Exploring the FX10: Markforged’s Latest Advanced 3D Printer

By on March 8th, 2024 in news, printer

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The Markforged FX10 [Source: Fabbaloo]

We had a look at Markforged’s latest 3D printer, the FX10.

The FX10 is similar to the previous x7, but much improved. Markforged representatives told us the machine leverages their considerable experience with the X7, and focuses on what they call a “set and forget” design philosophy.

What’s new with the FX10? Perhaps the “biggest” change is the build volume. While the X7’s build volume is 330 x 270 x 200 mm, the FX10’s build volume is much larger at 375 x 300 x 300 mm. That’s about twice the volume, although the axial dimensions are about 10-15% longer.

The FX10 also prints faster, which is quite desirable when printing larger objects that fit within the massive build chamber.

The build plate is also different. The X7’s plate was made from composite material, while the FX10 is precision milled aluminum. This should provide a more stable print surface, particularly helpful with the larger dimensions. Markforged explained that the device uses a Kapton sheet as the build surface, held down by vacuum. This is similar to what’s done on several other high-end devices.

The FX10’s minimum layer size is a bit bigger than the X7, moving from 0.050mm to 0.125mm. This might be considered a step backwards, but when printing larger objects that would be done in the FX10, that’s not an issue. In fact, prints would complete faster. In any case, if you’re printing smaller objects with finer resolution, the X7 might be a better choice.

The FX10 is designed in a modular style that should allow for interesting upgrades in the future, as well as simplified maintenance.

Four spool bays on the Markforged FX10 [Source: Fabbaloo]

The FX10 holds up to four 800cc spools of filament material, held in a lower bay. These are automated, as the machine slurps up filament as required. Should one spool empty, the FX10 automatically switches to an alternate. This makes the FX10 a true production 3D printer, capable of near continuous operation.

Filament switching on the Markforged FX10 [Source: Fabbaloo]

“Smart” is another word you hear a lot when looking at the FX10. The filament type is automatically detected when spools are loaded, for example. There’s also a smart belt tensioning system that ensures the belts are in an optimal configuration.

The toolhead also includes a camera for high resolution inspection of extrusions, and presumably failure detection. In addition there is a laser system for part inspection as the print proceeds.

There are a number of other sensors in the FX10 that, all combined, provide the means for the system to dramatically increase print reliability and quality. The FX10 is not only bigger than the X7, but it can also produce better quality parts.

At the moment the machine can print in a single material, in addition to continuous carbon fiber reinforcement. We were told that a second material capability could be added later to the system. For now, the FX10 can use Onyx, Markforged’s proprietary blend of nylon and chopped carbon fiber.

Markforged has also deeply integrated the FX10 with their comprehensive software environment, which should provide an easy workflow from design to print.

The FX10 looks to be quite an impressive machine for industrial use, particularly for production purposes. Pricing is approximately US$100K for a unit.

Via Markforged

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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