Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
1/21/21 3:09 p.m.

Evaluating the MarkForged  3D printer for use in a prototyping and end use products.  Probably the Mark two or Onyx desk top style. 

Anyone have any first hand experience with these or heard pros or cons?  (Looking into this for use at work, not as a hobby unit)

 

engiekev
engiekev HalfDork
1/22/21 9:44 a.m.

MarkForged seems to have a really good support system and resources for small business use, compared to other printers, and support a lot of different materials.

https://markforged.com/resources/learning-library

Keith Tanner uses one, some examples here and quote:

"We ended up with a bank of Markforged printers due to the print quality. You're stuck with proprietary materials, but it's strong and it just works. Removing support material hasn't been a problem.

We currently have three printers that are running 24x7. We've had to replace one nozzle but it was right at about the time we expected it to go based on hours. They're consistent and basically trouble-free.

We looked at Ultimaker as well but they couldn't match the quality."

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/1929-majestic-91/89699/page3/

Some similar threads:

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/grm/anyone-know-much-about-mid-range-3d-printers-in-the-3-4k-price-range/172421/page1/

I've only used cheap consumer printers, Ender3, and it works fine functionally but when it comes to tolerances and consistency the commercial units are far superior.  Especially if you plan to use for end-use parts and not just prototyping.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/22/21 9:56 a.m.

Our bank of Markforged are still plugging along. I'm not responsible for them but I've heard that our biggest problem has been the speed of replenishment. Our printers are chewing through filament as fast as possible so we're a worst case, but we've had a few times where new shipments have been late for some reason or another and we've had to wait.

I'd definitely say that ours (desktop style) are aimed at small businesses like ours. They're outside the price of hobby machines but don't need the fine tuning or hand holding - they just work. But you have to deal with a more corporate sales structure than just clicking on a link in Amazon, and while the proprietary material is very good it does limit your options. On the flip side, they're not $20k.

Because it's so easy for hobbyists to pop something out for pennies, we need something to set our 3D printed products apart besides just a really good design. The quality of the print and the unique material allow us to do that.

So yeah, no regrets here on the Markforged. They've paid for themselves quite easily.

dps214
dps214 HalfDork
1/22/21 11:33 a.m.

We've had a mark two at work for...a few years now I think? Realistically we don't use it a ton (prototyping only) and I don't think we've used the fancier features like the reinforcement material much if at all, but it seems to work well and as far as I know hasn't had any issues. The internet based interface is a little slow and annoying to deal with as a result, but especially now it's nice to be able to start the print from home and then go into the office the next day and collect it. It's not fast and the material is expensive, but it makes really nice stuff.

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
1/22/21 2:21 p.m.

Thanks for the responses guys.

How good are they with their customer support for initial machine set up and any problems down the road?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/22/21 3:16 p.m.

Want me to put you in touch with the guy at FM who deals with ours? I THINK you deal with a reseller and not Markforged themselves - like I said, it's more corporate sales type stuff than hobby. But Brandon would know. Send your contact info to keith@flyinmiata.com and I'll bounce it over. Or, if you're a clever guy, you can probably figure out what his email address is.

Claws413
Claws413
1/25/21 1:48 a.m.

Hi. This literally my first post. Just signed up. Figured I'd give my experience with the Mark 2. I've had it since it first came out and can't say enough good things about it. The one exception being the cost of filament. It's eye watering. That being said, for carbon fiber infused nylon I use Nylon X by matterhackers. And for regular nylon I use Nylon Pro also by matterhackers. These filaments print perfect in the markforged. So the doom and gloom they tell you about using third party stuff is BS. If they find out it will void your warranty. But let's face it, it's a 3D printer how will they know unless you tell them. Mine is well out of warrantee at this point so I don't care and am willing to experiment. I've tried other filaments (PETG, PLA ect) and those don't work. The printer is really tailored towards nylon and it does print that very well. Any questions, fire away. I love the printer but just hate seeing people get ripped off by the cost of that filament. 

Indy "Nub" Guy
Indy "Nub" Guy PowerDork
3/2/21 8:32 a.m.

We're not going with the Markforged printer.

After sitting thru a demo / sales call we got a quote for the Mark 2:  $20,000.  Not. Going. To. Happen.

20 large for a small desktop unit. Nope.

 

Now I'm exploring the Creatbot F430 for around $4k.

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
3/2/21 8:35 a.m.

If you don't need the continuous fiber you can use the Markforged One that's much closer in cost to the Creatbot. I THINK that was the other one on our short list, we chose the Markforged primarily due to finish quality.

I'm trying to convince our guys that we need to try that Nylon X filament but no luck yet. 

cyow5
cyow5 Reader
3/2/21 3:01 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

If you don't need the continuous fiber you can use the Markforged One that's much closer in cost to the Creatbot. I THINK that was the other one on our short list, we chose the Markforged primarily due to finish quality.

I'm trying to convince our guys that we need to try that Nylon X filament but no luck yet. 

To expand on that, you also have to realllly  optimize both the design and printing approach for the single strand material to provide any real-world gain. If your part is loaded perpendicular to the print direction, you just wasted a ton of money on continuous filament. 

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