Printer produces carbon fiber parts five times stronger than ABS

We are all familiar with 3D printers available today, which can typically make objects you can hold in your hands from resin or plastic materials. However, Gregory Mark is an owner of a company that makes racecar wings out of carbon fiber. The normal process for making these wings is time and labor intensive.
He though it might speed things up if the company could use a 3D printer for constructing some of its parts. The catch was that no 3D printers on the market today could use the expensive material. But that didn’t stop Mark from creating his own 3D printer that can use carbon fiber: the MarkForged Mark One.

[Image Source: Popular Mechanics]
The device prints in carbon fiber when needed, but can also work with “lesser” materials. It can print with fiberglass, nylon, and polylactide (PLA). It features an anodized aluminum body, translucent printing bed, and kinematic coupling to keep the bed of the printer level.
"We took the idea of 3D printing, that process of laying things down strand by strand, and we used it as a manufacturing process to make composite parts," he told Popular Mechanics. "We say it's like regular 3D printers do the form. We do form and function."

The printer is 22.6" wide, 14.2" tall, and 12.7" deep making it fit on a desktop easily. Using carbon fiber, the Mark One can print parts that are 20 times stiffer and five times stronger than ABS plastic. The parts also have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than CNC machined aluminum.
The printer obviously has the potential to be used outside the car parts industry, and the medical prosthetic industry is reportedly interested in taking the Mark One for a spin.

Source: Popular Mechanics

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