3D printing with carbon fiber, Kevlar and fiberglass as Markforged talks to TCT at CES
When I first saw the Mark One 3D printer from Markforged, I knew it was something special. The headlines were filled — quite rightly — with the composite 3D printing ability that brings functional 3D printed parts with carbon fibre, kevlar and glass fibre elements within reach of the whole 3D printing community. Behind the headlines stands a team of designers, engineers, coders, chemists and mathematicians that gives this startup a real aura of professionalism.
The unveiling of the cloud-based software for the Mark One is a case in point. Any device able to run Google's Chrome browser can run the software needed to start accessing the unique abilities of the Markforged machine. No downloads, instant roll out of updates and universal accessibility. With so many 3D printers hindered by sub-standard software this strategic moved is a breath of fresh air.
In terms of applications the printing of functional orthotics is really nothing new, but again the Markforged team have taken the basic principals and genuinely added value through a measured and scientific approach. The use of nylon (with its relative flexibility, impact resistance and wear resistance) coupled with stiff, strong and lightweight composites demonstrates how challenges like personalised orthotics can really be tackled with 3D printing technology. The addition of embedded electronics further broadens the scope of the parts.
It was difficult to choose a favourite video from CES as so many worthwhile and interesting developments poured out of the four-day event. To see the rest of the videos you can visit http://www.tctmagazine.com/ces-2015