Abrasive filaments

In a world where 3D printing users require more functional and exotic filaments, we try to keep up with the demands. Although we aim to make sure our filaments work on as many printers as possible, we know that not all materials are a good fit for every printer. One of the reasons can be that some filaments wear the standard brass nozzles too much.

This summer our printlab sees a lot of testing with the Olsson Ruby nozzle, a nozzle which works especially fine with our abrasive filaments like XT-CF20 and steelFill.

Full credits for the designs at the end of the post

We printed with the brand new 0.6mm and 0.8mm Olsson Ruby nozzles on the Ultimaker 2.

The Olsson Ruby nozzles we printed with provided to us by its manufacturer and very own distributor for the Nordic Region: 3DVerkstan, based in Stockholm. In the words of Daniel Ljungstig, CEO of 3DVerkstan: “The Olsson Ruby is a high-tech nozzle with a carefully designed ruby tip, which makes it have unique properties. The ruby nozzle is designed by Anders Olsson, inventor of the popular Olsson Block that is also part of the Ultimaker 2+ 3D Printers. He designed it to be able to print extremely hard materials for scientific research at Uppsala University in Sweden.”


During our test printing the mask we have seen quite some benefits over the regular brass nozzles that are the current industry standard: The ruby nozzle retains the excellent heat conducting properties of brass, while being extremely resistant to wear. This means that you can print your standard materials as usual, but also very abrasive materials such as XT-CF20 and steelFill. Daniel Ljungstig adds: “In addition to this, many of our test users have reported an improved surface quality compared to standard nozzles.” 

The Olsson Ruby is a high-tech nozzle with a carefully designed ruby tip, which makes it have unique properties. The ruby nozzle is designed by Anders Olsson, inventor of the popular Olsson Block that is also part of the Ultimaker 2+ 3D Printers. You can visit the website here.


About the filaments…


XT-CF20 is our first Amphora based special filament, launched nearly two years ago, made with colorFabb_XT and 20% carbon fibres. More information can be found hereXT-CF20 has received some really good reviews on our website. It may not be the easiest filament to print with, but the results can be stunning. The functionality, stiffness and the matte finish are true selling points of this material.

colorFabb’s XT-CF20 is available in both 750 grams and 2.2kg spools. Click here to see the availabilty.


With steelFill we are added a fourth metal based filament to our portfolio after succesfully releasing bronzeFill in 2014, copperFill later that year and brassFill in early 2015. As with these other filaments, the key is post-processing and you can use similar techniques as with our other special metal based filaments.

You can find the full tutorial on how to print with steelFill here.

Iron Man Bust by Geoff.W (not printed with the Ruby nozzle, by the way) – http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:571321

As with XT-CF20, steelFill is available in our webshop and through our network of distributors and resellers worldwide.


The designs

3D printed bike dropout right by colorFabb: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:892442
OpenRC F1 250% Front Upper BOM by colorFabb: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1834126
Misumi Aluminium Extrusion 2020 profile (scaled) by Beverageexpert: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:280318
SteelFill anvil by Steve Cox (original post)
Mother’s Day Sculpture by MakePrintable: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1541512

The nozzles were generously supplied to us by 3DVerkstan, our distributor and partner in the Nordic region and manufacturer of the Olsson Ruby Nozzle. For more information about the nozzle, contact 3DVerkstan: info@3dverkstan.se or visit the Olsson Ruby website.

Final Fantasy VII Globe

Sometimes it is just fun to print game based gadgets. A request came from one of our colleagues in logistics to print the Final Fantasy VII Globe (or comet, as he says), which he wants to paint afterwards. For this print, which needed a lot of detail, we used nGen, our all-round 3D printing filament made with Eastman Amphora™ AM3300 3D polymer.

Design by Qwyksylver: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1084401

We printed on the Ultimaker 2+ with nGen Dark Gray and a 0.4mm nozzle. The print took 10 hours and we printed with 40mm/s and a 0.06mm to get the most details out of this print.

Released in 1997, Final Fantasy VII is one of the most iconic games to be released. Popularity never slowed down and this year, during its 20th anniversary there will be a lot of attention for this classic again.

Material of choice is our trusted nGen filament. nGen has proven itself to be a very versatile material that can be used for a lot of applications, visual prototyping being one of them! It has become our default, all-round filament for printing all sorts of prototypes and prints just have to look damn good!

nGen is an all-round filament which has many advantages over PLA. The temperature resistance is over 80 degrees C and it works on most printers with a heated build plate.  nGen is a low-odor, styrene-free material uniquely suited for 3D printing enthusiasts, particularly those who need the flexibility to print within a wide processing temperature range.

With nGen you will have good flow properties through the printer nozzle—even at lower temperatures than some other polymers require. These properties make nGen more workable at a wider breadth of temperatures, producing reliable results and resulting in less waste. You can find more information on our dedicated landing page.

Ever since launching in november 2015 (and later in a big way during the CES Show early 2016), nGen has been a bestseller and a material that has been adopted by users worldwide very rapidly. In a recent survey we have seen it is regarded as one of the most popular materials in our portfolio. This is not without reason. For instance, nGen Black has nothing but solid 5 star reviews and is on sale right now! (Sale occurs at the moment of publishing and only for a limited time).

nGen is available through our webshop and our network of distributors and resellers worldwide.

nGen is made with Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymer AM3300. It is part of our range of Amphora based filaments. Other grades are: engineering grade colorFabb_XT, high temperature resistant colorFabb_HT and semi-flexible nGen_FLEX. With Amphora, items can be created that are more functional, more durable, more efficient, and attractive.

You can find more about what co-polyesters are by clicking here or check the table below how the rigid filaments compare to ABS and PLA:

Once our colleague has the painted globe (or comet), we will show you an update of course.

Offset mount

Size matters. Not only in terms of prints, but also the spool sizes. Up until last year the market, and our sales, were dominted by the regular spools containing 750 grams or 1kg that are available from us and many other manufacturers. However, since last year we have seen more and more demand for larger spools. We offer a good portion of our portfolio on spools containing 2.2kg of filament and both the PLA Economy and PETG Economy filaments are available exclusively on 2.2kg spools.

8.8kg of high quality filament…

Most printers are designed with the standard 750 grams or 1kg spools in mind. This may become a problem when using larger spools. We have designed a spool holder when we launched PLA Economy last year, but Printed Solid came up with a more elegant solution: An offset mount for exactly these kind of spools and specifically for the Ultimaker 2 and Ultimaker 3.

Design: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2439960

This design allows for easier access to the feeder system on the back of the Ultimakers by moving the spool holder off to the side.

Printed Solid is of course our distributor on the east coast of the US and has been using and selling colorFabb filaments for nearly four years now. Matthew Gorton, the owner, is widely known for his 3D printing knowledge and expertise. Printed Solid has steadily grown in the past few years to a household name in 3D printing and a reliable source of filaments, printers and advice. Check out Printed Solid’s colorFabb offering here.

We printed this part in our brand new PETG Economy on the Ultimaker 2+.

We have received a lot of requests for PETG in our portfolio and have recently added PETG Economy to our portfolio. We initially started with 3 colors: Black, White and Red.

All of these are available exclusively on 2.2kg spools. You can buy PETG Economy here. Also available now, the PETG Economy value pack – four spools of PETG Economy at an even lower price! Available here.

Material specifications

Material: colorFabb PETG Economy

Diameter Tolerance: ± 0.1 mm

Density: 1.28 g/cm3

Glass Transition Temperature: 70C

Full data sheets are available here: http://colorfabb.com/Materials/

Another great example with PETG Economy Red. Original design: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1532652

colorFabb Economy: Large volume, High quality, Low price

colorFabb’s Economy line is developed for users who need a lot of filament. By adding a specifically sourced PETG to our portfolio we are adding more functionality and diversity to our range of filaments.

As with PLA Economy we have extensively tested this filament in our print lab. Both in production and print lab we have adhered to the highest colorFabb quality – this is something we simply do not compromise on.

The idea behind these filaments is to keep it at a very competitive price. Retail price of PETG Economy is € 40 excluding VAT and shipping. This works out to be a little over € 18 per kg for high quality filament.

Foldable cup holder

Here is a nice print that was designed in-house and specifically to carry multiple cups of our Nespressos without burning our fingers. We know, it’s a first world problem, but a problem nonetheless and 3D printing solved it for us. Our intern Niels (who did the kick ass FLEX_Link chair recently) designed this foldable cup holder, which is already in heavy demand in our office.

Original design: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2423293

We printed it with colorFabb_XT on the Ultimaker 2. Due to the heat of the cups, we needed a material with a higher glass temperature. Since PLA does not meet this criteria. Our range of co-polyesters would be more fitting and we chose colorFabb_XT, using the colorFabb brand colors.

After printing, a small M6 screw was used in combination with a locking nut to hold everything together. The printed parts stack up to a height of 15 millimeters, so a screw of at least 20 millimeters in length should suffice.

This design, due to its compact nature when folded, is an ideal companion during the summer months at festivals or during picnics. You can download the design on Thingiverse to make your own.

We launched colorFabb_XT almost 3 years ago at the London 3D Print Show together with Eastman Chemical Company. Eastman is our material partner for co-polyesters. colorFabb_XT is made with Amphora AM1800 and has a unique formulation for 3D Printing that features excellent properties : High strength and very high toughness, Odor Neutral processing, High Tg / improved temp. resistance, Styrene free formulation, FDA food contact compliance, BPA (Bisphenol A ) free formulation. It will allow the user to produce 3D printed functional products in a safe way.

You can find the data sheets and other documentation on our website: http://colorfabb.com/Materials/

colorFabb_XT is available in 14 colors, including clear.

Our range of Amphora based co-polyesters are perfectly suited for a project like this. In 2014 colorFabb teamed up with Eastman Chemical Company to develop unique grades of co-polyesters suited for 3D printing. Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymer are a low-odor, styrene-free choice that is uniquely suited for 3D printing applications. With Amphora, items can be created that are more functional, more durable, more efficient, and attractive.

So far we have launched four grades, starting with colorFabb_XT in 2014. Late 2015 we follow this up with nGen, our next Generation general purpose filament and a drop in replacement for PLA. A wide processing window and perfect reliability make this filament a very popular one in our portfolio.

A little over a year ago we followed that up with colorFabb_HT, a high-temperature resistant filament that allows for functional engineering projects that need lasting parts. colorFabb_HT is enabled by Eastman Tritan™ copolyester technology.

At last year’s TCT Show in Birmingham we introduced nGen_FLEX to the market, a flexible filament with a Shora A hardness of 95 allowing for functional and flexible parts to be printed.

More information can be found in the blog we wrote about co-polyesters last summer.


Our avid online followers remember the stellar work that Korneel Bullens does on his Ultimakers. Not only has he one of the busiest 3DHubs in the Netherlands (with excellent reviews to booth), he also finds time to print some side projects. Back in 2015 he printed the Toyota Engine for us with colorFabb_XT (check it here working on our ancient Vine account).

As if that was not enough he took on the next challenge like a trooper and printed the Saturn V rocket with our all-round filament nGen:

The Saturn V rocket as showcased on the Amsterdam AM Show. Original post here.

A while ago Korneel approached us with the idea to print not one, but two engines: The Subaru Boxer Engine and the Chevy Camaro LS3 V8. The results are simply awesome:

Subaru engine. Original design: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1643878

Chevy engine. Original design: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1911808

Like the Toyota engine, these two engines were designed and modeled by the insanely talented Eric Harrell, aka ericthepoolboy on Thingiverse. You can find Eric’s website here. His design talent, combined with Korneel’s printing skills resulted in a fully functional Subaru engine:

Korneel has 5 Ultimaker 3 printers and he used four of them to complete this project. Estimated printing time was about 200 hours per engine and assembling the prints took about 40 hours each in total. All parts were printed with a 0.15mm layer height.

The Chevy engine, opened up. One of the great features of these prints is that they can be disassembled with great ease due to magnets being used to hold several parts together.

The material he used was PLA Economy, which may be Korneel’s favorite filament at the moment. He receives a lot of requests for PLA prints and uses our PLA Economy due to its ease of printing on his Ultimakers.

PLA Economy works great with basic PLA settings on a wide range of printers. We see a lot of demand for this filament and it has been a favorite of our users ever since launching it in November last year.

Some close ups of the Subaru engine:

PLA Economy offers a great value for your money. One spool consists of 2.2kg of filament for a dirt cheap price of a little over € 35 (ex VAT and shipping). It is a different grade than our range of PLA/PHA, but we guarantee the same colorFabb quality. Our filaments are readily available from our webshop.

Here are some print settings to get started:

Adviced 3d printing temperature

Adviced 3d print speed
40 – 100 mm/s

Advised Heated bed (if you have one, not strictly necessary)

Cooling fan
100% fan cooling for best aesthetics, this gives best performance on overhangs and small details. For best mechanical performance try printing with the least amount of cooling needed, for optimal layer adhesion.

Or: You can use the standard PLA settings if your printer has these pre-defined and these should work fine.

Close up of the Chevy engine

You can also opt for the PLA Economy Value Pack: order four spools as a value pack and receive an immediate 10% discount!

Buy PLA Economy                                      Buy PLA Economy Value Pack

PLA Economy is very well suited for the maker who needs high quality filament at an affordable price. It is a perfect filament for large volume and small series production, made with the guaranteed colorFabb quality that we are known for.

Once again it has been great to see Korneel’s work again (and we quietly wonder what he will come up with next…) Visit his site and contact him if you need a print job to be done!




Drone canopy

3D printing and drones have gone hand in hand since the beginning of time. The quick & easy fixes, as well as the customization that 3D printing provides, make it an ideal tool for everybody into drone racing. We have seen this already with our XT-CF20 filament when we released it a few years ago (check this post on 3D Hubs Talk) or the VTOL drone we posted about last year (original post here). We are seeing it again with nGen_FLEX, which was released during the TCT Show in September last year.

For today’s print, we made the Fury X220 Race Canopy by Bas Delfos:

Design by Bas Delfos: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2232593


We use nGen_FLEX since we needed a great filament for absorbing impact and protecting the electronics of a racing drone (and inevitably crashing it). Our nGen_FLEX is semi-flexible with a shore hardness of 95A and is super tough,

Printed on an Ultimaker 2 with LokBuild plate, at 0.2mm layerheight and 250C printing temperature and 85C buildplate temperature.

About nGen_FLEX

nGen_FLEX was released in September 2016 at the TCT Show and is our first semi-flexible material. With a Shore A hardness of 95 it is a material that is ideally suited for functional parts. It is not soft and squishy like other flexible materials in the market, but allows for fast printing and printing on 3D printers using a Bowden tube. nGen_FLEX is a material for users looking for an engineering grade flexible filament with a high temperature resistance (over 120 degrees C) and good chemical resistance.

You can read the initial reception of nGen_FLEX here.

nGen_FLEX is made with Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymers, a range of co-polyesters developed with Eastman Chemical Company for 3D printing. Amphora co-polyesters are low-odor, styrene-free choices that are uniquely suited for 3D printing applications. With Amphora, items can be created that are more functional, more durable, more efficient and attractive. You can find more information about co-polyesters in the article we published last summer: What we talk about when we talk about co-polyesters.

More specific information about nGen_FLEX can be found on our dedicated landing page.

Need some more ideas what you can print with our nGen_FLEX filament? How about…

And more (click here)…