Mark X Big Debut

Mark X Big Debut

SEMA 2016: The Mark X Debut

SEMA-Markforged-3D printing-Mark X-Debut

The SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturing Association) is an annual show, which features thousands of aftermarket automotive exhibits and takes place in Las Vegas Convention Center.  SEMA exhibits include but are not limited to; tire manufacturers, customer performance machine shops, celebrity appearance and so much more.  In 2013, SEMA celebrated their 50th Anniversary show and introduced the New Product Showcase to feature new equipment from a variety of industries.  At SEMA in 2016 the Mark X was introduced as an alternative method for producing custom high-performance parts for the automotive industry.

In the automotive industry, parts are typically machined in aluminum because of its strength to weight properties, however select aesthetic components (which are often made from carbon fiber) exceed aluminum’s strength to weight ratio.  Most people looking to use carbon fiber materials think it’s only good for building dashboards or car hoods.  In-fact, carbon fiber parts are used to increase car performance.

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The Mark X build platform is large enough to house sizable, functional parts worthy of a car to increase performance because of the composite properties.  While other automotive industries continue to use aluminum parts, they’re spending more money and getting twice the weight of composite material for their custom automotive parts.

 “Our composite 3D printers can match the required strength at half the weight.”

-Markforged Application Engineer

To build better performing automotive parts, smooth finishes are required to reduce wind resistance that would produce friction.  Markforged’s composite material, Onyx produces as smooth finishes as aluminum at less the weight for more aerodynamic automobile advantages.

At SEMA they demonstrated to visitors, auto-mechanics and machinists the benefits of tooling and fixtures with 3D printing.  Creating work-holding devices on CNC machines can hold up the shop and take time to prepare for machining and production.  Markforged demonstrated during the SEMA show, that the materials printed on the Mark X have properties that can tolerate machine shop and automotive environments.  With properties such as abrasion resistance, heat tolerances, flexibility and durability, people at SEMA were enthusiastic about the Markforged printers.

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