What is Markforged, a 3D Printing Startup, Will Go Public

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What is Markforged, a 3D Printing Startup, Will Go Public

Industrial 3D printing pioneer Markforged is set to go public after a newly announced merger deal with Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC).

According to the deal, which is expected to be finalized sometime this summer, the merged companies are expected to have a combined valuation of $ 2.1 billion, approximately $ 400 million in net cash that includes expansion, proprietary materials and products. Will be kept for development efforts. .

Once public, Markford will trade on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol "MKFG".

The deal has the substantial support of Kevin Hertz, founder and CEO of Ek and co-founder of event management and ticketing website Eventbrite.

In a statement, Hartz said that Markforged has already "strengthened the additive manufacturing industry and is well positioned for robust growth benefiting from the velocity of digitization."

"When launching one, our priority was to partner with exceptional founders, visionaries, and operators taking a different approach in large and growing markets - Markford ticked all those boxes and other things," said Hertz. "We are thrilled to work closely with the entire Markford team, including highly engaged founders, visionary leaders and world-class engineers, uniquely positioned to lead the revolution in modern construction."

Since its inception in 2013, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-headquartered Markford has been a leader in 3D printing innovation. The company was a pioneer for carbon fiber 3D printing, and in 2020 introduced Digital Forge - cloud-based 3D printing software to improve the design to allow for a continuous learning process for industrial-strength 3D Uses a combination of printer and AI. .

As global supply chain weaknesses continue to grow, 3D printing businesses are set to fill valuable gaps in the manufacturing sector. To that end, Markforged seems particularly well-adapted: before the announced merger, the company had already claimed "the largest connected fleet of industrial 3D printers in the world," with more than 10,000 machines and 10 million Has been printed with more parts than. In 70 countries.

Markforged will join other 3D printing businesses that have recently gone public, including Materialize, Stratasys, 3D Systems, SLM Solutions, ExOne, voxeljet, and Desktop Metal.

Two researchers at Penn State have created a new system for five-axis additive 3D-printing that reduces the amount and density of support materials required for printed objects.

Doctoral candidates Jhini Xiaoya and Sanjay Joshi proposed to turn objects into 3D space using a 3D printer with a movable build plate or extrusion arm that they were printing. Every surface is being "leveled".

Normal additive 3D printing begins at the bottom of an object and adds to the prints. When objects at the main base are larger at the top than at the base or overhang - imagine tree branches overhanding a trunk - traditional printers add support material that is removed and thrown away.

"Removing support structures is expensive and time-consuming, especially for metal parts," the researchers wrote.

In other words, it is a 3D printing class, with another axis added to the printer to maximize the process as the object grows.

The researcher's project focuses on a new prediction model for print preparation that makes it more rapid to produce objects for printing on a five-axis 3D printer.

The researchers wrote, "Using a five-axial deposition machine has the ability to build structures without the need for support." “However, automated process planning software is lacking to support full use of five-axis machines. [We introduce] an automated method that allows the part to be reproduced during manufacture using a five-axis machine. "

The process cuts objects into individual pieces that must be printed on a different axis. In the image below, for example, the system cut the rabbit into four pieces with legs on one axis, overhanging tail and body on the other, and ears still on another axis.

When you use a regular 3D printer - as shown in this Instructions article - the support material covers almost the entire rabbit and is somewhat difficult to remove. With the new process, you can reduce or remove support content altogether.

"Large metal components, using traditional additive manufacturing, can take days and waste a lot of material using support structures," the creators said. “Additive manufacturing is very powerful, and because of its flexibility it can make a lot of things; However, it also has its disadvantages. There is still more work to be done. "
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