Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it is 2019 that flew by! It is time again for our annual end-of-the-year recap. Let’s look back at the things that defined the past year for us. Before we continue to look back, here is a list of previous recaps:
Enough ancient history already. Let’s look back at more recent history and continue with the…
2019 material releases
We added quite a few new materials to our portfolio. We also keep adding more and more Color on Demand colors to our library of colors. Early 2020 we will have most regular RAL colors directly available in our webshop.
LW-PLA is the first filament of its kind using an active foaming technology to achieve lightweight, low density PLA parts. At around 230C this material will start foaming, increasing its volume by nearly 3 times. Users can decrease material flow by 65% to achieve lightweight parts, or use the expanding properties to effectively reduce print time by using big layer heights or single extra thick perimeters. (Read more)
LW-PLA is available here.
With varioShore TPU we have created a filament that is flexible in more ways than one: variable Shore hardness, reduced weight and density and soft touch. All in one print! varioShore TPU allows users to vary the density of the material by adjusting temperature and material throughput (speed & layerheight). At temperatures between 200 and 250C the materials will start to expand to roughly 1.4-1.6 times its original volume. This means the material can be printed at low flow rates (60-70%), to compensate the active foaming, which in return gives very soft printed parts. Between 190-200C the material can be printed without foaming, resulting in different haptics and harder prints compared to foamed samples. (Read more)
varioShore TPU is available here.
Laser Marking PLA
Our latest filament innovation makes laser markings more stunning than ever! One great application can be to create mementos and souvenirs, or give your 3D print an extra touch with a very special message. Laser Marking PLA contains a laser-sensitive additive optimized to work within a 980-1064 nm wavelength. The material has been tested successfully with a Nd:YAG- and fiber lasers. Laser marking PLA will not work with CO2 lasers. A proper laser is required to use this filament. (Read more)
Laser Marking PLA is available here.
Our Tough PLA is a custom blend which retains the ease of use of PLA but adds serious toughness to the material. As a result the material is a lot less brittle than regular PLA filaments and has a higher impact strength. (Read more)
Tough PLA is available here.
2019 saw several new brands being added to our webshop. In our effort to diversify and bring the best possible filaments to our customers we already added Ninjatek filaments in 2018. This year we partnered with igus and Huntsman to add their Iglidur and Iroprint filaments respectively to our webshop. Both these companies believe that functionality is key to a great material and we couldn’t agree more.
We don’t only produce filaments that can be ordered online. We also actively develop filaments for our customers which have very specific needs. One of these filaments is a radar absorbing material for very specific applications. PLA-3DRAM allows OEMs not only to test form and fit, but also the actual radar absorbing performance of their physical design. Often radar units are mounted in brackets which need to be designed in such a way that the radar units have the least amount of ghosting. This is application is being used in, for instance, the automotive industry. (Read more)
Contact us to discuss your material needs.
bronzeFill (honorable mention)
This spring it was exactly five years ago that we launched bronzeFill, our very first metal filled 3D printing filament. The fantastic material was the first of its kind: our unique PLA/PHA compound with real bronze in it. Straight from the printer parts look almost laser sintered with a matte finish and with a bit of sanding and polishing the bronze particles will start to shine & shimmer unlike any 3d printing filament you have seen before. The weight of the material is something special as well, over 3 times heavier than our regular PLA/PHA. (Read more)
Andreas Mielonen’s ancient Greek helmet Original post
bronzeFill is available here.
Below are some of our favorite videos we posted in 2019. Check out our YouTube channel for all our videos.
A 1-minute company tour
Highlighting the Stacker quality
We print a lot in our printlab, but we love to see the prints other people make with our filaments. Below are some of the coolest we highlighted in our blogs (and one we followed via Twitter):
John Pham from Brisbane Australia surprised us with the car parts he made with PA-CF Low Warp. Amazing prints!
Read the original blog here
Light Weight Plane
The team of Eclipson in Spain has designed and printed their Model V plane with LW-PLA filament in mind. Check the blog for the spectacular footage of the maiden flight!
Read the original blog here
Nicolas Muller designed the Shiny Leave Lamp Shade and printed it with nGen Clear, allowing for enough light to come through. Great work!
Read the original blog here
We have been following WillowCreative3 on Twitter a lot recently. These Lilith horns and her Mewtwo costume were made with LW-PLA, since weight matters when printing costumes.
Follow WillowCreative3 on Twitter here.
Going… going… gone
2019 was the year we had to make some hard decisions filament wise. Over the years we have been adding and adding to our product portfolio and only sporadically eliminated filaments from our portfolio (yes, we’re looking at bambooFill and brassFill). In Q4 we took more drastic steps and decided that, to be more efficient, we would discontinue over 25 different colors in several materials. You can read more about that here. Some colors are succesfull, others are not. By focussing on the colors that the market actually demands we can work more efficiently and make sure that we ship faster than ever.
All filaments that are due to be discontinued are on sale right now and can be picked up at bargain prices, as long as stock lasts. Click on the image below to head directly to our webshop:
We took another step in making our logistics operation more efficient: Only earlier this week we announced that we would stop offering samples of our materials effective immediately. Again, efficiency was the main reason to stop the sample program for which there was less and less demand over the past few years.
In 2020 we will be back with a renewed sample program.
2020 and beyond
We never settle down. We don’t take anything for granted. Nothing is static and we keep moving ahead. We see the future for 3D printing materials in customization and developing functional materials according to our customers’ needs. Some of them may be niche (Laser Marking PLA) and others will find mass adoption over the new year (we’re looking at you varioShore TPU and LW-PLA!)
Early 2020 we will have all the regular RAL references added to our Color on Demand database making order your favorite color in PLA easier than ever.
We have ambitious goals for the next year and will keep you up to date via our newsletters and social media.
Team colorFabb wishes you a great holiday season with all the best wishes for 2020. We thank you for choosing colorFabb and following us through various social media channels. Keep an eye out for the latest news in our newsletter. Need some print-speration™ for the holidays, check out the Death Star ornaments or Christmas Tree:
Design by plainolddave. Printed with nGen and glowFill
Design by idig3d. Printed with nGen Clear Transparent
Finally we want to let you know that our Holiday Season Sale (20% off on selected filaments!) runs until December 31st 2019.