3D printing: Onyx vs. other filaments (PETG, etc.)

Might have to convince my mentor on this one for the timelapse alone lol. Thanks all of y’all for your input, helps us out a lot

If y’all end up deciding to grab one, feel free to use this referral link :slight_smile:

Depending how the testing goes over the next few months we may see if Thrifty can stock some of the consumable items that teams want ASAP during build season. But I need to really put this printer through more testing before I’d feel completely confident doing something like that. I haven’t been this excited about a 3D printer since I got my first Markforged though, it’s pretty dang sweet.

Here’s the PLA-CF material that comes with the X1 printer -

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Ryan, you’ve got to stop posting all the amazing things with this printer. I desperately want one and this isn’t helping my impulse control! :joy:

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Risk of dimensional inaccuracy is one thing people mention with the Bambu printers. Also, sometimes firmware or software updates have caused issues, from what I’ve read. It may be good to join the Bambu printer Facebook groups to get earlier visibility into those kinds of things.

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FYI, the AMS has a latch at each corner (circled below) but their purpose is not immediately obvious. With those engaged I find it to seal quite well. I have also printed one of the Hydra inserts for the AMS that allows more types/sizes of spools to be used (Printables).

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I found pressing down on the edges of the lid after closing it goes a long way. Not as positive a seal as the MF dryboxes, but it helps quite a bit.

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I bought a selection of the more affordable “engineering grade” filaments that are readily available on Amazon this week to do some testing. I think I picked up CF-polycarbonate, GF-nylon, GF-polypropylene, regular polycarbonate, and “Super PLA+”, all in the $25-60 per kg range. My intent is to tune up some decent Bambu X1 profiles for each and then compare mechanical properties using a semi-scientific approach. I’ll have to figure out a basic tensile test rig that can at least give good comparative results if not properly calibrated modulus and strength values, and an impact test machine is pretty simple to build as well.

Beyond the basics I really want to tune in the XY compensation, hole adjustment, and Z scaling values to get reasonably dimensionally accurate prints with the various materials. Shrinkage and warp due to thermal expansion and residual stresses tends to produce meaningful error in my experience with high temp plastics on the X1 (hence why Markforged and the like can charge $$$$ to figure that out for you).

Once I get through some testing I’ll share slicer profiles (probably OrcaSlicer), mechanical test data, and general tips regarding things like build surface prep for each material that isn’t a total flop. My baseline is the impressively durable Priline CF-polycarbonate that we used a lot of last year and I am curious if anything can beat it at a reasonable cost. Maybe I can even milk it to get some free filament from a vendor :thinking:.

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You might also try some different bed adhesives. Getting a good print with out warping is a challenge with some of those materials. Note that you can get some nice prints at the lower print range only to have layer failure when stressed. Jump the temp up to get that good layer adhesion and then the part warps. It would be nice to record the stabilized chamber temp for the X1. Also, size of your test prints matters. For example, I printed 4 bearing retainers out of Polymaker Polymax PC filament yesterday. They came out perfect. I can print these all day. Now same filament on a 5x8x.25 plate is very challenging. I used Magigoo PC adhesive. It really helps. I did get those plates to print well with an elevated chamber temperature. 65c. At that chamber temperature I was able to lower the nozzle temp to help with shrinkage and still have good layer adhesion. Any higher chamber temp and I get constant heat creep problems. The reason why the market for water cooled hot ends is increasing. Looking forward to findings.

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Yeah, I always preheat the chamber to at least 40C before printing with nylon or polycarbonate but I haven’t had issues with heat creep on the X1 yet. For really warp happy materials I use my modified railcore with an actively heated chamber and water cooled hotend. The highly reduced warping tendency of carbon or glass filled materials versus their plain counterparts is to me the only reason to accept the additional cost, because strength and layer adhesion seems to be worse on average.

For bed adhesion I like Vision Miner nano polymer adhesive. It holds well enough to warp the sheet off the magnetic base with large prints, so it can be worth preventing that with clips. I have also messed around with setting the bed to max temp for a few hours after printing to sort of anneal nylon prints. It reduces warping effects but also produces some Z axis shrink during the process.

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Very much looking forward to the data you get from this. Appreciate you being willing to share with all of us!

I have not experienced this, but I always design a “slop factor” into my models that can be tweaked to fine-tune the fit of any printed parts. But I also suspect this depends on the filament material.

The X1C has been working so well for me that I bought a second one. It is sheer X2C!

@Ryan_Dognaux That build plate is sooo shiny clean! I have not personally done the Hydra mod to the AMS, but I know a couple of people who swear by it. It might solve your larger spool problems. Thanks for sharing your Onyx settings! (“Phineas, I know what we’re going to do today…”)

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