Why 3D Printing?


Why 3D Printing?

Often times we come in contact with people that question the validity of 3D printers, after working with Markforged and understanding the Mark Two better, we are able to give people better answers.  For those that are skeptics of what 3D printing can do for their business here are some frequently asked questions and answers that might help.

If you work in the manufacturing, engineering or production industry, do you often work with either CNC machines?  Do you work with outside manufacturers to deliver parts that you need for to complete projects? Of these two resources whether you produce your tools, fixtures, jigs or parts in-house or outsource them, have you considered that a 3D printer, which produces the same quality and durability if not stronger than aluminum could cut your costs?  Think about it this way, instead of having to pay for shipping costs or using up valuable materials on the CNC machine, you can produce prototypes faster overnight or within hours with 3D printing.  By saving shop time and shipping costs, you ultimately save money.

On this same note, industry workers that use CNC often believe 3D printing will replace CNC technology and that is not the case.  All CNC machines require a specialized mechanism to operate it while it’s running, which means your machinist can only focus on that one project at a time.  This changes time to market and most manufacturers have to consider this time factor.  When the Mark Two was designed, its main focus was to print by itself, overnight or within hours – giving your machinist more time to focus on other projects, increasing turnaround time and ultimately saving money.

Can these 3D printed parts and materials really hold up their strength?  Why don’t you see for yourself?  We have seen jaws drop after seeing what the Mark Two 3D printers can produce in relation to strength.  “That’s incredibly strong”.  Others have tried taking a hammer to the onyx material and barely put a dent in it, if that were aluminum – you would see some type of dent that would render the part unusable.  When you have the opportunity to produce parts, fixtures, jigs and so much more at your leisure, it’s almost as if you have the ability to print money.  Manufacturing and tooling industries that can quickly fabricate unique parts when needed with inexpensive and strong materials will over time save money and production time.

By investing in a 3D printing you also need to invest in someone that can use it? Someone that knows how to design the parts in the software correctly and know when to make changes, etc.? This is a very common occurrence with people who are new to 3D printing. Of course, it’s not true.  For anyone that is new to the 3D printing technology or even Mark Two printers, it’s simple and easy to learn how to use.  The printer has touchscreen navigation to easily connect to computers, Wi-Fi, monitor the print process and calibrate the printer using step by step instructions every time.  After the printer is set up, the next step would be understanding Eiger – the branded software exclusively for the Markforged 3D printers. It’s simple to upload files, compile files into folders (for ease of organizing projects), make changes to your file, send to printer and print!

Eiger software mainly uses .STL files which can come from a variety of sources and uploaded for printing; such as Solidworks software, various sites like Thingiverse, 3D Hubs– these are places with ready to print files.

We believe in the course Markforged’s team is taking to improve the future of manufacturing and understand a concept so new to industries that have been set in their ways for years is hard to accept, but it’s not going to stop to flow of progress. The only intention behind the Markforged 3D printers, was to improve all aspects of manufacturing, tooling, engineering and machining.

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