Markforged rolls out Precise PLA

Markforged has announced the addition of Precise PLA to its portfolio of materials, giving them more cost effective options for prototyping.

With this addition, the platform should now be able to address all stages of product design, from validation, which relies on affordable materials like Precise PLA, to end-use applications which rely on Markforged’s carbon fibre and metal printed parts.

Precision PLA allows for faster and cheaper prototypes to be printed before parts graduate to more robust Markforged materials

Markforged says that its Precise PLA is a ‘specialised version’ of the widely used polymer for prototyping, with its new material available in 8 colours: yellow, red, green, blue, orange, black, white, and grey.

With updates to its Eiger software, the company says that its Digital Forge platform has been calibrated to print Precise PLA with ‘high quality and repeatability’.

With the addition of Precise PLA, Markforged now offers 28 different materials, from plastics to continuous carbon fibre and metals.

“An affordable material devoted to design validation was a top request from our customers to deliver a uniform and smooth print on the Digital Forge from the beginning to the end of the product life cycle,” said Markforged CEO Shai Terem.

“The growth and adoption of the Digital Forge depend upon our ability to address our customers’ requests and introduce new capabilities that grow our addressable market.

“This added dimension of versatility will expand the use cases our customers can address with the Digital Forge, and drive adoption in segments such as education and design services thanks in part to the lower cost of entry.”

Markforged customer Zero Tolerance LLC, an injection moulding and machine shop, has used the Precise PLA materials to bring an end-use motorcycle display adapter from concept to final product.

“When using other 3D printers and PLA materials, the results were not as precise as required, even after multiple iterations,” said Zero Tolerance CEO Steve Michon. “Printing parts to the size and quality we need, with the required functionality and at a great price point is critical for our business.”

“Once design validation using Precise PLA is completed, we move to production with Markforged’s Onyx material for functional testing, followed by printing with continuous carbon fibre for added safety for our final, end-use part.”

In addition to prototyping, Zero Tolerance also uses colour-coded inserts printed in Precise PLA, combined with Markforged’s continuous fibre composite materials to make fibreglass-reinforced assembly tools, helping the operator identify the correct tool quicker while relying on the fibreglass for strength and stiffness.

Markforged has announced that Precise PLA will be available to order from 15 March and will initially be compatible with Mark Two (Gen 2) and Onyx Pro (Gen 2) 3D printers.

The new material will be made available on all Markforged Industrial Series printers equipped with the latest A3648 extruder, including the X3, X5, and X7, in Q2 of this year.