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10 February 2017

HK3D to offer innovative Markforged plastics 3D printing technology; low-cost metal printer coming soon

HK3D to offer innovative Markforged plastics 3D printing technology, with low-cost metal printer coming soon
Rugby-based HK3D Solutions has been appointed as a UK production partner of the Markforged brand of 3D printing technology, which is hailed as “a paradigm shift in the plastic and metal additive manufacturing sector, with a price entry point and production process that truly breaks the mould”.

Based in Boston, USA, Markforged initially came to prominence through its development of machines that embed fibreglass, carbon fibre or Kevlar into the Nylon plastic 3D-printing process to deliver parts having great strength. This technology produces parts that offer better strength characteristics than aluminium, allowing the production of jigs, fixtures, tooling, end use parts and much more.

The Markforged line comprises four plastics processing machines, with the entry-level unit available from less than £5,000. A model that prints metal (Markforged Metal X) will be introduced to the UK in September, and its price of less than £90,000 is anticipated to draw attention, since existing metal additive manufacturing machines generally have a price entry point from £200,000 upwards.

HK3D managing director Steven Wilcox says: “The Markforged range is currently available in the UK via on-line ordering. However, HK3D is offering a complete service and support network for the brand. For many engineers that are investigating the additive manufacturing route, there will be multiple lines of enquiry and possible concerns when considering new technology.”

“Our additive manufacturing experts will alleviate any concerns and take engineers beyond initial enquiry, intuitively guiding customers through the purchasing process, installation, commissioning and also the delivery of full training on the machines and the continually evolving software.

“The software support is a crucial consideration as the Eiger software on the Markforged machines is rapidly evolving, with continual updates and opportunities. Furthermore, HK3D will stock the machines, materials and associated consumables for immediate UK delivery.

“The Markforged Metal X product offers significant benefits over alternative metal additive manufacturing processes. These benefits include health and safety considerations. As the system does not use metal powder, it has extremely fast material changeover times for flexible manufacture, a wide selection of materials and, of course, a price point that is more attractive than anything else in the metal 3D printing sector.”

Andrew Allcock

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