Who Are the American Manufacturers of Composite 3D Printers?

Published on February 21, 2024 by Madeleine P.
american manufacturers of composite 3D printers

The U.S. additive manufacturing market continues to be the biggest in the world, with the largest number of 3D printer manufacturers, material developers, startups and even 3D printing service providers. But considering its size, it can be hard to know who exactly the players are, which is why we have previously told you about the American metal AM solution providers and manufacturers of FDM printers under $5000. But polymers and metals are just part of the sector. Another realm where we have seen growth in the USA is in composite 3D printing. But who exactly are these players? Where are they based in the country? We take a closer look at this latest listing in this series on the American manufacturers of composite 3D printers.

3D Systems and Inkjet Composite 3D Printing

It perhaps will come as no surprise to see 3D Systems on this list. As one of the oldest and most well-established 3D printer manufacturers in the world, 3D Systems has a much wider range of printers available than most others on the market. This includes, of course, solutions for composite 3D printing. We can point especially to the ProJet MJP 5600 was designed specifically for 3D printing large-format, multi-material composite parts in a single build. This machine uses 3D System’s MultiJet printing process, a type of inkjet printing process similar to material jetting, which involves the jetting of photocurable plastic resin or casting wax materials layer by layer. Specifically, within the ProJet MJP 5600 3D printer, it is possible to combine flexible and rigid photopolymers to achieve superior mechanical properties and custom performance characteristics, notably with 3D System’s Visijet multi-material composites. That being said, composite 3D printing is also possible on other machines, including for SLS 3D printers and the Titan line of FDM printers.

Photo Credits: 3D Systems

3DXTECH and its Gearbox CF2 3D Printer

Another American composite 3D printing solutions provider to include is 3DXTECH. Based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the company is best known for its material solutions including of course carbon fiber reinforced materials, claiming to have the broadest portfolio on the market. But they also have two printers, including one designed specifically for carbon fiber and glass fiber 3D printing, the Gearbox CF2. This printer boasts a number of properties to make it ideal for composite materials that have been reinforced with carbon fiber, including an actively heated chamber that can reach up to 135ºC. It also boosts features like print settings for popular 3DXTECH materials, as well as a hardened system for abrasive materials like composites.

American composite 3D printers

The Gearbox range from 3DXTECH (photo credits: 3DXTECH)

Electroimpact Focuses on Large-Scale Composite 3D Printers

Based in Washington state, Electroimpact puts itself forward a world leader in design and manufacturing of aerospace tooling and automation. As part of that, they have turned to additive manufacturing, developing their own advanced FFF 3D printing process named the unified Scalable Composite Robotic Additive Manufacturing (SCRAM) system. A 6-axis continuous fiber-reinforced 3D printer allows for the tool-less creation of aerospace-grade integrated composite structures according to their manufacturer. This is what Electroimpact calls “True 3D” printing (rather than what they say is more like 2.5 printing from other processes), since the layers are not constrained to a stack of planes, allowing for complex geometries such as variable density cores and other internal structures. The solution is also compatible with PAEK materials, Nylons and water-soluble thermoplastics along with composites of carbon fiber, glass fiber and boron fiber.

Fortify and Photopolymer-Based Composite 3D Printing

Founded in 2016, Boston-based Fortify is hoping to use new materials and process capabilities to transform in industrial manufacturing of RF modules for satellites and electronic devices. This is done through their FLUX 3D printers, which use Fortify’s Digital Composite Manufacturing (DCM) process. In this technology, photopolymers are used as well as Functional Additives (particles and reinforcing fibers), which are suspended and aligned in a resin matrix during printing. Upon curing, it is possible to have parts with a wide range of material properties at a much higher speed than other composite 3D printing processes.

American composite 3D printers

The FLUX ONE (photo credits: Fortify)

Impossible Objects, an All-American Composite 3D Printer Manufacturer

Another to put on the list of American composite 3D printer manufacturers is Impossible Objects. The creators of its own patented composite-based additive manufacturing technology (CBAM), Impossible Objects is dedicated primarily to the creation of composite parts as they seek to “produce the world’s strongest additively manufactured composite parts at injection molding speeds.” Indeed, with the CBAM 25 and CBAM-2, the company says it is possible to make industrial-grade composites parts at a rate 1600% faster than other carbon fiber 3D printing systems. Their systems boast as well a real time detection and avoidance system which integrates automatic printing monitoring and correction and is compatible with even advance polymers such as PEEK.

Ingersoll and its Large-Format, Composite 3D Printers

Another well-established American company that also has turned to additive manufacturing is Ingersoll Machine tools, which was purchased by the Camozzi Group in 2003. Currently, for composite 3D printing, the company offers the MasterPrint® 3X, a large-format, industrial, hybrid 3D printer which can simulate, 3D printer and mill extra-large composite parts in a single piece. The hybrid machine can operate with multiple modules including 3D printing, milling, fiber placement, tape laying, inspection and trimming, making it perfect for sectors such as aerospace, naval or even automotive. The company also offers other solutions including the MasterPrint® Continous Filament for continuous fiber-reinforced polymers, the MasterPrint® 5X, the MasterPrint® Linear and the MasterPrint® Robotic.

Markforged, the Well-Established American Composite 3D Printer Manufacturer

Probably one of the most well-known among the list of American manufacturers of composite 3D printers is Markforged. Though it recently also moved into metal binder jetting, Markforged is primarily known for its industrial and desktop composite 3D printing solutions, as well as its wide range of available materials. All eight printers from the company are compatible with continuous fiber 3D printing, including the latest launch, the FX10™. Adding to that, Markforged also gives users access to “The Digital Forge,” a platform designed specifically for additive manufacturing and allowing software, printers and materials to be unified and easily controlled. Showing even more clearly the company’s commitment to industrial additive manufacturing.

A drone made with a Markforged composite 3D printer (photo credits: Markforged)

Orbital Composites Sends Composite AM to Space

The next one on our list of American manufacturers making composite 3D printers is perhaps best known for its work in the aerospace sector, hence its name, Orbital Composites. But this Campbell, California manufacturer does not just offer services, it also is known for its large-scale, composite 3D printing “factories,” under the motto to “leverage the power of robots like never before.” Offering the Orbital e-, Orbital S-, Orbital F- and AMCM systems, the company is developed to multi-axis, large-scale manufacturing with including for making wind blades, satellite parts, rockets and more.

Stratasys and its F123CR Series

Another old and well-established manufacturer on this list, is Stratasys. The Israeli-American company, like 3D Systems, has an extremely wide range of solutions using many different 3D technologies. This includes of course composite 3D printing, through the F123CR Series, which allows for the creation of carbon-fiber and industrial-grade parts. Made up of the F190CR and F270CR systems, these FDM 3D printers are compatible with a wide range of materials, including ABS-CF10 and Nylon-CF10.

Photo Credits: Stratasys

What do you think of this list of the American manufacturers of composite 3D printers? Did we forget anyone? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

*Cover Photo Credits: Electroimpact

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