FAQ

FAQ

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Fiber-Reinforced Composites

If you don’t use an epoxy (thermosets), how does Composite Filament Fabrication (CFF) work?

We developed a thermoplastic blend specifically formulated for good adhesion to carbon fiber and our FFF nylon blend.  It’s non-toxic, and doesn’t require post curing.

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What’s the difference between a thermoset and a thermoplastic

Thermoset materials (e.g. two-part epoxy) solidify during curing, which is an irreversible chemical reaction. Once cured, they cannot be melted. In contrast, thermoplastics can be re-melted and are typically tougher.

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Where can I buy Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass or Kevlar composite filaments?

You can buy any compatible filaments from us via our website or from an authorized dealer.

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Do you need an autoclave or vacuum bag?

No. Once the thermoplastic matrix has cooled, the parts are ready for use.

 

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Can I use any composite with the Mark One?

No. MarkForged™ composite materials are specially designed to be compatible with the Mark One™ CFF™ process.

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I usually see composite parts that are made from woven sheets. How do you print with a weave?

The Mark One™ does not print with a weave, it deposits layers of unidirectional composite in a user-defined orientation that can be specified by layer.  In general, unidirectional composites have a higher strength-to-weight ratio in the preferred fiber orientation than composites made with woven fabrics.

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Why are woven fabrics often used in the fabrication of composites?

Woven fabrics offer greater ease-of-use in traditional composite lay-up manufacturing processes while maintaining the desired mechanical properties.

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Are there other high-performance thermoplastics that can be used with the Mark One?

At present, the Mark One™ uses only polyamide (Nylon) as its thermoplastic material.

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Do parts printed by the Mark One require curing or post-processing?

No. CFF™ utilizes a thermoplastic matrix that solidifies immediately after extrusion. CFF™ parts are ready for use as soon as they have finished printing.

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How is your machine different from automated fiber placement (AFP) machines?

AFP machines automate composite lay-up of large parts on the surface of a mold. CFF™ does not require a mold, operates at high resolution, and our dual-head systems allow for the seamless integration of pure thermoplastic regions within the part. Complex shapes such as honeycomb can be printed between layers of composite and intricate details can be added to the exterior that would be too small to be printed with continuous strand composite materials.

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Can fibers be oriented in the Z-direction?

The Mark One’s™ CFF™ build process is very similar to that of other FFF 3D printers: parts are built by fusing two-dimensional slices on top of each other. At this time, the Mark One™ does not print composite filaments in the Z-direction.

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My part doesn’t require composite reinforcement. Can I print in just Nylon?

Yes. The Mark One™ features a dual printhead design: one head is capable of printing composite filaments (CFF™) and the other, traditional thermoplastic filaments (FFF). Parts may be printed either by a single head or a combination of the two.

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Are the fibers in your printing material chopped or continuous?

The Mark One™ uses continuous fibers as a reinforcement in the printing material.  See “What are the benefits of continuous fibers?”

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What are the benefits of using continuous fibers in composites?

Composites made with continuous reinforcing fibers exhibit substantial increases in strength and stiffness compared to similar materials using discontinuous (chopped) fibers.

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What kind of reinforcing fibers can I print with?

The Mark One™ is capable of printing carbon fiber, glass fiber and Kevlar®.

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Is the Mark One capable of printing geometries that require support material?

Yes. Our software automatically detects areas which require support and allows users to create breakaway supports.

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How do composites printed on the Mark One compare to those built with traditional methods?

Parts printed on the Mark One™ can be designed to be stronger than 6061-T6 aluminum by weight and up to 1/3 the strength of the best carbon fiber composites made today. Performance data was collected from 3-point bend testing on an Instron® universal testing machine in the preferred fiber orientation.

MF2013_HH_instronduo_1b

Carbon Fiber CFF test on our in-house Instron.

Check out these videos that show traditional ways of
manufacturing carbon fiber:
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What is a composite?

(From Wikipedia) “Composite materials are materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties, that when combined, produce a material with characteristics different from the individual components.”

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General

What is the biggest part I can make with a Mark One?

The Mark One’s build volume is 320mm x 132mm x 160mm (12.6″ x 5.2″ x 6.3″, 412ci).

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Can I use third party materials with the Mark One?

The composite resin system in the CFF™  filament is optimized to work with our nylon blend.  Using a 3rd party resin will not be supported and will void the warranty on the printhead.

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Is printing with ABS or PLA supported?

No.  Nylon has superior material properties to both ABS and PLA, and is virtually odorless during printing.

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How much are stage replacements? Do I need to replace after every print?

The stage is reusable for many prints.  Replacement stages cost $95.

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Will the machine run off 240V?

Yes, the external power brick runs at 120 or 240 V, and 50 or 60 Hz.

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What is the X Y resolution?

The Mark One printhead positioning resolution is 6.25 micron in X and Y.

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Can I get a sample part? Can you print my part?

Not yet.  We’re completely focused on ramping production to fulfill the pre-order backlog.  We’ll be offering samples in the second half of the year.

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What are the Mark One’s specifications?

Please see our specifications page for details on mechanical properties and build specifications.

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How much will carbon fiber filament and other consumables cost?

See the materials list

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What are the advantages of a fiber reinforced part?

Fiber-reinforced composite parts have many excellent structural qualities (“see what is a composite?”). The parts printed on the Mark One™ are up to 20 times stiffer and 5 times stronger than similar parts 3D printed using ABS plastic. Their strength depends on the type, orientation, and volume fraction of the reinforcing fibers.

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What makes the Mark One different from other 3D printers?

The Mark One uses a new 3D printing process we refer to as CFF™ (Composite Filament Fabrication™) in combination with traditional FFF.  Parts made with CFF™ are reinforced by continuous strands of fibers embedded in a thermoplastic matrix.

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Where are you located?

We are located in Somerville, MA

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Pre-order

When will I be charged for my pre-order?

Your card will be charged when you click order.  This secures your spot in the shipping queue, and allows us to keep costs down by ordering in volume.

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How much will shipping cost and where do I enter my shipping address?

Shipping will vary based on location, and how quickly you want FedEx to deliver your printer. When your Mark One is ready to ship, we’ll send you an invitation to our webstore with online shipping calculator.  FedEx ground within the continental USA will be less than $120 (West Coast).

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Do you ship internationally?

Yes. We ship directly to the USA, Canada, and the European Union.  Shipping to other countries can be done through a freight forwarder. Buyer responsible for all VAT or import duties.

Albania
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bulgaria
Canada
Croatia
Cyprus

Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Iceland

Ireland
Italy
Latvia
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Malta
Netherlands
Norway
Poland

Portugal
Romania
Slovakia
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United Kingdom
United States

 

 

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Warranty

MarkForged offers a 1 Year limited warranty on parts, and 90 days warranty on labor for machines shipped to the USA, Canada, and the European Union.   Please see the warranty terms.

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Software

Where can I obtain models to print on my Mark One?

Models can either be created using any CAD or 3D modeling programs that are capable of exporting a model in one of the supported formats.  Alternatively, models can also be downloaded from the various sources on the internet.

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Can I use 3rd party software with the Mark One?

No.  The CFF™ printhead in the Mark One™ requires special software to operate correctly.  We’ve also included advanced path planning algorithms to reduce your print time, and maximize part strength for every print.

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Can the orientation of the fibers be controlled?

Yes.  The software can automatically choose the orientation of fibers, or you can specify the orientation on a layer-by-layer basis.  Our software was specifically designed to give users total control over fiber orientation in each layer and thus, directional strength.

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Can you specify the fiber direction in each layer?

Yes. Please see “Can the orientation of the fibers be controlled?”

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Do I need a separate model file for each material like some other multi-material printers?

Only one model is required for each part. For information about how to control the fiber placement please see “Can the orientation of the fibers be controlled?”

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Is the software included for free

Yes.  It’s easy-to-use, and powerful.

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How much does the software cost?

Access to our software is included with the purchase of a Mark One™.

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What kind of files can be imported into the MarkForged software?

Our software can import .STL models.

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