Light Weight Plane

November 15 update: Now with video of the first flight! Scroll down to see the spectacular footage!

When we launched our light weight filament LW-PLA earlier this year we saw a lot of handy applications: cosplay, medical instruments, grips. Every print where weight is of the essence. The most positive replies we got were from the drone and RC plane community. One of the companies specialized in RC planes, Eclipson Airplanes from Spain, contacted us and were very interested in our latest offering. During the summer the Eclipson team worked on a light weight plane design specifically made to be printed with LW-PLA. Here is a first look at their Model V plane:

All designs and images by Eclipson Airplanes

A few details about the Model V plane:

  • Total weight of the printed parts 170 gr
  • Ready to flight weight (estimated) 380 gr
  • Wing span 1.370mm
  • Wing area 16 dm2
  • Wing loading 24gr/dm2

You can find more information about this design on the dedicated Model V page.

“This means that this airplane holds a new world record, it is the lightest RC plane in terms of wing loading.”

  • Team Eclipson

Rendering with Eclipson logo

When printed with regular PLA, the plane would weigh twice as much and as we all know: every gram counts in aviation. As Eclipson states on its homepage:

“Drag and weight are the two main enemies of any flying machine, reduce those two forces to the minimum was one of the main goal of this project since the conceptual phase.
The drag was reduced thanks to its streamlined shapes, clean design, V tail, high aspect ratio or winglets. Special mention deserves the wing, which is simply the best we have ever designed, this wing has a great balance between safety (docile stall characteristic) efficiency (high lift to drag ratio) maneuverability (high roll rate) and strength. Landing gear, tail and wing can be detached from the fuselage allowing you to print only damaged parts in case of crash.”

Not only did the LW-PLA reduce weight significantly, the Eclipson team also found out that LW-PLA worked extremely well for them when printing the landing gear thanks to its flexibility.

The Model V light weight plane will be for sale from Eclipson from mid-October. Keep an eye out for this excellent plane!

Located in Madrid, Spain, Eclipson Airplanes is specialized in the design of RC Planes and they have already several models available (click here to see their portfolio).

The Model V design is available for purchase at Eclipson (follow this link) and it has already made its maiden flight!


About LW-PLA

LW-PLA is the first filament of its kind using an active foaming technology to achieve lightweight, low density PLA parts. At around 230C this material will start foaming, increasing its volume by nearly 3 times. Users can decrease material flow by 65% to achieve lightweight parts, or use the expanding properties to effectively reduce print time by using big layer heights or single extra thick perimeters.


Decreasing flow means using less filament. Therefore users can expect to print 2-3 times more parts using LW-PLA compared to a regular PLA spool. LW-PLA prints in a fantastic matte looking surface finish and is very easy to post process. Any oozing or stringing artifacts rub right off and the surface is easily sanded for a smooth finish. Find out more here.

Curious how to print with LW-PLA? Find out more in our tutorial!

LW-PLA is available in Black and Natural and is available now. We ship daily, worldwide and from stock.

Light Weight Drone Parts

With our brand new lightweight PLA, LW-PLA, we offer a filament which is ideally suited for prints where weight matters. Drone enthusiasts have embraced 3D printing a long time ago. Replacement parts and customisation are easier than ever when reparing or enhancing ones drone. However, weight is always an issue with drones and with LW-PLA we offer a solution to reduce this with up to 65%!

Design by TheShortCrayon / link

We have printed the 82mm ducted brushless frame by TheShortCrayon for the 82mm Inductrix-style Brushless Quad with both PLA Economy and LW-PLA as a comparison. PLA Economy was printed with standard PLA settings. For the LW-PLA we use the following settings:

  • 0.2mm layer height
  • 245C nozzle temperature
  • 50C bed temperature
  • Printed with 38% flow

As you can see one reduces the weight significantly from 31 to 12 grams for this printed part!

Learn how to print with LW-PLA in our handy tutorial!

Micro FPV drones are all about power and performance. Reducing weight increases flight time and overall performance, which is why LW-PLA is an ideal candidate as a go-to filament.

LW-PLA is the first filament of its kind using an active foaming technology to achieve lightweight, low density PLA parts. At around 230C this material will start foaming, increasing its volume by nearly 3 times. Users can decrease material flow by 65% to achieve light weight parts, or use the expanding properties to effectively reduce print time by using big layer heights or single extra thick perimeters.

Decreasing flow means using less filament. Therefore users can expect to print 2-3 times more parts using LW-PLA compared to a regular PLA spool. LW-PLA prints in a fantastic matte looking surface finish and is very easy to post process. Any oozing or stringing artifacts rub right off and the surface is easily sanded for a smooth finish.

LW-PLA is available in Black and Natural and is available now. We ship daily, worldwide and from stock.


“We need challenging materials, we need to work with or find ways around the limitations and allow more people to experiment with exciting developments like this foaming PLA.” – Richard Horne, aka RichRap3D

Read Richard’s review of LW-PLA here.


Drone Deliveries!

The future is finally here! We are excited to announce that as from this week we will offer drone deliveries in most of Western Europe for orders placed in our webshop! Together with DHL and Universal Exports we have started a joint venture called Drones Unlimited Holland to bring your filaments right to your doorstep on a date and time you want it!

We have been secretly working on this project for over a year now (code name “Icarus”) and are happy to finally announce this next step in customer oriented delivery! Customers in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, UK, France and Denmark can opt for drone deliveries – with southern Europe, the US and Canada following within a few months!

Although a bit costlier, the drones will bring up to 8 spools to your chosen address within hours after ordering your filament.

Last week’s final test flight

For the countries that apply there is a new shipping option which you can choose:

Pricing is based on distance and requested delivery time. Since the drones will be charged every night in our solar powered plant, the carbon foot print will be reduced even further! You can find more information here.

Of course all drones will be mostly 3D printed with PA-CF Low Warp, XT-CF20 and nGen_FLEX. Our fleet will consist twenty drones of different sizes to start with.


Part of a drone being printed

One of our drones, specifically designed to send samples:

Note the impact resistant nGen_FLEX canopy

Excited? So are we! Click here to find out more about this exciting new delivery option, pricing and availability.

Fully Autonomous Delivery Drone By DHL

One of the DHL branded drones which will fly our filaments to your door



Also, because it is Easter you get a 15% discount on all spools of filaments. Use coupon code EASTEREGG or click the image below:


Another aspect where PA-CF Low Warp in excels is the fact that it is light weight, but tough. It is therefore an excellent material for drones for example where weight and strength matter. Today’s featured print is the Open Brushless Gimbal by turbi.


Original design:

The recently released high quality engineering filament is an excellent material for these type of demanding applications.

In the example we used printed motors instead of real brushless motors. The frame of the gimball is printed using PA-CF Low Warp on the Ultimaker 2+ with a 0.4mm Olsson Ruby nozzle, using 0.2mm layerheight. It was printed at 260C with 50C bed temp.

As the name indicates, PA-CF Low Warp is a polyamide (nylon) with carbon fiber. An added bonus is that, unlike many other engineering grade filaments, it has very little warping when printing large objects! Low infill prints come out perfectly flat on cold bed for higher infill prints 40/50C temperature is enough to obtain flat prints. It is an engineering grade filament for a wide range of printers and users alike.

The PA-CF Low Warp is a one of a kind polyamide formulation with the ability to print nearly warp free on non heated buildplatforms. Low infill prints come out perfectly flat on cold bed for higher infill prints 40/50C temperature is enough to obtain flat prints.

It  is the first result of the cooperation between LEHVOSS group and colorFabb. Both companies share the vision to develop high strength engineering materials, without compromising on printability.   Together with LEHVOSS colorFabb created a custom formulation which is optimized for the production of high quality filament and achieving the best possible 3D printing characteristics. PA-CF Low Warp is the first PA based filament released by colorFabb and only released now because it doesn’t compromise on printability. The very low warp characteristic of this material is a truly unique feature of this PA material and allows many users to process nylon material on standard desktop FFF 3D printers.

PA-CF Low Warp allows continuous use at 120°C while retaining sufficient properties for the intended application. Most high heat resistant materials will be difficult to print and require heated chambers and / or heated platforms to keep parts from warping the bottom layer. PA-CF Low Warp shows a very low tendency to warp, even at ambient temperature platform.

As can be seen with this example for drone parts, users can now print high strength material without the need of heated chambers. The materials shows very good results for 3D printed specimens compared to injection molded data, with only minimal loss in performance. This is a result of the excellent printability of the material, enabling users to acquire optimal performance on desktop FFF 3d printers.

PA-CF Low Warp is a material that has a lot of practical applications. One of them is within the automotive industry. The unique combination of high strength, good temperature resistance and good chemical stability makes this material a good choice for parts in and around the car. It’s used a lot already for brackets and covers.
In general it can be used for functional prototyping and final part manufacturing. For functional prototyping users are often looking for materials which have good toughness, strength and resistance to abrasion. Because of the excellent mechanical strength and heat resistance het material can even be considers for use in final applications. PA-CF low warp has great dimensional stability, because of extremely low warp. The material is therefor unique suited for applications such as jigs & fixtures which require parts with accurate dimensions.

Eager to get started? Click here to get the basics on how to print with PA_CF Low Warp.

PA-CF Low Warp is available now in our webshop and ships from stock.


The Olsson Ruby Nozzle – One nozzle for all materials

Due to the abrassive nature of the filament we recommend the use of hardened nozzles for the best performance of the material and printer. For this reason we are offering the Olsson Ruby Nozzles with the purchase of PA-CF Low Warp. You can find the combined offer here.

We have published about the use of the Olsson Ruby Nozzle before and we are very enthusiastic about the use of this filament combined with abrassive materials like PA-CF Low Warp, but also XT-CF20 and steelFill.

The ruby mounted at the tip assures that even the toughest materials will be printable. It was originally designed for printing with a composite of Boron Carbide (B4C), the third hardest known material in the world. Since most of the Olsson Ruby is made from brass, with its excellent heat conductivity, performance and throughput is first-class.

This nozzle, soon on your printer!

The Olsson Ruby is manufactured, assembled and tested in a high-quality facility in Sweden. This is why 3DVerkstan – also colorFabb’s partner in the region – guarantees the very best quality and tolerances.

As from now you can purchase the Olsson Ruby Nozzle 0.4mm in combination with PA-CF Low Warp in our webshop.

Drone canopy

3D printing and drones have gone hand in hand since the beginning of time. The quick & easy fixes, as well as the customization that 3D printing provides, make it an ideal tool for everybody into drone racing. We have seen this already with our XT-CF20 filament when we released it a few years ago (check this post on 3D Hubs Talk) or the VTOL drone we posted about last year (original post here). We are seeing it again with nGen_FLEX, which was released during the TCT Show in September last year.

For today’s print, we made the Fury X220 Race Canopy by Bas Delfos:

Design by Bas Delfos:


We use nGen_FLEX since we needed a great filament for absorbing impact and protecting the electronics of a racing drone (and inevitably crashing it). Our nGen_FLEX is semi-flexible with a shore hardness of 95A and is super tough,

Printed on an Ultimaker 2 with LokBuild plate, at 0.2mm layerheight and 250C printing temperature and 85C buildplate temperature.

About nGen_FLEX

nGen_FLEX was released in September 2016 at the TCT Show and is our first semi-flexible material. With a Shore A hardness of 95 it is a material that is ideally suited for functional parts. It is not soft and squishy like other flexible materials in the market, but allows for fast printing and printing on 3D printers using a Bowden tube. nGen_FLEX is a material for users looking for an engineering grade flexible filament with a high temperature resistance (over 120 degrees C) and good chemical resistance.

You can read the initial reception of nGen_FLEX here.

nGen_FLEX is made with Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymers, a range of co-polyesters developed with Eastman Chemical Company for 3D printing. Amphora co-polyesters are low-odor, styrene-free choices that are uniquely suited for 3D printing applications. With Amphora, items can be created that are more functional, more durable, more efficient and attractive. You can find more information about co-polyesters in the article we published last summer: What we talk about when we talk about co-polyesters.

More specific information about nGen_FLEX can be found on our dedicated landing page.

Need some more ideas what you can print with our nGen_FLEX filament? How about…

And more (click here)…

Flexbot quadcopter

A little over a week ago we posted a tweet regarding a print we were making on the Leapfrog HS with nGen orange. We are now presenting you the result, the Flexbot Quadcopter With FlexCam V2.0:



The FlexBot is designed by FlexLab. Consisting of 3 parts, we used nGen for this print in two colors: Orange and Silver Metallic. The combination of the Leapfrog HS with nGen is superb.

Keep an eye out on FlexLab’s activity on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

nGen is one of our most successful materials. It was developed with Eastman Chemical Company and based on their AM3300 co-polyester. After launching it last year, it has been widely adopted by 3D printer users all over the world as a go to material and replacement for PLA. You can find all information you are looking for on our dedicated landing page.


nGen is made from Eastman Amphora™ AM3300 3D polymer. Like colorFabb_XT, colorFabb_HT and nGen_FLEX, it is part of Eastman’s Amphora range of copolyesters for 3D printing. Find more about co-polyesters, what they are and what the advantages are by visiting our previous blog.

nGen is a low-odor, styrene-free material uniquely suited for 3D printing enthusiasts, particularly those who need the flexibility to print within a wide processing temperature range. With nGen you will have good flow properties through the printer nozzle—even at lower temperatures than some other polymers require. These properties make nGen more workable at a wider breadth of temperatures, producing reliable results and resulting in less waste.


Amphora 3300 has been made into high-quality filament that exhibits advanced overhang ability, excellent looks, and large printing temperature range—empowering large panel of users to create durable and useful items. With the unique combination of a low processing temperature and an elevated temperature resistance, nGen can quickly print creations that are functional, durable, efficient, and attractive.

nGen is available in 17 colors.

Today, Monday November 28th aka CyberMonday is the last day where you can benefit from our 15% discount on all our filaments. You can check the full details in our previous Black Friday blog post. Note that this 15% discount will end at midnight CET tonight.


VTOL Drone

From time to time we feature prints that have not originated from our own print lab, but were printed with our filaments. We love to see user cases like the one that follows which show the potential of 3D printing. In this case, our carbon re-inforced filament XT-CF20 was used to bring a prototype for a VTOL drone to a customer in the shortest time possible.


The company responsible for this is nSize, located in Rotterdam. They produced the VTOL drone prototype for Aerovinci in Delft. In their own words:

“AeroVinci is a company based in Delft, whose mission it is to build a fully autonomous network of drones, able to deliver data and services without human interaction. On their delegation to Israel with the Dutch Embassy they showcased their VTOL drone that should work with their drone-in-a-box concept.”

“BerkelaarMRT teamed up with nSize to build this prototype. With a wingspan of exactly one meter, flight case restrictions and a short deadline this was not an easy task. We chose to print this on our Ultimakers in carbon filled filament. This material is strong, creates consistent prints and is easy to sand. We’ve managed to complete this project in just over two weeks.”

“First task was to make the prototype fit in a standard Pelicase flight case, without having to charge for extra oversize luggage. So we had to split the model, which needed to be assembled and disassembled on site without any tools. We opted for some strong magnets and metal pins, carefully aligned. We have had some good results in the past with pausing prints, inserting magnets with our project for Boskalis.”


“With our first split lines in place, we set out to further divide the wing in more parts so that they fit our printers. Respecting of course the print direction so there was minimal overhang. We carefully crafted some extra splits and insert parts to keep all the surfaces as clean as possible. We ended up dividing the total wing into 27 pieces.”


“In less than one week we had printed all the parts with the colorfabb XT-CF20 filament, with only one misprint due to power outage. Next step was to glue the components together and fill up the remaining gaps with some black filler. The real reason we chose this filament was down to the last step; it was easy to sand and gives a killer look!  With some days left in our process we’ve added some extra details as wiring and presented the wing to AeroVinci.”

You can find more information about nSize on their company page.

XT-CF20 was introduced early 2015 by colorFabb and is based on colorFabb_XT with 20% carbon fibres.  This filament is perfect for parts which need high stiffness. XT-CF20 has a beautiful matte surface finish when printed.

XT-CF20 is available in our webshop and through our network of worldwide resellers.