It’s been almost a year since we’ve heard from Greg Mark, founder of MarkForged and creator of the Mark One carbon fiber 3D printer. When we ran into him at SolidWorks World 2014 last year, his 3D printer was the talk of the show and had SolidWorks executives including Gian Paolo Bassi talking about the printer on the show’s keynote main stage.
After earning degrees from MIT and pursuing a career designing high-performance race car parts, Mark decided to focus primarily on researching and developing carbon fiber 3D printed fabrication methods for bringing race car prototypes to a functional stage more quickly.
The resulting Mark One 3D printer, which is similar in size to a desktop MakerBot Replicator 2, is capable of printing thousands of strands of carbon fiber within a traditional PLA or nylon 3D printed part. More recently, Mark upgraded the printer’s capabilities to also print Kevlar and fiberglass.
“The magic is in the print head and our unique approach to materials,” says Mark. “Unlike traditional thermosets or epoxy resins, our special blend of thermoplastics immediately hardens during printing.”
The resulting prints have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than 6061-T6 Aluminum and are capable of being produced in minutes just inches away from a mechanical engineer or product designer’s computer on-location rather than waiting for parts to be shipped from a third-party fabricator.
While the printer has been available to order via MarkForged website, it was announced this week that Symmetry Solutions, a SolidWorks reseller will begin selling the Mark One…effectively becoming the first reseller of the $5499 carbon fiber 3D printer.
“We needed an organization that could take our one-of-a-kind 3D printer to market and get it on the desks of every engineer and designer in North America. Symmetry Solutions is the organization that can do it,” added Mark.
Find out more about the Mark One over at MarkForged.