3D printing: Onyx vs. other filaments (PETG, etc.)

Hey all, my team has been considering getting on onyx printer due to some of the praise other teams have given it recently. However, when trying to research the advantages and specifics of how strong it is online, we couldn’t find too many tangible descriptions of advantages or strengths. So, if your team has used or is using onyx, we’d love to hear your thoughts about it overall and if you think it’s worth the investment. Thanks y’all!

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https://www.chiefdelphi.com/t/destructive-impact-testing-markforged-onyx-vs-nylon-vs-tough-pla/

Do note, there’s only one brand that officially supports “Onyx” filament (Markforged), but there are multiple brands that support other Nylons and/or Chopped-CF filaments.

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I’ll add one point to your analysis. Onyx is certainly a great filament because it is quite strong, but there are other filaments in the marketplace that have similar characteristics. The thing that makes Onyx a particularly superb product, in my opinion, is that is designed specifically to work with the Markforged printer. This “closed ecosystem” ( Closed platform - Wikipedia ) means that the resulting prints are very reliable and predictable. I value that in a printer tremendously - particularly for a project like FRC where time is of the essence.

Of course, with a closed ecosystem, you lose something compared the flexibility of other printers and filaments (pun intended! E.g. TPU filament - learn everything about the TPU material for 3D printing ).

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The main advantages of an onyx printer are its incredibly tight tolerances, and for the more expensive markforged printers, printing continuous fibers. My team has used onyx to reasonable success.

Cfny filaments are stiffer than normal filaments while being extremely ductile and and take impacts much better than PETG. CFny parts can be used for low and medium-load parts on FRC bots without significant worry of them breaking and can replace aluminum is such applications when weight matters while stiffness doesn’t matter as much (aluminum has a 23 times higher young’s modulus than cfny)

However, today you can buy the X1 carbon and still print CFny to very good tolerances for a fraction of the price of a markforged. Unless you desire continuous filaments, I would suggest looking into it.

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Potentially useful discussion from last year: Favorite brand(s) of PLA plus/pro? PETG? - Technical / Manufacturing - Chief Delphi

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When people say they like Onyx, its generally a Markforged+Onyx relationship they’re refering to. So you would need that part of the puzzle piece. One of the main reasons people like “Onyx” is that the particular blend of PA6-CF they picked is a specific cut of carbon that extrudes extremely nice in a 0.4mm nozzle. This loading is also a little lower than most “Super strong” type PA6-CF filaments. This allows the Markforge to act as a tool (Like your teams drill) instead of another project (Like your teams robot).

The things people are looking for in this range of filaments/capability are:

  • Strong parts (Not as brittle as PLA+ but maybe more rigid than PETG for example)
  • Easy Printing (Something you can click go and have 95% confidence it will be done upon return)
  • Good looking parts (0.4mm Nozzle and material combo helps here)
  • Dimensionally stable parts (Helped by MF closed loop system)

I highly recommend you adopt a new or used Markforged Onyx you can get for a good price. But if you want more capacity or looking for another cheaper option: Prusa with their PC-CF filament prints fantastic and great parts for FRC. We also print a ton of PET-CF on our Ultimaker S5 with great results. Im sure someone will chime in soon with a Bambu labs suggestion, I have no expereience there so I can’t recommend.

-Ronnie

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Look into Ninjatek Armadillo. It’s a rigid TPU (most TPUs are flexible) that’s strong and abrasion-resistant. We used it two years ago as the spindle for our climbing mechanism and it performed beautifully. And, it can be used on low-end 3D printers. One downside is that it does such a great job of sticking to itself that it makes a very poor material for removable supports – you’ll never be able to actually remove them.

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We have several parts on our robot this year printed with armadillo that have held up. All other filaments tried failed. even the Cf filled and PC. Printed on a modified Ender 3.

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Still can’t print a circle XD

Reamers are your friend if you are using this for a bushing.

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thanks for your input. my team has been using prusa for a while and we’ve been pretty happy with it, the occasional random print fail or other oddities such as that have been frustrating, but overall our draw to go to an onyx or “stronger” printer is just due to how many 3D printed parts we had break on us this year costing us some lame losses. defintely going to look into markforged soon based off what everyone’s said so far

We saw very impressive durability out of Priline CF Polycarbonate filament on our robot this year. It is cheap enough to try out on the Prusa and see how you like it. I have only used enclosed printers preheated to 40C+ for the polycarbonate, though, so I can’t speak to results when printing on an open machine.

PRILINE Carbon Fiber Polycarbonate 1KG 1.75 3D Printer Filament, 1kg 1.75 mm,Black https://a.co/d/ai7NSte

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ASA’s been a material on our radar for a while that we recently tried out. It doesn’t need a dryer which is huge for us as we don’t have the capability to store dried filament, and it is MUCH easier than abs to print.The strength is similar to that of many PETG’s and even a few Nylon’s we tried but the print quality is hands down better. We used Polymaker’s PolyLite ASA btw.

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This week we had a part printed in ASA on a Bambu p1s. The part was a difficult print that had precision holes and required allot of support. It was very well printed. I’m impressed. On our other printers this would have been a 3.4 hour print. A little over an hour on the p1s. Input shaping, enclosed and high flow hot end really are a step forward in FDM printing. The real test is happening at an off season comp today. This part will see some serious stress and shock loads. If it survives, I’m going to bring up the purchase of one of the new printers. I think the improvements on the recent enclosed core XY Klipper printers are enough to buy in. Have to say I’m leaning more toward the QIDI printers because of the active heated chamber. I believe going forward a heated chamber and air cooled hot ends are going to be a problem. Adding water cooling to a consumer printer is going to be hard. The kit build core XY’s are going there now. Doing those build is allot of work that I don’t think the team is interested in. Time to spend some money.

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I picked up the Bambu Labs X1 Carbon from Microcenter last weekend and immediately hooked up my Markforged Onyx drybox directly. Initial results look really good and having the ability to change way more settings than Eiger is nice.

Markforged part is on the left, Bambu Labs on the right.

The AMS is pretty cool but has some quirks if you’re not using Bambu Labs filament. The features you get for the price point are pretty incredible.

I have Bambu’s PAHT-CF coming today and want to compare other filaments to Onyx. This printer seems like the real Thrifty deal to print CF filament out of the box at a much lower price point. Note that the Markforged Onyx One now costs $6499 new, putting it out of reach for most teams.

The built in timelapse might be one of my favorite features :star_struck:

ezgif.com-video-to-gif

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The AMS is awesome but one annoying thing is that the Onyx roll is slightly too big and won’t allow the lid to seal. It doesn’t really affect printing but it increases humidity and doesn’t let the desiccant chamber do its job.

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The lid not having a latch to create any kind of airtight seal already sold me on not putting Onyx or other moisture sensitive materials in it. It really depends how fast you’re going to go through a roll I guess but the lid design doesn’t even fully shut half the time on mine or line up with the rubber seal fully.

It’s also easy enough to unload the AWS and attach your off-board drybox that I think teams should just keep their everyday materials up top in the AWS and off-board moisture sensitive materials in a separate drybox.

@Andrew_Schreiber sent me this link to a $25 dollar airtight case and I have a spare Markforged PTFE adapter that I plan to install. For about $50-60 you can recreate the $400 Markforged Pelican case drybox setup that I’ve found to be very good over thousands of hours of 3D printing. Will post some results if they pan out -

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I have kept the Bambu PAHT-CF in the AMS with a hygrometer, and it has been at a steady 14 percent humidity going on 2 weeks which is pretty good.

Great tip on the container! Definitely picking one up

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Almost identical! Did you do anything special with the slicer settings, or is this using their default PAHT-CF profile? I’ve been wanting to grab some Onyx for my X1C but want to make sure I’ve got ideal settings to work with. Also curious what bed/adhesive you used :slight_smile:

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I took the stock PA-CF generic profile and just modified nozzle temp and material density -

Used the engineering sheet side of the stock bed. Onyx prints like a dream so it’ll be interesting to see if other less expensive CF filaments are close.

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Printables is the place I think I originally found that - it has a parts list and printable parts for spool holder. I’ve used it on my Prusa for a while, I tried the AMS but it just didn’t seem to work well for me. Might be that Arkansas is just too humid.

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