3D Printing Goes Carbon Fiber

Meet the Mark One. Billed as the world’s first desktop printer capable of printing composite materials. For $5,000, you too can make a carbon fiber 1:1 scale model of a banana.

Named aptly for its creator, Gregory Mark, who also owns Aeromotions, this desktop printer debuted at SolidWorks World 2014 in San Diego. After seeing the expense and time currently associated with carbon fiber manufacturing, Mark started down a path that eventually ended up at the Mark One.

“We took the idea of 3D printing, that process of laying things down strand by strand, and we used it as a manufacturing process to make composite parts,” he told Popular Mechanics. “We say it’s like regular 3D printers do the form. We do form and function.”

The Mark One not only prints composite materials like carbon fiber, but also fiberglass, nylon and PLA. Of course, only one at a time. The printer employees some pretty nifty advancements, too, including a self-leveling printing bed that clicks into position before each print.

Pre-orders start in March with a price tag of $5,000.