Material Guide: Markforged Onyx

At the core of Markforged’s unique fibre reinforcement 3D printing technology is the build material Onyx. It is a specially tuned PA6 copolymer (polyamide) filament with a chopped carbon fiber blend, adding great strength and stiffness unique to FFF printing. The surface finish is an excellent matte black colour, unparalleled in comparison with other reinforced filaments on the market.

MarkForged’s Onyx is a material that is ideal for customer-facing parts that need to look good while standing up to tough industrial requirements. It is based on a specially formulated polyamide, but also provides parts with stiffness equal to or greater than any pure thermoplastic material available for professional 3D printers. It’s easy to print and far more rigid in assemblies.

Onyx can be used alone, or further reinforced with embedded continuous carbon fiber, Kevlar, or fiberglass layers. It can also be used standalone, to print parts that has lower requirements on mechanical properties. Parts printed in Onyx warp far less than parts printed in Nylon.

Onyx has been measured to be 1.4 times stronger and stiffer than ABS, has a flexural strength of 81 MPa and a flexural stiffness of 2.9 Gpa. More properties in the comparison chart at the end of this post.

How to handle Onyx

While Onyx is an amazingly tough engineering plastic and works very well with Markforged’s Continuous Filament Fabrication (CFF) fiber materials, it is very susceptible to absorbing moisture. Onyx that has absorbed too much moisture will cause a number of printing issues, such as failed prints, under-extrusion, holes in the roof of parts, etc. Please take special care to never leave Onyx exposed to ambient air, and always keep Onyx in the provided Dry Box.

Which Markforged 3D printers can use Onyx?

Onyx is the primary build material used in Markforged’s desktop 3D printer series, consisting of Onyx One, Onyx Pro and Mark Two. Only the latter can print with Onyx and continuous carbon fibre, Kevlar or fibre glass. Onyx can also be used with Markforged’s industrial series, consisting of the X3, X5 and X7. Read more about Markforged X-series.

When To 3D Print With Onyx

Onyx serves as a thermoplastic matrix for Markforged’s composite parts. It can be printed alone or reinforced with one of Markforged’s continuous fibers to give strength comparable to aluminium. Use Onyx filament for anything from tooling, such as jigs, fixtures and robotic grippers, to end-use parts.

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