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3D printers add carbon fiber to their list of possibilities

(Credit: Mark Forged)

(Credit: Mark Forged)

The age of 3D printers is now upon us. When the tech first showed its face, the materials and possibilities were rather limited. But as new startups and companies have worked with the printers, those boundaries are constantly being expanded and new opportunities are being created.

The Mark One printer from Mark Forged has taken another step in broadening the capabilities of 3D printers by opening the door to carbon fiber printing.

This new desktop printer, unveiled at SolidWorks 3D-printing expo, will sell for only $5,000. Currently, the company is making additions to the wait list for the pre-ordering of the printer, but says that this unit is the first step towards an industrial version of the machine.

Not only is it the first printer capable of using carbon fiber as a material, but can also print in fiberglass, thermoplastic PLA, nylon, and a composite of these materials. With this variety available, Mark Forged says that the printer will be useful in printing “print parts, tooling, and fixtures with a higher strength-to-weight ratio than 6061-T6 Aluminum.” The possibility to use an extremely lightweight material commonly found in cars and shuttles will redefine the future of 3D printing tech.

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