Batman bust

Our filaments already look great when printed, but we get a lot of questions about post-processing. Not only materials where this is kind of necessary (like bronzeFill or copperFill), but also other materials are often the subject of some serious post-printing work to make the printed object truly unique. For this post, our technical development manager (and part of the Team colorFabb from the very beginning) Gijs Houdijk takes you by the hand to show how he post-processed this awesome Batman bust, designed by David Östman.

Design at MyMiniFactory

To begin with, we used our very own PLA Semi-Matte White as the basis for this print, using the standard PLA settings on the Makerbot Replicator 2. For this print we used a 0.15mm layerheight, lower layerheights equals less sanding to get smooth areas.

Well, this Batman bust already looks pretty great, but Gotham’s Caped Crusader can even look better! Below are the post-processing steps that Gijs took.

1. Primer & Sanding

I usually start with a couple of layers of primer. After this I’ll start with sanding, using 220 grit. Then add another layer of primer and continue with sanding. My goal is to smooth out af much as possible the exposed area’s, without loosing detail in the print. The smoother the exposed area’s are, the better they will look after Step 3 ‘Wheathering’.

2. Silver base coat

I used Vallejo Acrylic Metal Color for the base silver metal coat. Instead of using an airbrush I used regular brush to apply paint to the model. It’s a very thin paint which coats really really well. It also dries super fast and is very easy to get an even coat.

3. Weathering the model

After the base coat I apply black spray paint to the model and immediately remove as much as I can with a soft cloth. Don’t let the pain dry, you want to wipe it off while it’s still wet. You can do this one side of the model at the time. The smooth exposed area’s will be wiped clean, revealing the metal looking surface. All the nooks anc crannies will stay dark because of the black spray paint, creating a nice contrast with the metal looking surfaces.

4. Glue both parts together

I used LOCTITE® 3DP INSTANT BONDER. Great feature of this glue is that it hardly turns white after it’s set, which some CA glues do tend to have. Loctite is available in the colorFabb webshop.


PLA Semi-Matte White is a great material for architects and model makers looking for a different aesthetic. Our semi-matte PLA filament eliminates the glossy appearance seen on most PLA 3D prints. The highlights on the surface will be less visible, resulting in an overall cleaner and much higher quality look. This makes it also a good choice to use as a base for prints that need to be post-processed.

As with its black sibling PLA Semi-Matte White 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.

Want to read more about post-processing other materials? Check out the links below:

Darwin bust

Charles Darwin is of course the 19th century naturalist who popularized the concept of evolution. He wrote both On The Origin of Species and The Voyage of the Beagle, both classics, laying the ground work for over a century of science and debate. A great man to honor by printing a bust in colorFabb_XT and while we are at it, we printed two.

The surface finish is very smooth, being printed with a 0.16mm layer height on an Ultimaker 2 at 45mm/s.


The design by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences in Sydney, Australia can be found here.

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 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. With Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymer, items can be created that are more functional, more durable, more efficient, and attractive.

colorFabb_XT is currently available in 14 colors (including clear).

colorFabb_XT was launched in September 2014 at the London 3D Print Show as a first collaboration between colorFabb and Eastman Chemical Company. It was the first of four of the Amphora co-polyesters which we released as 3D printing filaments. colorFabb_XT was followed in 2015 by nGen, early 2016 by colorFabb_HT and recently by our first foray into semi-flexible filaments: nGen_FLEX.

You find find out more about printing with colorFabb_XT by clicking here.