0:00 - Markforged Goes Public
1:47 - Markforged FX20 Announcement
3:49 - Markforged Gets Sued!
Industrial metal and composite printer manufacturer Markforged, as I’m sure you all know, has finally gone public! They announced this plan back in March, merging with blank check company “One” to go public on the New York Stock Exchange as MKFG. They received about $361 million from the merger, intended to scale up their number of products, and continue their growth -- their goal, not stated lightly, is to revolutionize manufacturing -- much like most other 3D printing companies. As we’ve seen from 3D printing over the years, it’s relatively easy to cut costs by up to 95%, to get shorter lead times, and get full customization of parts, with relative ease.
Part of the transaction includes a $210 million private investment, in public equity, from asset management firm Baron Capital Group. The SPAC merger has also seen commitments from existing shareholders, M12 and Porsche Automobil Holding SE. Markforged is one of many companies this year that has gone public using an SPAC merger, so this definitely isn’t new.
Markforged’s existing management team will continue to operate the business with a few additions to the board, including Kevin Hartz, CEO of One, and Carol Meyers, venture partner at Glasswing Ventures. The company went public on July 15th at $10 a share. It then proceeded to drop almost 20%, down to $8 and change -- I wouldn’t be discouraged, though, this is a long hold in my opinion. Also, as a note, none of this is ever financial advice, we’re a 3D printing company, and everything herein is entirely opinion, based on hype and news. So, are you going to buy shares or did you already get some? Let us know in the comments down below, and maybe we’ll all turn it into the next DOGE or AMC!
Next we have Markforged’s latest and greatest printer, the FX20. They didn’t release much information on the new machine, but here’s what we know for now. The FX20 will be part of their line of continuous fiber offerings and will be their biggest, fastest and most sophisticated 3D printer to date. The FX20 is more integrated with Digital Forge, their cloud based AI printer management ecosystem. They promise the ability to print high temperature thermoplastics with continuous fiber reinforcement at the push of a button. The new machine is expected to ship worldwide in the first half of 2022. If you can’t wait that long, check out our website where we might just have a 3d printing solution for you. We just do high-temp industrial stuff, though, so don’t expect a cheap PLA printer on there.
Markforged has been known to be expensive, even exorbitant, but they also produce very clean and relatively strong parts in the X/Y axis…. Very slowly, but consistently. What do you think of proprietary systems where you have zero control over settings, versus open material systems where you can figure the hard stuff out on your own? Let me know in the comments!
And finally we have Markforged getting sued? Yes that’s right! Continuous Composites Inc. out of Idaho has filed a lawsuit for infringement of four patents including process and hardware claims which were already registered in 2012 as part of a larger group of nine patents a year before Markforged’s founding. The company’s 4 continuous fiber machines, the Mark Two, Onyx Pro, X5 and X7 are being targeted for patent infringement since continuous fiber is critical to the function of all four machines. Continuous Composites inc is demanding monetary compensation for patent infringement. However there is also an action for an injunction prohibiting Markforged from further exploiting the intellectual property protected by the patents. Who do you think is in the right? Should patents be allowed to be held, if the holders are doing nothing with them, simply holding them as ransom? Now, that’s not exactly what Continuous Composites is doing -- they’ve actually got some INCREDIBLE robot arms printing entire airplane wings…. It’s NUTS. Anyway, patents are a crazy thing, let me know how you think it should work in the comments.
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At Vision Miner, we specialize in Functional 3D printing, especially high-performance plastics like PEEK, ULTEM, PPSU, PPS, CFPA, and more. If you're interested in using functional 3D printing and materials in your business, feel free to reach out, and we can help you make the right choice for your application.
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