Markforged (NYSE: MKFG), creator of the integrated metal and carbon fiber additive manufacturing platform, The Digital Forge, announced today it is taking a major strategic step to support aerospace, defense and other manufacturers in highly-regulated industries. Beginning today, Markforged is offering Onyxtm FR-A and Carbon Fiber FR-A, aerospace-ready versions of its Onyxtm FR and Carbon Fiber FR materials. These two new materials are undergoing a qualification program conducted on the X7 industrial 3D printer by the National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP), part of the National institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) at Wichita State University. Upon completion, Markforged is expected to have the first continuous fiber-reinforced additive manufacturing (AM) process qualified by NCAMP, one of two bodies authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to qualify materials for flight.
Since Markforged introduced continuous fiber reinforcement to general manufacturing seven years ago, millions of parts have been printed using The Digital Forge. Markforged is now advancing its support of end-use parts for the aerospace market so manufacturers can benefit from continuous fiber reinforcement technology. This enables manufacturers to take advantage of high strength lightweight composites at lower fixed costs, shorter lead times, and reduced investment in labor compared to traditional processing.
"Markforged believes in a future that is more than metal. We have long supported the aerospace industry and have parts in-flight today," said Markforged President and CEO Shai Terem. "There is a multi-decade trend underway to transition parts from metals to advanced composites, which are lighter and offer greater efficiencies. Our deliberate move to support innovation in aerospace mitigates risk for these manufacturers and helps get additive parts in the air faster by simplifying the part certification process."
Markforged has been collaborating with NCAMP since the first quarter of 2020 and has successfully completed the rigorous factory audit phase of the qualification program approved by NIAR and a steering committee consisting of experts spanning commercial and defense industries, academia, and the FAA. The program is currently in the printing and testing phase, which will be followed by an in-depth analysis and reporting cycle. Markforged and NCAMP anticipate full qualification upon completion of these processes in early 2023. Both the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) currently accept composite specification and design values developed using the NCAMP process.
Onyx FR-A and Carbon Fiber FR-A materials are designed to meet Flame, Smoke, and Toxicity (FST) requirements for many parts in aircraft interiors, come with traceability, and adhere to specifications approved by NCAMP. They are specifically developed for end-use applications in demanding industries like aerospace and defense because of their high strength-to-weight ratio, exceptional surface finish, and high consistency. With Onyx FR-A and Carbon Fiber FR-A materials, aerospace manufacturers and others in highly-regulated industries that require higher levels of documentation can more freely explore what's possible with additive manufacturing and high strength continuous fiber reinforced end-use parts.
Markforged has been working with aerospace customers, such as Cabin Management Solutions (CMS), to bring end-use parts to market through a manual material traceability process. The company, based in Texas, designs and manufactures cabin management and in-flight entertainment systems for business and private aircraft, and has already developed over 100 end-use parts ready to be installed in aircrafts. Newly available material traceability will streamline their processes and, ultimately, help accelerate the path to FAA approval.
"In aerospace, it's important to have quality parts we can adapt on the fly to make any changes the customer requests," said Jeff Pike, VP of Engineering at CMS. "Using Markforged printers and materials offers us ways to create low-volume, high-value luxury cabin parts faster and at the point of need. This results in lower costs and accelerated lead times, and with material traceability in place, it will enable us to move even faster in our development process and free up resources to focus elsewhere."
Onyx FR-A and Carbon Fiber FR-A, available now, will give manufacturers confidence in the materials while reducing risk and saving time. Once Onyx FR-A and Carbon Fiber FR-A complete the NCAMP qualification process, manufacturers will be able to access Markforged's material information from the NCAMP database, prove equivalency, and have the ability to gain FAA certification efficiently.
Onyx FR-A and Carbon Fiber FR-A materials are available on the Markforged X7, and Onyx FR-A is also available on the Markforged X5 and X3. These printers combine precision-built hardware, advanced sensors, and best-in-class software to deliver accurate parts, repeatedly. The company expects to launch additional traceable materials in the future.
To learn more about Onyx FR-A and Carbon Fiber FR-A and how Markforged is supporting manufacturers in aerospace and other highly-regulated industries, visit https://markforged.com.
Markforged (NYSE: MKFG) is reimagining how humans build everything by leading a technology-driven transformation of manufacturing with solutions for enterprises and societies throughout the world. The Markforged Digital Forge brings the power and speed of agile software development to industrial manufacturing, combining hardware, software, and materials to solve supply chain problems right at the point-of-need. Engineers, designers, and manufacturing professionals all over the world rely on Markforged metal and composite printers for tooling, fixtures, functional prototyping, and high-value end-use production. Markforged is headquartered in Watertown, Mass., where it designs its products with over 350 employees worldwide. To learn more, visit www.markforged.com.
Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements. This press release contains forward-looking statements that are based on beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the following words: "may," "will," "could," "would," "should," "expect," "intend," "plan," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "project," "potential," "continue," "ongoing" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology, although not all forward-looking statements contain these words. These statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from the information expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Although Markforged believes that it has a reasonable basis for each forward-looking statement contained in this press release, Markforged cautions you that these statements are based on a combination of facts and factors currently known by it and its projections of the future, about which it cannot be certain. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the timing for NCAMP qualification and FAA approvals,, Markforged's product roadmap, pipeline and future innovation, and the benefits to consumers, functionality and applications of Markforged's products. Markforged cannot assure you that the forward-looking statements in this press release will prove to be accurate. These forward looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, among others, general economic, political and business conditions; the ability of Markforged to maintain its listing on the New York Stock Exchange; the effect of COVID-19 on Markforged's business and financial results; the outcome of any legal proceedings against Markforged; the approval process with NCAMP and other regulatory bodies; and those factors discussed under the header "Risk Factors" in the Proxy Statement and Prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424B(3) with the SEC on June 24, 2021 and those included under the header "Risk Factors" in one's Annual Report on Form 10-K and other filings with the SEC. Furthermore, if the forward-looking statements prove to be inaccurate, the inaccuracy may be material. In light of the significant uncertainties in these forward-looking statements, you should not regard these statements as a representation or warranty by us or any other person that Markforged will achieve its objectives and plans in any specified time frame, or at all. The forward-looking statements in this press release represent Markforged's views as of the date of this press release. Markforged anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause its views to change. However, while Markforged may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, Markforged has no current intention of doing so except to the extent required by applicable law. You should, therefore, not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing Markforged's views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.
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