Markforged has introduced its latest Onyx material, the flame-retardant Onyx FR.
The Boston-based company first made its name with high-strength polymer 3D printing. As with the 3D printing industry in general, though, it seems like lately more spotlight attention has been focused on their metal offerings. Certainly metal is exciting, and Markforged is demonstrably working on expansions for its metal side — but never count plastics out as an area of innovation.
Polymers remain the larger segment of the overall 3D printing industry, with widespread usage across a variety of applications. High-strength offerings allow for industrial and end-use production. Markforged remains perhaps best known for its carbon fiber-reinforced strong plastics.
The newest material to emerge is an addition to Markforged’s reinforced plastic portfolio. The company describes the original Onyx material:
“Nylon mixed with chopped carbon fiber offers a high-strength thermoplastic with excellent heat resistance, surface finish, and chemical resistance.”
To those offerings they now add another quality: flame retardance.
Onyx FR is a V-0 rated flame-retardant material for 3D printing, incorporating the familiar characteristics of Onyx in terms of strength, print quality, and surface finish.
The new material is designed for use in aerospace, automotive, defense, electronics housings, and other uses that require very specific properties. Flame retardance is required, for example, in certain aerospace applications.
Fire risk is a major concern in industry, and in 3D printing. While some materials are naturally flame resistant, others have to be treated to be considered flame retardant. So there’s some very intentional engineering that went into the development of Onyx FR — no surprise from Markforged, which has been very strategic in its product introductions.
Markforged shows that Onyx FR is self-extinguishing:
Traditional #3Dprinted plastics will burn if they catch fire 🔥, but our new material, Onyx FR, is self-extinguishing, so it will actually prevent itself from burning.
Watch the video below to see how Onyx FR compared to Onyx. #printstronger
— Markforged (@Markforged) May 2, 2019
“Onyx FR opens up more applications for 3D printing across automotive, aerospace, and defense industries because it meets higher fire safety standards. When these parts are reinforced with strands of continuous carbon fiber, they are as strong as aircraft-grade aluminum at half the weight,” said Markforged VP of Product Jon Reilly.
The new material is available for use with the Industrial Series 3D printers from Markforged.