MarkForged CFF™ Materials 101
When we were kids, we always wanted to be first in line. Which is why it’s no surprise that our team created the world’s first carbon fiber 3D printer. We just couldn’t wait to overcome the limitations of traditional fused filament fabrication (FFF) printing methods.
Composite Filament Fabrication (CFF™) printing gives you all the flexibility of traditional 3D printing, combined with … well, even more flexibility. The secret is in our advanced materials. We reinforce each nylon component with super strong continuous filaments for extra durability with a strength-to-weight ratio that’s stronger than aluminum. That’s right, we said stronger than aluminum. But we don’t limit your creations to a one size fits all model.
Depending on your needs, our signature MarkForged Mark One 3D printer allows you to choose between carbon fiber, Kevlar® or fiberglass reinforcements. You can even use a combination of fibers or print parts with the traditional nylon FFF method. You’re the boss.
To help get your project started, here is a crash course in what to expect from each of our printing materials:
This is your gold-standard printing material and our heavy weight champion. With the highest strength-to-weight ratio, pieces reinforced with carbon fiber can withstand serious pressure. These pieces are about the same weight as nylon variations, but infinitely stronger. Carbon fiber also has the highest thermal conductivity: another first for the industry. Like many things in life, you get what you pay for. Carbon Fiber filament is our premium printing material, but the output is worth its weight in gold. Well, almost.
Arguably one of the coolest synthetic fibers you can print with. You’ll find Kevlar® in cryogenics equipment, fiber optic audio cables, and armor (you know, like, suits of armor). You probably even have some in your favorite frying pan. The same scratch resistance you love in the kitchen translates to best-in-class abrasion resistance in your 3D parts. Components reinforced with Kevlar® are impact resistant and durable, without breaking the bank. The fiber’s stronger-than-steel reputation makes it suitable for projects that require strength, while its resistance protects your parts’ beauty and design.
Best bang for your buck: fiberglass filament has the highest strength-to-cost ratio. Fiberglass is a great choice if you need strength, but don’t want to splurge on carbon fiber or Kevlar®. Fiberglass is also electrically insulating in case friction or conductivity are a concern. With our CFF™ printing method, you also get unbeatable precision and fiber-layering control so your design fits your strength requirements, looks, and functions the way it should. If your part doesn’t have a use case for extra strength or durability, this is a great place to start.
You know the saying. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. The MarkedForge Mark One printer gives you flexibility to print parts with reinforced filaments and frees you from limitations of traditional 3D printing. But we also know that many amazing projects have been made using the FFF printing method and that sometimes you just need a nylon part. If strength isn’t an issue for your project, you can always use traditional nylon filament to bring your project to life.
- Dustin Heigl