Composites Today

Magazine For Composites Professionals

Carbon fibre-filled PEKK designed for 3D printing aerospace components

Markforged Holding Corporation, (US) the company strengthening manufacturing resiliency by enabling industrial production released Vega™, an ultra-high-performance filament designed for aerospace manufacturing on Markforged’s FX20™ printer. Vega not only offers exceptional strength but also is expected to bring customers substantial advantages in weight reduction, cost efficiency, and lead time savings.

Vega builds upon Markforged’s material expertise and proven track record of engineering chopped carbon fiber-filled polymers that deliver strength, precision, and surface quality. Markforged developed Vega to be compatible with the FX20’s Continuous Fiber Reinforcement technology to deliver aluminum-strength parts.

“Vega is formulated to expand aerospace applications for our customers,” said Shai Terem, CEO of Markforged. “Vega incorporates Polyetherketoneketone (PEKK), a proven material in aerospace that possesses excellent strength and stiffness. We believe this material will set the standard in print quality for high temperature thermoplastics and expand the adoption of our FX20 printer.”

According to Markforged, Vega exhibits excellent surface quality that exceeds most high-temperature plastics used in additive manufacturing. With a smooth black matte surface finish, Vega offers an excellent as-printed finish for aesthetic aerospace parts. The new material resists warping, a constant problem for high-temperature plastics, and exhibits Flame, Smoke, and Toxicity (FST) resistance for high-value applications. Vega’s inherent print quality advantages are expected to drive favorable business outcomes for customers, particularly with production parts. Fewer defects and minimal warpage mean less post-processing to achieve production surface quality, allowing for higher part acceptance rates during inspection. Combined with Markforged’s Continuous Fiber Reinforcement technology, Vega provides increased design flexibility, without sacrificing strength, which opens new applications unreachable with other high-performance filaments. The new material expands the utility of 3D printing with Continuous Fiber Reinforcement for aerospace manufacturing from aesthetic parts to non-critical structural parts in interiors and similar applications.