Cheaper filament for Markforged printers?

Has anyone tried using eSUN Carbon Fiber Filled Nylon Filament in a Markforged printer? It’s much cheaper than the eiger material, but I don’t want to damage our printer…

I have never tried it on a Makeforaged, but I have a modified ender 3 that I have used to print the eSun cf nylon, and it work pretty good doing that.

So while I doubt it will “damage” your printer, I don’t think you should use it, many people have tried other filaments with markforge printers and tend to get less then desirable results. If you spent that kind of money on the printer then you tend to want it to “just work” which most likely won’t happen with third party filaments since you can’t tune any of the print settings

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NylonX has been used successfully by a number of people both in and outside of the FRC space, but any reasonable qualify chopped CF nylon, or even normal nylon, should be fine. I don’t remember what the status on hacking the firmware to adjust temperatures ended up; I stopped caring when they about doubled prices a few years ago.

It’s incredibly common for these “physical manifestation of anti-consumer practices” printers to be purchased by schools who are unaware of the exorbitant, artificially inflated cost of consumables.
You’ve heard of the razor and blades model, but the razor is also gold-plated here.

Read your warranty contract and check if anything is still valid; if not, go for it.

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That’s one of the reasons we went with the Matterhackers Pulse XE printer when we bought a new one last year. It was ready to print nylonX right out of the box. From what I’ve found out is that Onyx and Nylon X are very similar and nylon X is cheaper, its not cheap though.

Broadly agree, as long as folks are aware of potential results/consequences.

This is probably true for getting prints to happen, but mileage will vary in terms of mechanical properties. In my limited testing (small sample, impact strength + flexural modulus), I’ve found Nylon X to perform very similar to Onyx, while Sainsmart ePA-CF is much stiffer and consequently less tough.


(Yes, the two graphs don’t have the same materials, I’ll get the tests aligned some day…)

On a related note, 3DXTech now has “Obsidian” and advertises it as a drop-in Onyx replacement for MF printers. I’m not sure if $130/kg for a “unsupported option” is worth it VS ~$190/kg for Onyx.

I’m curious what other CF Nylons folks are using with their MF printers, and if the parts are similar enough mechanically.

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Part of the reason you buy Markforged is that the whole system “works”. Obviously there is a price premium for that functionality, but having spent too many hours I will never get back fiddling with 3D printers it’s well worth it to just press print and know that whatever comes out is exactly what I expect.

Think about the time and engineering cost of getting alternate filament to work versus other places you could be spending that energy. For me that alone justifies the cost differential.

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I only got about 4kg out of my “works with NylonX out of the box” Pulse XE before weird failures started piling up (including a hotend replacement, weird slicer issues stopping halfway thru a print, etc). Hope you have more success than I did :slight_smile:
We don’t have the bandwidth for things that don’t work, been very happy with PLA+ on Prusas and PLA on the latest “premium” Ender - much less fiddling than the entry-level one.

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Very much second this.

Also in this same vein, for those that have an Onyx Pro, Mark 2, or X series MF printer, you can print the MF brand Precise PLA on those. We just got the upgrade on our X7 at work and printed some test parts and I was very impressed with the quality of the parts. Probably the cleanest PLA printed parts that I have seen. MF sells it on their site for $50/600cc, compared to $190/800cc for onyx.

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So we have a Pro and Mark 2, we have yet to get a successful P-PLA print out of them, after going back and forth quite a bit with their support it seems to be a known “issue” that some printers are struggling with the P-PLA material. We gave up for now until they can figure out why our printers struggle so much, but we’re excited to try out the new TPU material which from what I hear is easier to print with then their P-PLA and that kind of surprised me a bit with it being a bowden setup.

Hm odd. Ours just worked on the X7. The extruders and the actual printer isn’t really different on the X series so not sure why the difference would exist.

I’ll take some pics of the PLA test parts next week.

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I tried this but didn’t have great results. Onyx just works and prints like a dream, so I stick with it. But it ain’t cheap.

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Using regular plastic densities: $200/kg for the CF nylon, $67/kg for the PLA.

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Tragic. It ain’t easy being Thrifty…

Out of curiosity what issues did you run into?

Parts didn’t print as nicely and actually had small dimensional differences. I printed a few things I’d printed a lot of before and the differences were enough to not use it any further and just stick with Onyx.

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How much filament are teams going through per season these days?

I decided to do some math: If you print roughly 5 of @asid61’s Aliswerves worth of parts per season AND If you assume you NEED some kind of CF-Nylon, then you’ll have maybe $200.00 or so per season running unofficial filament on a MF Printer.

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So I think the reason here might be because the X7 has the laser bed leveling, MF told me that one of the main culprits to the P-PLA issues has to do with having the bed the right distance from the nozzle, too far or too close the pressure in the nozzle isn’t correct for the P-PLA causing print failures, usually by means of the extruder wheel grinding through the PLA and it no longer able to feed.

We are building an offseason 2022 robot right now. We have finished printing everything for that robot and probably used 3, maybe 4 spools of onyx total (this is a custom swerve robot with 4-bar intake, conveyor, adjustable hood shooter, and 10pt climber. I would say pretty comparable to the amount I have printed for my last few robots). To me, buying 4 spools of onyx for an entire robot isn’t a big deal, especially since I know I am getting parts that will work as the design intended pretty much first try every time.

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We have used probably between 8-10 spools, however we print with pla+. Also, this was the first real year we used 3d printed parts on our robot. We printed a lot of prototyping parts that we will use next year as well.

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