It’s dino time! Recently Marcos Pérez contacted us and showed us an amazing project he has been working on: a brachiosaurus skeleton entirely made with our PLA/PHA Natural:

All images by Marcos Pérez, used with permission (and that’s a normal book for scale)

If the skeleton itself or the excellent print quality doesn’t impress you already, the size will. It measures 1.5 by 2.3 meters, weighs a whopping 7kg and consists of 23 pieces. The reason Marcos printed the brachiosaurus model is quite original – and awesome: “The model can be assembled and disassembled, and will be used in a children’s shelter, where the kids will search for the parts and then assemble it with some tools.”

And we thought it was merely a very cool print…

Originally the brachiosaurus roamed the plains of what is now North America. In real life, back before their demise about 66 million years ago, the brachiosaurus measured about 18 – 21 meters in length (head to tail), making this an approximate 1:10 scale model.


The story behind the brachiosaurus print

It all started with an order made by a Catalan company that is dedicated to creating themed hostels. One of them, which is dedicated to archeology, has a large area with sand. The idea was to make a large dinosaur skeleton (in terms of 3d printing) and several fossil replicas so that the children could accomplish archaeological work with their brushes and other tools. Marcos was advised by the Asturian company Geolag, with extensive experience in geology and archaeology ,that proposed me a series of models to replicate. One of those was the brachiosaurus: A dinosaur that, due to its large size, already represented a huge challenge.

He found a model, but it needed some rework. The file format had to be converted to multiple stl files, corrected and modified in Fusion 360 and later in Meshmixer before being sent to the Simplify3D slicer.

One of the biggest challenges was that the skeleton had to be mountable and removable, even by children. Therefore, it should have a simple mounting system and also be strong enough.

Printing all the parts wasn’t easy. Says Marcos: “The printing process was really tough. I needed a very large number of supports, considering that absolutely all the pieces had overhangs, some of them truly complex. With Simplify3d support system and filament’s pretty finish there was actually little post-processing. Just a slightly sanding and not much more.”

To give you an idea of the scale of this dinosaur print, here is the entire print in the garage:

Let this sink in: 2.3 x 1.5 meters and 7kg of filament…

Marcos continues to explain the printing proces: “For all this I used two Ultimaker 2+, and a pair of Creality cr-10s pro and cr-10s. I used 0’8 and 0’6 nozzles for most of the printings. And 0.2 to 0.24 layer height in some parts. This was not a problem again, due to the beautiful finish of the filament. In order to join the pieces, I made some pla stud, printed horizontally by a large nozzle. I drilled joint areas and fixed them with silicone. Being printed horizontally with a large nozzle, the ribbed surface that was formed in the studs helped me to keep the pieces in place. It was easier than I had thought. Because at first I thought of steel rods, but it was quite dangerous for children. For the very heavy cervical spine joints, and the ribs joints, I designed and printed much thicker curved studs.”

The printing process took about 450 hours!

Marcos started 3D printing about 10 years ago and has been acquiring prints ever since and, he explains “researching to be able to offer products to companies in this northern region of Spain, Asturias, mostly dedicated to the manufacture of steel. I have worked making molds for impellers manufacturing in smart lighting companies and others companies that need any type of pieces, always finished products and rarely prototypes and medium production runs. I also make artistic pieces and specific orders such as dinosaurs.”

He also sometimes teaches 3D printing classes and is very passionate about this technology, as we can see! Marcos always tries to convince business people how they can save on costs by using 3D methods.


We thank Marcos for sharing his very cool brachiosaurus project. Keep up the great work!



Marcos explained to us why he chose PLA/PHA: “I chose natural pla by colorFabb, because I had already used it in other projects and it’s a very silky touch filament, even with high layer heights, has a great finish, it’s quite easy to print, resistant, and, most of all because it doesn’t come from petroleum.”

PLA/PHA is our signature PLA filament which was the basis of colorFabb’s first product line. The added PHA makes our grade of PLA tougher and less brittle than generic PLA grades in the market. PHA (polyhydroxyalkanoate) is like PLA a bio-polyester, so our unique blend is still 100% biodegradeable. This material is available in multiple colors, but today we focus on the one without a color: PLA/PHA Natural.

We posted a dedicated blog back in 2017 to celebrate PLA/PHA Natural’s fourth anniversary. Read it here.

PLA/PHA Natural is available from stock and ships daily and worlwide for nearly 8 years already! Check the different spool sizes which are available in our webshop.


Fun fact: the brachiosaurus was the first digital dinosaur shown in the original Jurassic Park film. 


More images


voestalpine Railway Systems Nortrak

Our filaments find their way all over the world to thousands of users. From hobbyists to the largest companies we see how filaments are being used for numerous applications: from fun to functional. Earlier this year we held a contest, #madewithcolorFabb, where we invited our users to share their prints with us. Derek Cameron from voestapline Railway Systems Nortrak sent in a fantastic print of a model railway track he made with our Color on Demand PLA on the Blackbelt 3D printer:


About voestalpine Railway Systems Nortrak Inc.

voestalpine Railway Systems Nortrak (“vaRSN”), with ten production facilities across Canada, US and Mexico, is North America’s leading designer and manufacturer of special trackwork for the railway industry.  As the industry’s technology leader, they take pride in providing superior products, excellent customer service and unbeatable engineering design services to our customers. They are committed to bringing innovative solutions, products and services to their customers across the freight, transit, industrial and high speed segments. Nortrak is a subsidiary of voestalpine AG, a leading technology and capital goods group with combined material and processing expertise.  Nortrak is closely affiliated with voestalpine’s Railway Systems group which operates 50 production and sales facilities in 23 countries and is the global market leader for intelligent railway infrastructure system solutions.

vaRSN’s creative research and development team utilizes the latest analytical and testing techniques to tackle the industry’s technical challenges.  They can also tap into the global expertise of their parent company.  This ensures that optimal solutions are developed regardless of the client’s operating requirement. vaRSN is an acknowledged industry leader with numerous patents related to turnouts, turnout components, and switch machines.

All images and video by Scott Crego and Derek Cameron / voestalpine

About 3D printing at voestalpine

In Derek Cameron’s words: “We often utilize 3D printing as display models for customers, trade shows and also for prototype fit and function. Our sales team especially appreciates our 3D printing capabilities.  Showing a 3D printed model to a customer really grabs their attention, which can be difficult to do with just a 2D drawing.”

“Because we research and develop new products for the railway industry it was important for us to have a printer that could print full-scale prototypes and models. Most railway components are typically not very wide nor tall, but instead very long. We considered several large-volume 3D printers on the market but each of them had a finite limit for each axis. This is where the BlackBelt 3D printer added value that other printers could not. One of the axes is theoretically limitless, enabling us to continuously print models without the need to piece multiple parts together afterward. Additionally, we often need to print multiple copies of the same model. With the BlackBelt we can print multiple models back to back without the need to remove each individual one from the bed before starting the next print job.  This has saved us time, money, and also produces higher quality models. In short, the BlackBelt has been a game changer for us by enabling us to complete projects faster and create higher quality models that would not have been possible for us before.”

The vaRSN team had been using colorFabb filament for several years when we announced Color on Demand service. Derek Cameron continues: “When I saw the announcement I instantly thought of how great it would be to have models printed in our company’s official color, especially for models used at tradeshows. I no longer had to search to find a filament that was “close enough” in color. This, along with colorFabb’s consistent high quality and ease of printing made the filament an easy choice.”


About Color on Demand

With Color on Demand companies like vaRSN can now print with the colors they wish for and need. By making the treshold as low as a 2kg spool for a unique, custom-made color the proverbial sky is the limit when it comes to choice and options. Or check out our series of RAL Classic colors! Almost every RAL Classic color is already matched and ready to order as from a single 750gr spool!

We have developed a new filament production method which not only allows more flexibility to produce a great, unlimited amount of colors, but is so efficient that even very small amounts of filament can be produced efficiently at no higher costs compared to ordinary filaments. Color on Demand initially starts with the material most popular in the market right now: PLA. With Color on Demand the potential colors on offer can be in the thousands.


About Blackbelt

The Blackbelt 3D printer is a new type of 3D printer using fused filament fabrication (FFF) in combination with innovative belt technology. Printing on a belt (patent pending) provides new possibilities like long prints, printing horizontal overhangs without support and producing series production of the same or individual parts. Launched in 2017 it has been a new kind of 3D printer, allowing companies like vaRSN to complete long prints without feeling the limit of a regular desktop 3D printer.

Jet engine nozzle

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.


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.

Detailed balustrade

On the Ultimaker forums we found this very fine example of a highly detailed print, made with our nGen 3D printing filament. Made by Ultimaker user FoxDenDNF it was printed with a .25mm nozzle. The pegs are only 14mm tall and 2.2mm at their widest point.


This model was printed on an Ultimaker 2 Extended with an Olsson block at 0.1mm layer height and it took approx. 4-6 hours. This print is part of the Tempietto model which can be found on Thingiverse:

The Tempietto is part of the San Pietro in Montorio church which is located in Rome. FoxDenDNF has mentioned in the original post that he currently printing the entire model and we cannot wait to see the final result!

You can find the original post here:

FoxDenDNF used nGen Dark Blue, but we have 16 other colors (including clear to choose from). You can check the availability online. All items are in stock and ship within 24 hours on business days.

Printing in high resolutions and with great detail is no problem with nGen. nGen is made with Eastman Amphora AM3300 and has 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. nGen exhibits advanced overhang ability, excellent looks and large printing temperature range.