one of 3D HUBS Best Prosumer 3D Printers for 2018 for exceptional build quality and that can produce high quality parts reliably. The price ranges from $5499 to $13,499.

Manufacturers using the Mark Two love the fact that “parts made of nylon with a few layers of composite fibers in between can stand up to the same needs and abuses of aluminum parts.”

Let’s look under the hood and see just what makes the Markforged Mark Two a rock solid powerhouse.  

The Power Behind the Mark Two

Markforged was the first to do something unique in 3D printing by using carbon fiber. It now has the potential to change the way functional prototypes, tools and fixtures are built and low-volume production end-use parts are made.

First of all the Mark Two is a sleek, minimalistic, aluminum-cased printer that is 22.6” x 12.7” x 14.2” in size. It can be set up through USB, Ethernet or WiFi right in your office.

The build volume is 12.6 x 5.2 x 6.1” which is larger than typical desktops offering more flexibility for printing.

3 Innovations Make It Unique and Powerful

  1. Composite Material Printing developed by Markforged

The Mark Two is the world’s first 3D printer to print composite materials. It’s the only affordable 3D desktop printer that reinforces plastic materials with composite fibers while printing. This gives them a high strength to weight ratio.

These are the available material options:

Plastic Materials:

Onyx – Tough nylon with micro-carbon reinforcement
Nylon – Flexible and impact-resistant

Fiber Materials
: (other materials coming soon)

Carbon Fiber – High performance and lightweight and the highest strength to weight ratio
Fiberglass – 5x the strength of Onyx parts
Kevlar®  – Best abrasion resistance and highly flexible
HSHT Fiberglass (High-Strength, High-Temperature Fiberglass) –Stronger parts in higher temperatures

With these options, you can choose the combination of fiber reinforcement and plastic to print parts used in many areas of manufacturing. You choose the best materials for the requirement needed like strength, weight, temperatures, and flexibility to name a few.

  1. Revolutionary Continuous Fiber Fabrication (CFF™) developed by Markforged

Here is where Markforged sets themselves apart. The Mark Two is the only 3D printer that embeds continuous fiber strands into the micro-carbon reinforced plastic in just one construction process. This technology is different than other fiber composite 3D printers. Layers of fiber are deposited alongside the plastic. But instead of short, chopped strands, they developed a method to print layers of a continuous fiber strand. This is what enhances the stability and parts are stronger, stiffer, and can with stand greater impact like metal.

It’s the only printer that enables you to go from CAD to strong end-use parts in hours.

  1. Eiger the Software Connectivity and Pre-Processing System, developed by Markforged

Eiger is not just software it is a system. It enables engineering and design decision-making along with branching and version-management tools for experimenting and innovating.

Eiger takes it to the next level by allowing the user to manipulate the layers and sub-layers.

A hardware review by DEVELOP3D, shows examples of how the user can manipulate the software similar to industrial composites design. The user can define the number of boundary layers and density. But they also can choose the fill-in of continuous fiber strands within the layers to reinforce the strength.

They have three fill-in options:

  1. The first is concentric, which is one continuous strand forming rings from the outer boundary or walls of the model. This reinforces the walls and resists bending around the Z axis.
  2. The second option is isotropic or linear fibers. It fills the complete layer with a single strand in a linear pattern and the user has control over the angle of the pattern. The linear pattern resists printed objects to bend in the XY plane.
  3. Third, is to combine concentric with linear.

The user has full control over the layers, the rotation, and number of rings.

Uses of the Mark Two

The Mark Two can be used in several ways.

  • Evaluate design concepts and make engineering decisions.
  • Create functional prototypes.
  • Craft components and parts that can’t be produced with conventional methods.
  • Create incredibly strong production-ready end-use parts and get products to market faster.
  • Create on-the-fly replacement parts in hours that require more strength than a typical 3D printer is capable of as in jigs and fixtures.

The Mark Two has made its mark on 3D carbon fiber composite printing. We’ll be following future developments with the Mark Two and other options in this space.

Summary

Carbon composite 3D printing is only growing in demand. Industries such as aerospace, defense, and automotive in particular are looking to produce lighter weight and stronger equipment for more efficiency and better fuel economy.

3D composite printers can drastically change the engineering, design and manufacturing processes. The Mark Two by Markforged is a 3D desktop composite printer that has become a key player in this race to carbon fiber composites.

The Mark Two sets itself apart from other 3D printers with it’s unique Continuous Fiber Fabrication (CFF™) and plastic materials of nylon or Onyx reinforced with composite fibers such as carbon, fiberglass, Kevlar®, and HSHT Fiberglass while printing.

As a result of this unique technology, The Mark Two parts are stable, incredibly strong and stiff, and can withstand greater impact like metal. It’s an affordable 3D desktop printer with industrial quality made for engineers and manufacturers.

We’ll be following future developments with Mark Two and other options in this space. Click here for more information on the Markforged Mark Two printer.

Need more 3d Printing materials? Contact us.

 

 

24 Sep 2018

Workshop: Creating a Digital Twin with Reverse Engineering

Join Adaptive at the Honda Heritage Center in Marysville, OH on Friday, October 12 for a free half-day educational workshop. We’ll show you how to make a high-quality 3D Digital Twin of a legacy part. It is the perfect opportunity to learn how to start creating a digital twin of your existing product.

At the workshop you’ll have the chance to learn from technology experts and end users including:

  • Frank Thomas from Adaptive will serve as the host of the workshop. Frank has worked in the Engineering, Metrology and Additive Manufacturing industry for over 20 years with a variety of manufacturing companies and industries as both an implementation consultant and product specialist.
  • Eric Tryson, Engineering Manager at Dorman Products – Eric oversees the Design Teams at Dorman’s headquarters in Colmar, Penn. as well as their team in Shanghai. He has 10+ years experience designing and reverse engineering products in various industries ranging from consumer products to automotive.
  • Sean Frank, Quality Engineering and Lab Services Manager at Dorman Products – Sean is a quality manager overseeing the operations at Dorman’s Shanghai lab and the Testing and Metrology Labs at the Colmar, Penn. headquarters. He has 18 years of experience reverse engineering components and fixtures for the aerospace industry.

Agenda Sneak Peak:

  • The Benefits of Developing a Digital Twin
  • Converting the Physical to Digital (3D Scanning)
  • Creating the Digital Model (Reverse Engineering)
  • 3D Scanning to Print – Going Directly from 3D Scanner to any 3D Printing System
  • User Case Study: Leveraging Technology to Provide Aftermarket Solutions

Register today.

21 Aug 2018
Humanetics | 3D Printing | Adaptive Corp.

Crash Test Dummies Featured in Thomas Industry Video

Humanetics ATD, a manufacturer of crash test dummies is making a big splash in the Additive Manufacturing press. Adaptive featured Humanetics and their elderly dummy in a recent case study. The article described how they used the Markforged Mark II 3D printer and the ONYX material in the manufacturing process.

Thomas Industry Updates produced their own video starring our beloved elderly crash test dummies.

Watch the video taking the additive manufacturing industry by storm.

16 Jul 2018

Modern Machine Shop Reprint: Toolmaker uses 3D printing to produce composite workholding fixtures

Read how an Adaptive customer solved their production bottleneck challenges with 3D printing in a recent article published on the Modern Machine Shop website.

Elliott Tool is a tube tool and burnishing product manufacturer located in Dayton, Ohio. They were having difficulties keeping up with the demand for custom fixtures and dies to meet their customer orders. They turned to Markforged and their Mark Two 3D printing system to ease their production bottleneck. They were so impressed with the lightweight ONYX material they began using 3D printing for their end use parts.

Read More…

10 May 2018

Adaptive in the News: Design2Part A New Era of 3D Printing

In this Design2Part article, Frank Thomas explains how 3D Printing has evolved as a valid approach for manufacturers to enhance their agility on the plant floor by employing 3D printing for additive manufacturing. Whether they create replacement parts, tooling or jigs, the advancements in the durability of materials has enabled 3D Printing to be a dependable solution that is more affordable than ever before. Here are a few excerpts from Frank:

Thomas said that until fairly recently, additive manufacturing was used most often as a tool to create parts that you could hand to somebody so that they could see it, touch it, and provide some input as to what might need to be changed or modified. But that’s changed in recent years as new materials have been developed that enable printers to make stronger, more durable parts.

“Metal printing has always been there, but that has an economic value proposition that’s a bit challenging for it,” he said in an interview. “The ABS and nylon and other plastic 3D printers, up until the last couple of years, weren’t necessarily dimensionally accurate, and then they had challenges creating a part that’s functional. That’s what I think is different about the market today, compared to just, really, a couple of years ago.”

If the demand for 3D printed metal parts is going to grow significantly, especially for critical use cases, OEMs will have to be able to count on high-quality parts. Thomas believes the additive metal industry is up to the challenge because he’s already seen major improvements in quality in recent years.

“At the end of the day, this is really a materials game. If the materials that we’re able to bring to the market provide the end use quality that people are looking for, that’s critical.”

Read the entire article here