Lodewijk van der Grinten Prize 2018

We have tweeted and posted about the Lodewijk van der Grinten Prize before. In this post we will go further into what the prize is and why we were nominated.

Back in September we heard that our CEO Ruud Rouleaux was nominated for the Lodewijk van der Grinten Prize 2018. Together with two other nominees he is in the race to win this prestigious regional award for entrepeneurs. In less than two weeks, on December 11th to be precise, we will know who won. In this blog we will explain a bit more about this award, its history and the other nominees.

A bit of history

The story begins over 100 years ago. The award is named after Lodewijk van der Grinten (1831 – 1895), founder of the current Océ. The name is not chosen without reason. Océ has become one of the biggest economic powers in Venlo and its region. The award is an initiative of the Foundation Lodewijk van der Grinten Business Award, in which LLTB Horst Venlo, Venlo Small and Medium Businesses (MKB), Entrepreneurial Venlo and the city of Venlo participate. It is handed out during a ceremony ever since 2010. The award is also made possible by sponsors, of which colorFabb is one.

The city if Venlo is located in the south of the Netherlands, next to the German border and in between the big harbors of Rotterdam and Antwerpen on one side and the German Ruhr area and Central Europe on the other side. Venlo and its surrounding region has been called one of the (if not the) best logistics hubs of Europe! With so much business in the area it is hard to stand out, which makes winning the award such an achievement!

Every year the organisation picks a theme and this year’s theme is Groeibriljantjes, a Dutch collquialism for relatively young companies which are excelling within their field. Beyond a start-up but growing with great energy. Literal translation comes down to “growth brilliance”, but it is not only growth that matters. Also vision, innovation and a clear strategy are things that matter.

Genomineerden Lodewijk van der Grinten Prijs 2018 bekend

The nominees

Why we are nominated

Now, it is clear for everyone who even dabbled very minimally in 3D printing that this industry can cause a lot of change. Not saying that it is already there (the hype has passed and there is still no 3D printer in every household – nor do we have flying cars, but that’s another story), but “3D printing has the potential to revolutionize the way we make almost everything” (the words of Barack Obama, not ours – although we have this painted on one of our walls).

As colorFabb we started with basic PLA filament and expanded to special materials (woodFill, bronzeFill, etc.) before starting strategic partnerships with companies like Eastman, Lehmann+Voss, etc. to create more functional filaments. Our portfolio is now more diverse than ever (check our catalogue for a glimpse) and with Color on Demand we are making the first steps to create custom made filaments for our users.

But we don’t see ourselves as a filament producer alone. We offer complete sollutions in terms of polymers and 3D printing. With our sister companies Helian Polymers (masterbatches, additives and bioplastics and mostly active in the injection molding industry) and Blackbelt 3D (the revolutionary belt printer) and operating from our state-of-the-art, environmentally conscious 3D Application Center we offer more added value than just a spool of filament. With our customers we actively develop applications, work on custom materials and advice on how to implement 3D printing in all kinds of companies.

The synergy between the companies, the discussions with our customers and the connections to raw material suppliers, OEMs and all the in-house knowledge make colorFabb a unique player in 3D printing. Something the jury has also acknowledged by nominating us. Already proud to be nominated (the award is kind of a big deal here), we have been doing our best to win it.

Full disclosure: colorFabb has been involved with the Lodewijk van der Grinten Prize before by printing the commemorative awards for the nominees in the past few years. You can find more here and here.

Printed with nGen_LUX


What we did so far

On September 11th, Ruud held a pitch for the jury to present colorFabb and what it stands for. It went very well. You can get an idea of that afternoon here:


After a full company presentation, the jury visited us to see what we are actually up to. A short impression can be seen here:


After visits to the other nominees the jury’s out to discuss who will be the winner. It will be a very tight race and it’s going to be very exciting who won on December 11th. Why? Let’s look at…

The other nominees

Rudy Claessens from Caroz. Caroz is a service provider in logistics. Remember how we wrote that Venlo is a logistical hotspot? Caroz is using this geographical position and combines it with clever IT solutions and specialists to make the complex world of logistics managable for their customers. Based in Venlo, they also hold office in China and offer unique logistics solutions.

Roy Hermans from Hermans Group. An entirely different field is where Hermans Group works in: Indoor recreational parks for young, but also old-but-young-at-heart. The Ballorig indoor playgrounds are already very well-known in this region, but the Hermans Group focusses on fitness and sports as well and is rapidly expanding with hundreds of employees!

Roy, Rudy and Ruud. Fun fact: all of them 43 years young


Ultimaker Market Place

Updated: XT-CF20 has been added as well!

We are proud to announce that two of our filaments have been added to the Ultimaker Market Place. By adding both Color on Demand  ( PLA )  and woodFill to the market place it is easier than ever to start printing with the right settings on Ultimaker printers. How? Download the latest version of Cura (3.6) and add the profiles as detailed in the short video below:


Our filaments have always been tested on Ultimaker 3D printers ever since the beginning. In fact, the very idea of colorFabb started with an Ultimaker Original and it was the first printer we tested on back in 2012. Fun fact: that printer is still in our print lab. We have added more printers to our test lab ever since and have made sure that every major Ultimaker release was added to it as well: The Ultimaker 2, 2+, 3 and S5 are all part of our standard range of printers to ensure our filaments work as flawless as possible on these highly popular Dutch printers.

We’re joining an ever expanding range of premium material brands in the market place.

Update December 14th: We are happy to announce that XT-CF20 has been added to the list as well. Simply add the profile the same way as described above to make functional prints that need extra stiffness.

CARBON FIBER IS ABRASIVE: A special point of attention is the abrasive nature of the carbon fibers. In general these fibers will accelerate the nozzle-wear of brass nozzles, much faster than unfilled filaments. Therefore we  recommend to use hardened steel nozzles for this material.

Will more materials be added? Probably in due time. But rest assured that, as mentioned above, we have tested all of our materials on the Ultimaker printers at our disposal. One can also choose Ultimaker materials as a starting point (like CPE settings for our colorFabb_XT and CPE+ for colorFabb_HT). We also share the settings of most of our materials on dedicated blogs, like:

Still not sure if you’re on the right track? Contact us at support@colorfabb.com so we can help you further!


As from today we carry Ninjatek filaments in our webshop! With this addition we are breaking new ground in the 3D filament world. For the first time two leading manufacturers of 3D printing filament are working closely together to ensure the right filaments end up in the hands of the end user.


Ninjatek is owned by Fenner Drives. Fenner Drives is located in the Manheim, PA and will distribute colorFabb’s filaments in the North American market (check their website here). colorFabb, based in the Netherlands, will distribute Fenner Drives’ Ninjatek branded filaments in Europe and the Middle East. You can find our Ninjatek dedicated webshop here.

NinjaTek is a high performance additive manufacturing material supplier. Like colorFabb it started in 2013 and has been on the forefront of filament development ever since. Ninjatek is the leading producer of flexible filament in the 3D printing industry. Its popularity was built on unique performance characteristics and consistent product quality, which is an area that we continue they concentrate on. As a division of Fenner Drives it leverages 50 years of extrusion and manufacturing expertise with a unique expertise in polyurethane materials.

It is the first time in FDM 3D printing that two filament producers start such an intense co-operation. and colorFabb is proud to be the official Ninjatek partner in Europe. All items in our webshop ship from stock and can be combined with colorFabb filaments.

We offer the most popular filaments in the Ninjatek product lines Ninjaflex, Cheetah and Armadillo.

Need help choosing which filament is right for your project? Our product comparison chart offers a “good / better / best” rating system for comparing key performance points, This chart was designed to help users choose which product is best suited for their application.

compare ninjatek

Functional printing with Armadillo

woodFill: 5 years of special 3D printing filaments

Today it is exactly five years ago that we launched woodFill at the 3D Print Show in London. It was our first special 3D printing filament! Let’s look back!

Design: https://www.myminifactory.com/object/3d-print-39788

Our first special filament was woodFill. In our first year of existence (this was in 2013 – ancient times by now) we had a great filament, PLA/PHA, in the market and we were already looking for more filaments to be added to the portfolio. Someone asked us a very serious question: “Why don’t you make a wood filament?” We thought: “Why not?” Granted, we weren’t the first, but the filament world was still young and with our compounding partner FKuR, located in Willich, Germany, we went to work.


Elephant design: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:257911 Both the elephant and acorn were printed on the Ultimaker 2+ with a 0.6mm nozzle and a 0.2mm layer height. Print speed was 40mm/s with 20% infill and a nozzle temperature of 210C. Part of the acorn was printed with corkFill.

True story: We produced the first test run of filament late October 2013, put it on the printer and… it worked! Flawlessly! This was mere days before we were off to the 3D Printing Show in London, early November 2013. With the few spools we had we printed a lot of examples, put them in our suitcases and off we went! (By train, it was still the olden days…)

The very first woodFill print… ever

The 3D Printing Show was an amazing experience. As luck (or mad negotiation skills) would have it, we were placed right at the entrance. As anyone who has ever printed with woodFill knows, the material really smells like wood when printing. And that was exactly what the visitors smelled when they entered the show floor.

As heard many, many times during those 3 days:

“It smells like… wood.”

“That’s because there is real wood in the filament.”

“But how did you get the smell in there?”

“Because there is real wood in the filament.”

We admit, the main component is our signature PLA/PHA, but the wood is what makes the filament truly special.

We started with two variations: woodFill Fine and woodFill Coarse. Problem was that the Coarse could only be printed with a 0.8 nozzle and sales reflected that people were not eager to switch nozzles a lot. Only after a few months we discontinued woodFill Coarse and focused entirely on woodFill Fine. But a few times every year someone informs if there are still some spools of the Coarse left.


We have literally sent out thousands of woodFill spools all over the world and it has been a solid hit with our customers, old and new. Its ease of printing (can your printer print PLA? If yes, you can print woodFill. If no, buy a new printer) has really helped, but again: the smell of wood during printing, that authentic woodshop idea has been appealing for a lot of printers. And be honest: the prints look like they have been carved from… wood.

Below are some (but not all, at all) great examples of woodFill creations:

Tony Short’s gift box. Original post: https://learn.colorfabb.com/colorfabb-gift-box/


Megafone amplifiers by AKLIH. Original post: https://learn.colorfabb.com/aklih/


Print+ headphone. Original post: https://learn.colorfabb.com/printplus/


Replicas of historic church figures. Original post: https://learn.colorfabb.com/excellence-woodfill-3d-printing/


Some printed examples on the Lulzbot Mini: https://learn.colorfabb.com/woodfill-lulzbot/


After woodFill we expanded the range with bambooFill (since discontinued) and corkFill (still available). Both great materials, but woodFill will have a special place in our portfolio as our first special filament. Don’t believe us? Read the five star reviews on our website:

woodFill is available in our webshop and through our reseller network. We offer both 600 grams and 1800 grams (XL) spools.

Part of this blog was previously published in another blog

Dizingof’s 2 Colors Klein Bottle

Few designs are so well-known in 3D printing as the Klein bottle. Renowned Israeli designer Dizingof has a Klein Bottle available on his website (a free download these days!) ideally suited to be printed in two colors:

Design: https://www.3dizingof.com/shop/free-designs/2-colors-klein-bottle-by-dizingof/

Dizingof’s designs are world famous and a high standard in 3D printing world. As Fabbaloo mentioned it several years ago: “Dizingof’s creations are typically complex, flowing and invariably beautiful. Browsing through his extensive portfolio of dozens of designs, you’ll see vases, jewelry, bowls, lamp shades and a few trays and holders, but mostly it’s just art, amazing mathematical art.” (source)

This two-color Klein bottle is a perfect example to showcase our Color on Demand colors. In this case we used RAL 3005 (Wine Red) and RAL 7036 (Platinum Grey) and printed on the Ultimaker 3, making the most of the dual extrusion capabilities.

You should definitely visit Dizingof’s webshop and check out all the amazing designs he has made over the years.


With launched Color on Demand we re-invented the way makers can choose colors. No longer you are bound to the colors that have been pre-selected by filament manufacturers anymore. Now you can order the color you actually need and want.

We have already matched over 100 RAL colors, which can easily be ordered online. Click here to see our collection. You can order as from one 750 grams spool! If we have not matched your favorite color, request it by using our online form. Starting from a 2kg spool we match the specific color you want, based on RAL, other well-known color references or a physical reference.

With Color on Demand you can say “yes” to that print job which needs a specific color or a look you have been waiting for. Stun your colleagues, family or other makers with your prints. You could already print one-of-a-kind designs, now you can also make them look unique!

Check out more recent Color on Demand prints by clicking here. Make sure you read our color disclaimer. Want to know more about Color on Demand, check our our FAQ page.

Our Color on Demand experience room, still under construction, with all the RAL colors we matched… so far.

How does it work?

Once an order is placed the team of specialists at colorFabb then go to work to start matching this color request if is a new color. You can opt to receive an injected molded plaque to verify the color first, before the spool is produced. This is optional. If the color has already been matched, we plan production right away.
Expected lead times are:

Color on Demand is produced on spools containing either 2kg or 750 grams. The 750 grams option is only available for colors already matched. All new colors are produced on 2kg spools only. Curious about the spool size? Check out this post. But we do not stop there. At the same time Color on Demand is being offered for granulates as an extra supply option besides filament.

Important: If you order a Color on Demand spool, as well as regular stocked products, we will ship these together as one shipment.

How is color matching being done?

Check our disclaimer! We use the RAL Classic references as our guide. All filaments produced are optically checked by our specialized production and QA team. You can order an injected molded plaque before commiting to order a full spool. Please check in the webshop!

Please be aware that we use the actual RAL reference. Colors on a computer screen, printed images and promotional art can give a misrepresentation of the actual color. Injection molded color plaques can be ordered for a quality check before ordering a full spool.

If the color is then accepted production will be planned. Whenever a color has been matched, it will be added to the colorFabb website for future references.Pricing is as low as € 75 (ex VAT / shipping) for a 2kg spool of custom made filament, with tier pricing available: 10% discount when 4 spools are purchased, 20% when 10 spools are purchased.

Color on Demand is a first new step into the direction of customization of filaments for the end users. Starting with PLA and RAL, the possibilities to expand to other materials and color references are plenty and will be implemented at a later stage.Basically, color on demand will enable the maker / 3D Printer user to pinpoint specific projects and claim a different position in the supply chain with exactly that color that is requested.

Users can send your requests to colorFabb or visit our website:

More questions that need answering? Contact us through sales@colorfabb.com