We launched our first filament range, PLA/PHA, in February 2013. In this short, limited series of blogs we look back at some of the materials released in the past five years. Earlier we wrote about woodFill and nGen and colorFabb_HT. This fourth and last installment looks back at nGen_FLEX.
nGen_FLEX was our very first step into flexible filaments. Our main focus before had been rigid and stiff materials, but we found that we should add a functional filament to our portfolio that met the needs of our users. Our co-operation with Eastman Chemical Company has lead to the release in the fall of 2016 of nGen_FLEX – made with Eastman Amphora FL6000.
nGen_FLEX is a semi-flexible filament with a Shore A hardness of 95. This enables users with the Bowden tube printer (like Ultimakers, for instance) to print with this filament without an effort. Of course the user can influence how flexible a print should feel by adjusting infill and perimeter settings. nGen_FLEX is temperature resistant to about 130C. That means 3D printed objects can be steam sterilized at 121C which is a great asset for medical / laboratory environments.
nGen_FLEX is made for those who are seriously looking for a engineering grade semi-flex material, capable of withstanding high temperatures, good chemical stability and result in tough parts fit for real world use. With nGen_FLEX you won’t need to compromise too much on printing speed and the need for specialized flex-extruders is elminated. After the launch we received a lot of acclaim for the filament:
nGen_FLEX has seen some fantastic applications in the past 18 months since we launched it. Below are some of the prints we have posted about before:
Our former intern Niels van Valburg built his entire internship around nGen_FLEX and his goal was to design a chair that was easily printed. The result was the FLEX_Link, which is still on display in our office. And yes, you can sit on it! Read more about the FLEX_Link here – you can even download the handy IKEA style manual to make your own!
One of our most ambitious (and fun!) prints was Daniel Norée’s Open RC F1 car which we upscaled to 250%. The upcoming release of nGen_FLEX back then inspired this print since we were looking to make good use of the tyres that needed to be printing. Be the judge yourself: