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We are the 3D printing arm of a larger company called Express Group Ltd. Fixing printers since 1988, today we are a Specialist Parts Distributor and Experts in 3D Printing.
We take quality control very seriously, which is why we are audited for ISO9001:2015 certification, this helps ensure we provide great customer service.
3D printers have been in use in the manufacturing industry for more than thirty years, but it is only really in the last ten that the market has opened itself up to other applications on a large scale, such as mould making for investment casting and tooling. Applications are also emerging for the medical and dental fields.
All of which is to say, 3D printing is no longer constrained by manufacturing limitations or design complexity; and as a result, it is seeing incredible growth.
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The X3 allows for custom tooling without the limitations found with traditional machining. Including a full sensor suite, motor encoders, ultra flat gantry system and a calibration laser accurate to 1 micron, the X3 prints parts exactly as you design them.
Launched in August 2017, the Markforged X3 introduces affordable industrial-grade 3D printing to smaller manufacturers. With it, you can 3D print parts that are 20 per cent stronger and 40 per cent stiffer than those printed with ABS, and you’ll enjoy unmatched precision courtesy of Markforged’s latest-generation motor encoders.
A True Manufacturing Solution
The X3 is one of the most advanced 3D printers on the market. It has a durable all-aluminium enclosure built around a flat gantry system.
You won’t be left wanting for space either. The X3 offers a 330-mm x 270 mm x 200 mm build volume for manufacturing both small and large parts, and it prints at a layer height of 50um. The printer has been setup to work straight from the box with minimal fuss, making it the perfect choice for demanding manufacturing environments.
High-Strength 3D Printing with Onyx
Traditional thermoplastics, such as ABS, have mechanical limitations. Whilst durable, they lack the strength and stiffness for truly harsh end-use applications. The Markforged X3 prints with Onyx, a fusion of engineering nylon and chopped carbon fibre. Onyx is 20 per cent stronger and 40 per cent stiffer than ABS, and it is 3.5 times stronger than nylon.
Because it contains nylon, Onyx is highly resistant to wear (abrasion) and has a high heat deflection temperature. Thanks to the X3’s 50um print resolution, layer lines are virtually invisible so parts have a smooth, good looking surface fresh from the print bed. This all but eliminates the need for post-processing, leading to greater efficiency.
To find out more about the Markforged X3, contact us today.
What People Say
“High-temperature-capable carbon fiber-filled nylon ‘Onyx’ gives it [the X3] the ability to print unbelievably durable parts.”
– Rawal Ahmed, 3D Printing
“ MARTAC can create a complex, custom geometry that doesn’t need to conform to subtractive machining constraints”
– MARTAC Case Study
The best 3D printers fabricate models and parts that are true to design. In other words, models and parts that are a perfect physical representation of the digital model drawn in CAD. To achieve this high degree of dimensional accuracy, printers must produce a very fine edge across the build area. This is how we perceive parts to be high quality or not when we look at them and inspect them.
Of course, multiple variables determine how fine that edge is, and you cannot always rely on the quantitative values manufacturers place on their 3D printers. If we did, every printer on the market would be pinpoint accurate.
When you are shopping for your next printer, consider this: accuracy is the value that determines how close a 3D printed part is to its digital drawing. Precision refers to the repeatability experience of a printer, or how reliable the printing experience is. If you want a consistently good 3D printing experience, you need both.
The two most common 3D printer technologies are FFF and SLA.
The most common technology is fused filament fabrication (FFF), also known as fused deposition modelling (FDM). Both technologies are in fact one in the same.
These 3D printers are the lowest cost. They melt a plastic and extrude it layer-by-layer to build up models from nothing. This process is traditionally best suited to low-cost prototyping, but advancements in technology mean this is no longer the case. There’re more variables that can affect the quality of a print with FFF than SLA, but solutions like an enclosed build chamber and heated build plate reduce this.
SLA (stereolithography) 3D printers use a laser to cure resin (liquid plastic) onto the build platform in desired areas.
Unlike with an FFF 3D printed part, parts printed by an SLA 3D printer need to be post-processed with UV light. This cures the resin, causing it to solidify and reach the mechanical properties required for the application. The method of production is cure, peel, raise, with the laser curing the resin layer by layer; the peel mechanism lifting each new layer off the surface; and the raising action allowing new resin to flow under the build platform.
3D printers are available in all shapes and sizes to suit any project, but there are two common classes: desktop, and large-format.
Desktop printers do exactly what they say on the tin - they fit on a desktop (or most workspaces) and take up around the same footprint as a large LaserJet printer. Large-format printers are four or five times bigger, enabling you to manufacture models and parts like car bumpers and snowboards in one go.
You’ll find the bigger you go, the rarer photopolymer technologies like SLA and DLP (digital light processing) become. This is because they get very expensive as you scale up. Most large-format 3D printers are of the FFF variety because the technology is cheaper and easier to produce on a large, industrial scale.