3D printing is first and foremost an excellent tool for prototyping and modelling. Especially for complex prints. With that in mind we have printed an example of a jet engine nozzle, the variable-area nozzle for use on EDF RC airplanes designed by Marco Colucci to be more specific. Benefits of 3D printing are how complex designs can be seen, held and assessed early in a development process.

Design: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2991269

As Marco explains in his Imgur post how this project came to be: “The idea for this project came from a friend and RC airplane enthusiast suggesting the “crazy” idea of mounting a variable-area nozzle on his next build. Of course, me being me, as soon as I heard the word crazy he had my full attention.” You can find more information in his detailed post on Imgur.

This model consists of 23 individual parts and it is an excellent example of a complex print with moving parts. A Hackaday article has been written about the functional application of the jet engine nozzle as it was designed.

We printed all parts on the Ultimaker 2, using PLA Semi Matte Black and colorFabb_XT Light Gray and Dark Gray. As for the settings we used the standard PLA settings for PLA Semi Matte Black and we used CPE settings for colorFabb_XT.

We launched colorFabb_XT almost 4 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 temperature resistance, styrene free formulation, FDA food contact compliance and BPA (Bisphenol A ) free formulation.

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.

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



When developing our PLA Semi Matte Black we’ve been looking for a solution which doesn’t involve fibers to achieve a less glossy surface finish. We did not want to loose the ease of use our PLA and keep print settings and parameters as close to regular PLA setttings. For a full matte finish our XT-CF20 and PA_CF Low Warp do the trick, but they need a hardened steel nozzle to print with. The brand new PLA Semi-Matte Black, released earlier this year, will bring a new aesthetic quality to our range of PLA filaments.

If you’re looking to upgrade your 3D printed projects to the next level, our PLA Semi-Matte will do the trick.

This filament contains no fibers and prints at regular PLA temperatures and settings. The material is as reliable and easy to work with as any other PLA type material.

PLA Semi-Matte Black is available now.

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