July 6, 2021
Markforged, creator of the integrated metal and carbon fiber additive manufacturing platform, The Digital Forge, announces three key additions to the platform: the Metal X Gen 2, Next Day Metal and the X7 Field Edition. Together, these new hardware and software releases are built to help manufacturers overcome global supply chain challenges by producing parts efficiently and safely at the point of need, the company says.
Whether on a factory floor or deployed in the most remote areas of the world, these advances are designed to enable manufacturers to recover faster when parts break, operate with less on-hand inventory, and minimize equipment downtime, Markforged adds.
The Metal X Gen 2 builds on its predecessor, the original Metal X System released in 2017, enhancing ability to print complex, industrial-grade metal parts with key hardware developments that improve user experience and increase operator safety to make metal printing even easier. New features include an external 7-in. touchscreen, door position sensors and additional chamber insulation.
Along with the introduction of the Metal X Gen 2, Markforged will be releasing Next Day Metal across its entire global fleet of metal printers. This over-the-air software update unlocks faster print speeds. Wash and dry times are now more accurate for smaller parts, shortening the required debind cycle time, Markforged reports. These factors, combined with an approximately 17-hour small parts express run on the Sinter-2 post-processing oven, can give manufacturers the parts they need more quickly and enables ability to scale the additive manufacturing operation.
Supply chain and manufacturing challenges relying on The Digital Forge are not limited to the factory floor. The X7 Field Edition (X7 FE) allows Markforged technology to be deployed in demanding environments, helping engineers, operators and service members reinvent how they tackle global supply chain challenges.
The X7 FE is a ruggedized, field-deployable industrial 3D printer for tactical response to inventory challenges in remote locations, as utilized by the U.S. Marine Corps XFAB program. The X7 FE is equipped with a rotomolded high-impact polyethylene Pelican case to protect it during transportation through harsh environments. The case contains all the tools, spare parts and materials required for maintenance and repair operations in the field. Customers can drop the unit directly into harsh environments like combat zones and exploration sites and be printing in less than 2 minutes.
“Manufacturers are up against many challenges in today’s market—from supply chain challenges like rising supply costs and shipping delays to increased pressure from the market to innovate faster and stay ahead of the competition,” says Shai Terem, president and CEO of Markforged. “Since Markforged shipped our first printer, we’ve been committed to quality and continuous improvement, always looking for simpler, smarter and more robust ways to empower our customers to build anything they can imagine. The addition of the Metal X (Gen 2), Next Day Metal and the X7 FE to our Digital Forge are important steps towards reinventing manufacturing today so that we are all more resilient tomorrow anywhere in the world.”
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.