Markforged Holding Corporation (NYSE: MKFG) has announced the launch of its latest industrial 3D printer, the FX10, which the company says represents a significant step forward in onsite, in factory manufacturing technology. The FX10 is described as the most versatile tool for the factory floor, designed to reinforce manufacturing resilience by streamlining production and reducing dependence on complex supply chains.
Shai Terem, the CEO of Markforged, highlighted the transformative potential of the FX10, stating, “The FX10 allows manufacturers to slash original part replacement costs when compared to traditional methods and keep production lines running without worrying about supply chain issues or spare parts inventory.”
In a move likely to be welcomed by users seeking to scale 3D printing use, the FX10 comes equipped with built-in automation features that enhance both quality assurance and production efficiency. With its 5th Generation Continuous Fiber Reinforcement (CFR) print system, the FX10 offers nearly double the print speed and size capabilities of its predecessors. This innovation not only enables the production of strong, accurate parts with each print but also holds the promise of replacing metal parts with advanced composite materials.
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Key Features on the Markforged FX10
Having identified important features for customers, the FX10 is engineered to grow alongside manufacturing needs through its modular systems, allowing for future upgrades and additional capabilities. One such feature is the integrated vision module in the printhead, designed to ensure part quality by capturing detailed images and data.
Terem emphasized the economic benefits of adopting the FX10, “[it enables] our customers to address even more industrial applications with clear return on investment.”
This development is particularly noteworthy given the ongoing global efforts to enhance supply chain resiliency and digitize manufacturing floors. The FX10’s ability to produce parts on-demand presents a compelling proposition for reducing lead times from months to mere days, a critical factor in maintaining uninterrupted production lines and managing inventory costs effectively.
Shai Terem, the CEO of Markforged, positioned the FX10 as a tool to broaden the scope of industrial applications with a tangible return on investment, remarking, “The FX10 is another important milestone in our mission to bring industrial production to the point of need.”
Designed with the manufacturing floor in mind, the FX10 offers a seamless user experience, starting from the first-line operator, with a simple touchscreen interface and a suite of new automation and quality assurance technologies. This system minimizes the need for operator intervention, increasing throughput compared to prior models.
A key feature of the FX10 is its built-in printhead-mounted optical sensors, which automate the verification of part dimensions for consistent and reliable printing. The integration of a laser micrometer allows for in-print scanning and automatic calibration, enhancing the printer’s precision and operational efficiency. According to Terem, “The FX10 features a full suite of automation built to simplify the usage of the printer and increase adoption to build resiliency into our customers’ production.”
The FX10 also boasts an advanced material handling system, capable of managing up to four 800cc spools within individually sealed storage bays, and can automatically switch spools during printing, which enables uninterrupted printing and on-the-fly reloading.
Further augmenting its capability is the Digital Forge platform, an end-to-end additive manufacturing ecosystem. This platform encapsulates the FX10 and provides a suite of cloud-enabled software tools and a variety of industrial materials. The Digital Forge aims to seamlessly integrate into existing manufacturing workflows, offering organizations the ability to distribute part designs and monitor performance across a fleet of printers from a central hub, thereby advancing the vision of distributed manufacturing.
In Terem’s view, the FX10 combined with the Digital Forge, marks the beginning of a tangible distributed manufacturing model, signifying a shift in how production is approached, potentially reshaping the landscape of industrial manufacturing efficiency and supply chain management.
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Featured image shows the Markforged FX10. Image via Markforged.