5 Years colorFabb: nGen_FLEX revisited

Team colorFabb
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.
Printed, flexible tubes. Original post: https://learn.colorfabb.com/flexible-tubes/
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:
with @ColorFabb – prints very easily, on @Ultimaker bowden even!” – Joel Telling
Very impressed by the flexibility of the filament and its ability to be printed without special extruders.” – Michael Teeuw
“Works quite well for low density parts.” – Matthew Gorton, Printed Solid
“Looking good, great shine!” – Steve Cox
You can find more here. Visit our dedicated landing page for more information:
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!
colorfabb_ngen_flex_mass_portal_slipper
Printing a slipper. Original post: https://learn.colorfabb.com/slipper/
Everyday objects can easily be replicated, either as a prototype or a replacement like the examples below:
water_cap_and_flex_tap
colorfabb_ngen_flex-handlebar-grip

Handlebar grip: https://learn.colorfabb.com/handlebar-grip/

 

 

colorfabb_ngen_flex_dark_gray-5

Oil funnel. Original post: https://learn.colorfabb.com/oil-funnel/

 

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:

 

The entire F1 car was printed with co-polyester filaments. You can read the original post here.

Printing the wheels did work out so well, we even printed the wheels of a fully functional skateboard with it:

 

 

Another added advantage of nGen_FLEX is how well it works with nGen, for instance:

Pliers (click image for the gif to play). Original post: https://learn.colorfabb.com/pliers

 

Coupler (click image for the gif to play). Original post: https://learn.colorfabb.com/coupler/

 

nGen_FLEX is currently available in Black and Dark Gray, but as from next week (early March 2018) we will also add the Clear option to our portfolio. Click here to head directly to our webshop.

 


 

All blogs and articles about our fifth anniversary can be found by clicking here.

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