NEMA 17 4:1 reduction gearbox

Today we feature this fully 3D printed gearbox for a NEMA 17 stepper motor with a 4:1 reduction ratio in colorFabb_XT. Designed by Youmagine user Kevin, it utilizes herringbone gears and it performs great.


Designed by Kevin:

This print was done using a 0,25mm nozzle width and 0,06mm layerheight on an Ultimaker 2+. colorFabb_XT was used in both light and dark gray to ensure a durable and strong gearbox. The fine detailing meant that the print took a full day to complete. But it’s gears fit together very precisely and there is only minimal play in the system.




colorFabb_XT is made with Amphora AM1800 and was the first material we launched together with Eastman Chemical Company back in 2014.

It 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. Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymer is 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.

Learn how to print with colorFabb_XT:

Designed by Kevin:

Filament Duck 2,2kg Spool holder

With the launch of our new Economy PLA on 2,2kg spools, we needed something to hold those big spools during printing. So we used our new material to print our remix of the Filament Duck which was originally designed by Thingiverse user Bold.



2,2kg Spools are big! So unfortunately they won’t fit on every printer without help. This Filament Duck allows you to store the spool whilst hanging freely with just enough friction to allow for easy unwinding by the printer. You can place it outside of your 3D printer and feed the filament in just as normal. Now you can enjoy our new Economy line of PLA almost as easily as our other materials.


This new economy line of PLA filaments by colorFabb delivers a good quality PLA filament in four great colors at very reasonable pricing. ColorFabb PLA Economy is not a standard PLA. It has been modified for better layer adhesion and flow properties to get better performance over other basic PLA filaments. Because it’s made with the same processing technology used for other premium colorFabb products, this PLA Economy will be just as reliable.

Economy PLA is available on 2.2kg spools only, delivering a whopping 740 meters of 1.75mm filament and 270 meters of 2.85mm filament.

We have been testing this material for the better part of the summer and have found this material a great alternative those customers who need a lot of PLA. We are initially releasing PLA Economy in four colors: White (RAL 9010), Black (RAL 9005, Red (RAL 3020) and Silver (RAL 9023).

Other colors that will be added at a later date.



Let’s make something clear

We’re taking a look at how to 3D print with a high level of transparency. Our latest material, colorFabb_HT, is highly suited for this because of its high-flow characteristics. More information will be published later once we have it, we’re still very much in the testing-phase. But here are the basics so you can try it yourselves.

colorfabb_HT-6 You can find the model of this print designed by Walter Hsiao on Thingiverse here:



Due to the process of 3D printing, there is always a limit to how clear your print will become. With most materials the small gaps in between the 3D printed lines never really gets filled, resulting in a milky look when printing with transparent filaments. colorFabb_HT manages to fully close these gaps, resulting in a fully solid and transparent part. Printing transparent not only means new and exciting optical applications, but it also means maximum toughness as the material is fully fused together.
For more information about the _HT material, take a look here:


Material and heat

Printing clear products mainly relies on two key aspects: extruding enough material and getting enough heat (energy) into the new material. The easiest way to start is by locking in some settings and only play with temperature, speed and flow.

We’ve started with a 0,8mm nozzle; no cooling; 0,1mm layerheight; 20mm/s and of course 100% infill. In terms of temperature, set your heated bed to the max get your hotend up to at least 260°c. Using this as a starting point, we’ve found settings to print transparent on a few different machines already. But with so much variation between printers (even from the same type!) you will always have to find the best settings for yourself. Also, the bed material has a big influence on the transparency straight out of the printer, the smoother the bed material the better. A coat of 3DLAC on a glass plate seems to work the best for us so far.

Looking at the two key components, first start with getting the right amount of heat into the material. This is a combination of volume per second and nozzle temperature. If your printer has a maximum of 260°c than your stuck playing with speed, otherwise you could try printing a bit hotter to allow for more speed.
Printing too hot will result in minuscule bubbles inside the print and may also cause the part to turn a bit yellowish. Printing too cold will not fuse the sides of the lines together properly and show as white stripes.
With the temperature dialed in, start playing with the flow. Try to turn it up to the maximum without losing (too much) dimensional accuracy or creating a bulge on top of the print. The Ultimaker 2 we used for this required about 110% flow to achieve an optimal filling.

Optimal settings can lead to some very clear and transparent parts straight from the printer. These cylinders have had no post-processing at all.

With some extra effort though, you can create parts which look amazingly transparent.
Using the same technique as for post-processing our metal-filled filaments, we have sanded most of the outside of this bearing holder using up to 600 grit sanding paper. This results in a very smooth but matte finish, which you can than polish to create the best transparency we’ve ever seen in a 3D printed part. But more on this later, because we’ve only just started testing this.

Properly photographing a transparent part is quite tricky, take a look at the last (blue) picture to get a better understanding of how transparent it really is.