Forbes France

Mark One, 3D printers made in Italy

The start-up based in the Emilia-Romagna region has made 3D printers its specialty.

A long work

There will have been sleepless nights, nights at work, nights to innovate. Nights in which passion and dedication become the only drivers. To create his first 3D printer, Marco Zani did not count his hours. He was always fascinated by these machines, and one day he decided to build his own, piece by piece. “I always thought this technology could change the world,” he says. A certainty that leads him to work tirelessly. He has an engineering education, and he develops his first 3D printer for his personal projects. “Then I saw that the Region, Emilia-Romagna, launched a regional competition on food revolution. I consider the technology unlimited, therefore I associated 3D printing with nourishment.” His project has been successfully accepted. The stakes? His 3D printer was presented at the Milan Universal Exposition in 2015. An incredible opportunity that led him to perfect the first “ONE” model for his official presentation during this important event.

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Three 3D printer models

From an idea, Mark One has become a reality. A unique start-up able to “design and develop custom 3D printers with industry standards, hardware and software configuration”. Mark One offers companies a 360-degree service. “The goal is to optimize the machine in relation to the needs and requirements of the company.” Depending on your needs, everyone will choose the printer that best suits their requirements. Three models are on the market today. The ONE model, simple and flexible, which is suitable for small and medium-sized businesses and enthusiasts of the sector. The other two are MK653 and MK333, “two larger and more ambitious industrial machines”. The first was created to make large pieces in monoblocks using technical materials. The second, “our current state-of-the-art machine”, offers high performance for reliability, precision and versatility. In any case, the machines are able to print all kinds of technical and soluble materials. Once the printer has been chosen, it is time for training. A key part during which Mark One teaches customers how to get the most out of the printer. “We train technicians within the company so that they can take full advantage of this technology.” A direct contact that goes from the first stage on, updating the customers on the developments of the technology both at the level of HW SW and process innovations. “This is because we believe that the 3D printing revolution does not lie only in the printer, but rather at 360 degrees, if we master this technology.”

Promising projects

Thanks to the high flexibility of its printers and the creation of unique solutions, Mark One addresses different sectors: from automotive to aerospace, from the medical environment to industrial automation through design. A significant example, Mark One is the first 3D printer in the world to enter the box of the official GRT Yamaha team in the superbike circuit to make real time production. Another important collaboration is the one with the Politecnico di Milano. “We use one of our printers to create parts of the Supersonic rocket.” Mark One does not stop here. The future is full of projects and opportunities to be seized. “We are registering a patent for the production of carbon fiber materials that will reduce costs and time by 50%”, says Marco Zani. Two new machines are being developed for the printing of highly technical materials such as PEEK, which is biocompatible, resistant to high temperatures and with high mechanical performance. A new model that the start-up will present next November at the Formnext fair in Frankfurt. The innovation and futuristic character of Mark One is no longer to be demonstrated. The start-up would now like to open up to the foreign market. For those interested, Marco Zani and his team will stop in Magny-Cours, France, from September 28th to 30th for the Superbike World Championship. They will be happy to let you discover the fascinating world of 3D printers.

Traslated article: Team Mark One

Source:  Forbes France