Maximising Strength and Efficiency with Markforged’s Advanced Fibre Reinforcement Technology
Fibre Reinforcement Redefined: Markforged’s Innovative Approach
In the realm of 3D printing, Markforged stands out for its pioneering work in fibre reinforcement technology. This technology, focusing on enhancing the strength and durability of 3D-printed parts, has been a game changer, particularly in applications where high-stress resistance is crucial. As the authorised Markforged partner in Sub-Saharan Africa, we are excited to delve into the latest developments and applications of this technology that is revolutionising the manufacturing landscape.
Core Technology: Continuous Fibre Reinforcement (CFR)
Markforged’s patented Continuous Fiber Reinforcement (CFR) technology is the backbone of their 3D printing prowess. This process involves laying down continuous strands of fiber, such as carbon fiber, fiberglass, or Kevlar, within a standard Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printed part. The inclusion of these fibres significantly boosts the part’s strength, making it comparable to traditionally machined metal components in many cases.
Material Choices and Applications
With a range of materials like Onyx®, Onyx FR™, Onyx ESD™, ULTEM™ 9085 Filament, and various forms of continuous fibre including Carbon Fibre, Aramid Fibre (Kevlar®), and HSHT Fibreglass, Markforged offers an extensive palette for diverse applications These materials find their use across various industries, including aerospace, automotive, medical, and defence, to name a few.
Customising Fibre Layout for Optimal Strength and Efficiency
An update from Markforged introduces new tools for customising fibre layout, delivering a cost-efficient method to achieve desired strength. This new capability, fibre override sketching, allows precise control over fibre placement within each layer of the 3D print. Users can now reinforce specific areas of a part, optimising material usage and reducing costs without compromising on performance.
Real-World Application: Reinforced Optical Breadboard Fixture
An excellent example of this technology’s application is a 3D printed fixture for an optical breadboard.
The objective is to figure out which print settings result in a part that meets or exceeds its Safety Factor requirement — while minimising material costs, as 250 of these parts will be manufactured.
Since the Safety Factor is far higher than it needs to be, there is an opportunity to reduce the amount of fibreglass — and significantly reduce the material cost. This is where fibre override sketching comes in handy.
Using fibre override sketching, fibreglass is only added to the region of the part that benefits the most — which is the load-carrying region (between the load and the primary fastener). After fibre override sketching, Simulation reveals a predicted Safety Factor of 1.58: which means this part exceeds the strength requirement while using far less fibreglass.
This meets a target Safety Factor of 1.5 and can withstand a maximum load of 400N.
Continuous fibreglass was added selectively using fibre override sketching. This approach not only met the strength requirements but also reduced the material cost by 37% and print time by 44%, compared to reinforcing the entire part.
These savings quickly add up with every print job. For example, a production run of 250 optimized parts will yield savings of $1,197 in material costs and 34 days of print time.
Simulation results for the 3 part configurations:
|Fibre in all layers
|Fibre Override Sketch
The Future of Manufacturing with Markforged’s Technology
The combination of Markforged’s CFR technology and their fibre layout customisation tools represents a significant leap forward in 3D printing. It enables manufacturers in South Africa to produce parts that are not only strong and durable but also cost-effective and time-efficient. With such technological advancements, Markforged continues to redefine the boundaries of what’s possible in additive manufacturing.
By embracing Markforged’s innovative technology, businesses in South Africa, including those benefitting from 3d printed automotive prototypes and aerospace composite 3d printing, can leverage the benefits of advanced 3D printing to stay ahead in a competitive manufacturing landscape. The future indeed looks promising with the integration of such transformative technologies into everyday manufacturing processes.