3D printing can sometimes seem like a hobby meant only for for crazy people who want to construct armies of neon action figures. That, of course, is a lie, and here's the printer that'll prove it. The MarkForged Mark One doesn't just print in plastic or moon dust or any of those other namby-pamby materials out there: this baby prints in carbon fiber.
Developed by Gregory Mark, co-owner of race car wing manufacturer Aeromotions, the Mark One is at once a serious manufacturing platform and a 3D printing hobbyist's dream. Mark actually conceived of the carbon fiber 3D printer to save himself on the cost of hand-laying carbon fiber at work. From now on he'll be making parts out of fiberglass and carbon fiber hands-free. That's right, the MarkForged Mark One not only prints carbon fiber and fiberglass, but it can print composite parts as well. With nylon and PLA plastic also in the mix, your supercar-grade printing options are wide open. Parts printed on the Mark One have already been found to have a higher strength-to-weight ratio than traditionally-tooled aluminum.
The printer does come with a fairly small build volume, at 12" wide by 6.25" deep and 6.25" tall. With parts that size, it might take you a while to print yourself a whole car. At least you'll be able to check in with your Mark One wirelessly via Wi-Fi, pausing or resuming jobs whenever you like. At a cost of $5,000, the MarkForged Mark One isnt't cheap, but it is in line with some of the latest offerings from mainstream 3D printing companies like Makerbot.