Fused filament fabrication (FFF) or fused deposit modeling (FDM) 3D printers are known for being the easiest machines to run, calibrate, and maintain due to their simplicity. There are no UV lights, resins, or powders. Calibration typically comes down to setting the material flow, bed level, nozzle heights, and belt tension. This is true of Markforged desktop 3D printers as well, although the material flow isn’t needed as that’s already set up in the system.
Articles by Andrew Garchik
For the past five years, I’ve made onsite visits to help customers implement and operate Markforged 3D printing systems. Markforged is known for their continuous fiber composite printing, and the topic of custom fiber pathing – or having multiple settings in different areas of a part – has come up frequently in my trainings. My response has always been that although there are approximately ten different fiber configuration settings that will get the job done in the proprietary software, you cannot write your name in fiber so to speak. I’ve probably told that to hundreds of customers over the past few years, but today I’m here to set the record straight.
I recently discovered a workaround that allows you to create pockets of different settings within your part, so you can in fact write your name in fiber, or have multiple settings in different areas of the part. In other words, you can create a custom conformal fiber path in any geometry you like within your part.
The FX20 is the most sophisticated 3D printer ever developed by Markforged, built for everything from performance tooling and fixtures to flight-ready production parts.
This large format printer can reinforce Ultem 9085 filament with continuous carbon fiber, creating a true composite that combines the material’s excellent FST and high-temperature characteristics with the strength of continuous fiber reinforcement (CFR). And although this printer brings new breakthrough capabilities like CFR in Ultem to the industry, it also delivers parts multitudes faster than any previous model with a much simpler user experience.
In an effort to help make your process more efficient, we want to provide recommendations for exporting a high resolution STL file from your CAD software for 3D printing. Failing to do so can cause several issues including faceting or simplification of curved geometry as seen below.
Step One | Adjusting Your STL Options
When you are ready to save your model as an STL file, first choose “save as” and select STL from the dropdown menu. Once STL is selected as the desired file type, an options menu will appear: