Markforged’s multi award winning Mark Two 3D printer has been at the center of a high profile case study at a leading global energy services company. By using the system to support and maintain parts of its production line, the company has successfully been able to shorten the turnaround time, and cut down on costs.
The particular focus of the project has been the production of tools and fixtures for a pick and place machine, and the development of a custom-made pad handling system.
Phil M, Senior Mechanical Designer at Markforged’s customer, comments, “With the functional pad handling machine, we could easily increase the plant throughput by 15%,”
“WE HAD TWO CHOICES: FRONT THE TRADITIONAL COST FOR THE MACHINE OR MISS OUT ON INCREASED PLANT THROUGHPUT.”
Continuous carbon fiber 3D printing cuts costs
The project in question required the transfer of large tape pads weighing between 115 and 230 lbs. Too heavy for a single person so load and unload, the team were in need of a custom machine to take care of carrying the load.
Using the Mark Two, this company was able to produce the custom parts required to build the machine, saving $27,000 CAD in the process by swapping aluminum and sheet metal for 3D printed parts.
In total, 53 unique parts were 3D printed using Markforged technology, 45% of which were reinforced with Kevlar, HSHT fiberglass, or carbon fiber to improve stiffness and longevity. With the Markforged 3D printers, Phil added that:
“WE VIRTUALLY ELIMINATED THE THREE- TO-SIX-WEEK TURNAROUND TIME THAT EXISTED FOR REPLACEMENT PARTS.”
Following this initial project, the Mark Two is now being used by the team for prototyping, testing, and iterating new designs.
From robot battles to the public sector
In March 2019, Markforged closed a Series D funding round with a value of $82 million and subsequently expanded its operation to a European HQ in Dublin.
Following this, in May 2019, the company released a flame-retardant composite material designed to be used in the aerospace, automotive, and defense industries. And most recently, Markforged launched a new AI technology platform named Blacksmith, during RAPID + TCT 2019.
Markforged has also partnered with Carahsoft Technology Corp, a government IT solutions provider, tis year which has introduced the company’s systems into the public sector. Carahsoft will provide the OEM’s industrial additive manufacturing technologies to the U.S. Government, acting as Markforged’s master government aggregator and distributor.
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Featured image shows the pad handling machine, consisting of 53 unique 3D printed parts. Image via Markforged.