I just wanted to chime in and respond to some points and answer some of your questions:
Markforged is on the top of my list.
They are good printers. I will state that. They are just priced high and have crazy expensive filament. I’ve been using Nylon X or carbon fiber /nylon blends in my Mark One and Mark two printers for over 4 years now. I have not had a single issue. I’ve used PETG as well for small prints, never tried a “large” print with it since it was never needed. Any 1.75mm filament that prints at 240 is safe, it is just a 3d printer at the end of the day, precision or not.
The price of the machine is okay, but the filament cost is really high.
I think the Markforged printers are on the pricier side and yes I agree the filament cost from them is astronomical. The print quality varies and that is simply because you can’t adjust certain settings. Some objects just need slow speeds and some need high speeds. The build quality of the entire printer is fantastic but everything internally is designed from pre-existing mechanical components that are easily sourced, so the cost shouldn’t be so high…just my opinion.
Since some of you have experience, how is the Markforged Onyx One? Is the quality as good as they say? How about reliability and ease of use?
$3500 for the Onyx One is a decent price. It is a tad louder than your prusa due to the extruder feed motor and “aluminum resonance chamber” as I like to call it. My print quality is either good or a hot mess. Supports simply don’t work well with nylon filament across the board, it is a habit of the material, not any printer. I say “good” for print quality but there are cheaper printers capable of “Excellent” results. Any printer that is built with a sturdy metal frame using a Bondtech extruder and ruby olsen tip and properly heated bed is capable of those excellent results. Consistency is another key factor. The Markforged is not the most consistent due to the limited software and the lack of ability to make adjustments.
Do you have a machine that you recommend instead? I’ve been doing tons of research, but unbiased Markforged info is very hard to find.
I think the Markforged ecosystem is uber lame, so having owned over 5 of them over the last 5 years, generally no, I wouldn’t recommend them. Markforged printers are great but they are essentially “limited scenario FDM” 3d printers. I say generally because the higher end Markforged printers (around 100k) are fantastic for specific situations, but that is rare. They sure do look super sexy though. You asked if someone would recommend another printer, I can, but it really depends on what your specific use is, that will help narrow the options.