Both metal and composite Markforged 3D printers utilize processes based on Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF, also known as FDM). FFF 3D printing is comprised of three relatively simple components:
3D printing software: 3D printing relies on a fully-automated software system that controls everything from gantry position to material deposition. These systems vary significantly, but all have the same core elements.
3D printing materials: Material selection dictates both the mechanical properties of the final part and the specifics of the printing process required to fabricate it. Application constraints come first when selecting a material—however, fabrication constraints can equally make or break your part. As is true in subtractive manufacturing, some materials are easier to print than others.
3D printing process: Dictated by software, this is the physical process by which FFF 3D printers deposit material layer-by-layer in the shape of a part. The specifics of this process impact part quality, precision, and print time.