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Month: October 2016

Miller 3D Visits ITMS 2016

Miller 3D traveled to the International Manufacturing Show 2016 in Chicago, from September 12 -17, 2016. IMTS is one of the largest trade shows in the world and is a major event for the 3D printing industry. With more than 2,000 companies attending, Miller 3D was able to gather valuable information moving forward – take a look:

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Markforged Announces Tremendous Growth in First Half of 2016

Rapid Worldwide Growth for Markforged in 2016 Affirms Manufacturers See Benefits of Strong Composite 3D Printed Parts



3D printing, tooling & fixtures

Arow Global’s Manufacturing Jig Printed on a Mark Two

“This is only the beginning for us.” says Founder and CEO Greg Mark.

Markforged, the company that introduced the first and only 3D printer to produce aluminum-strength, lightweight, and resilient parts using continuous carbon fiber, announces robust growth and a large distributor expansion in 2016.

Measurable and significant time and cost savings are drawing increasing numbers of buyers to adopt this emerging capability in 3D printing into their processes.

Mateusz Loska, a Professional Maintenance Specialist from Unilever, says, “We make the 3D model in our CAD program, we send it to a 3rd party company…it’s about one week until we get back a good part.” He explains, “When we want to develop this part ourselves, it takes 24 hours. Normally it’d be about $50 if we want to send it to another company to make it for us. The same part costs about $10 on the 3D printer.”

“Professionals and large enterprises are seeing the value of what we can provide them – something much beyond just another prototyping 3D printer at a price well below metal 3D printing with comparable strength,” says Founder and CEO Greg Mark. “The real benefit comes from shortening development cycles and saving time, cost, and materials to create end-use, reinforced strong parts.”

For the first half of 2016, Markforged sales grew 147% year over year. As of September, the innovative Mark Two 3D printers are in use in over 50 countries, and the network of Value Added Resellers grew by 60% from the end of 2015 to over 85 worldwide, with the company planning to add more by the end of the year.

With the launch earlier in 2016 of Markforged’s Mark Two printer and its new stiff carbon-filled nylon material, Onyx, the fleet of printers in use expanded into the thousands. Users of the printer range from custom motorcycle racing companies in South Africa to machine shops in the United States, from worldwide research laboratories to multibillion dollar industrial powerhouses in Germany.

What makes Markforged’s 3D printer unique is its patented continuous fiber filament (CFF) technology and Markforged’s Eiger software which automatically creates a fiber pattern for maximum strength within the 3D print file. This capability makes it possible to create tooling, fixtures, and custom parts with design complexities that would be extremely difficult if not impossible to machine.

“We’re looking at basically rethinking how we can do drill jigs,” said Joseph Walters, New Product Design Engineer for Arow Global, a windows manufacturer in Wisconsin. “Now we can do more complicated machining designs that we simply couldn’t do in the past because you physically can’t machine those designs…. with Markforged, we don’t have to worry about the limitations of CNC milling.”

In addition, companies are seeing ROI at a magnitude that wasn’t possible before Markforged.

“The Markforged 3D printer has pretty much paid for itself,” said Jon Fetzer, Process Engineer at Whitford Corporation, makers of the world’s largest, most complete line of fluoropolymer coatings, headquartered in Pennsylvania. “…The amount of iterations we made with one project, I don’t even know how much that would have cost. We definitely saved a lot of money.”

“This is only the beginning for us,” says Greg Mark. “Our innovation isn’t slowing down. There are new products in development that will be on the market later this year, and we will continue to build out our ever expanding global reach.”

In addition to continuous Carbon Fiber filament, Markforged also manufactures continuous Fiberglass, Kevlar, and High-Strength, High-Temperature Fiberglass for its printers.

About Markforged
As one of the most well respected and innovative 3D printing companies in the market today, Markforged’s mission is to bring high strength 3D printing to every production shop and desktop. Offering the world’s only 3D printing systems capable of automatically reinforcing engineering plastics to aluminum levels of performance and beyond, Markforged enables every business to easily manufacture parts with structural strength right on the desktop. The Mark Two Industrial Strength 3D Printer empowers professional users to affordably create workhorse 3D parts that solve real problems, as well as realize reinforced structures never before possible.  Markforged technologies are delivered with thoughtful, powerful software designed for collaboration, sharing, and scaling. For more information, visit http://www.Markforged.com.

Source: Markforged Announces Tremendous Growth in First Half of 2016 | PR Web

Miller 3D Replicates Smithsonian Artifacts with 3D Printing

With knowledge of the 3D printing and scanning capabilities of Miller 3D, Walter McConnell, an artist and Professor of ceramic arts at Alfred University, approached Miller 3D with a project – replicating historic sculpture collections for display in the world’s largest museum research complex – The Smithsonian Institute.

Miller 3D would oversee the manufacturing process for the sculptures displayed in Walter McConnell’s porcelain-based installation exhibition titled “Chinamania”.

“Chinamania” represents a time period when London became infatuated with blue-and-white porcelain artifacts as symbols of status – more than one hundred and fifty years ago.

Interestingly enough, the original vessels scanned are much older than “Chinamania”. Pat, the 3D Application Engineer who completed the project, adds that the “vessels are recreations of vessels that were made during China’s Kangxi period between 1662-1722”, which means the vessels are between 300 and 350 years old.

bluevesselDealing with historical artifacts can require a number of components. Pat states, from an engineering standpoint, there were a handful of steps implemented before the actual 3D printing began. “The Smithsonian took 3D photogrammetry of their Kangxi vessel collection. Walter then took the scans and corrected them for colors and shadows. He then sent the digital replicas to us where we scaled them all to 40% of their original size.”

From here, the 3D printing commenced, a process which Pat recalls was “fairly manually intensive.”

The reason for the manually intensive process is due to the importance of preserving detail and quality, as the replicas must adhere to the qualities of the original sculptures they are based upon.

“The printing process involves a powder that is solidified and colored layer by layer to form the net shape of a vase.” Pat adds. During the printing process, the vessels undergo their transformation into replicas of vessels that are nearly 350 years old.

Following the cleaning process using paintbrushes and sand paper, the vessels are dipped in a solvent, according to Pat is “much like super glue and makes the color pop”, completing the 3D printing process for the Kangxi vessel collection replicas.

The 3D printed sculptures are currently on display at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution. Miller 3D Printing is at the forefront of this revolutionary technology, utilizing seemingly limitless capabilities to design and manufacture vessels and sculptures for historical and educational purposes such as the “Chinamania” exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute.

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