Chair design update

This spring, Niels van Valburg is our intern here at colorFabb. He is currently working on a design for a 3D printed chair. You can read his previous updates here and here. Below is his third update and progress so far...

Hey there!

It has been a while since my last post, and a lot of work has been done since then. At the time of my previous update I was approaching my midterm presentation, during which I received a lot of feedback to continue my project with.

And that feedback has shifted the focus of the entire design so far. My previous chair was meant to be printed as several big parts that would be connected. And after presenting this the question came up on how much material that would actually cost, and if the chair is meant to be built by other people as well. Which lead to changing the design towards efficient material use, easy printing on desktop machines and also easy assembling. By doing that it becomes possible for people to use their machines to make a simple chair, and see how much is possible with a 3D printer and some filament.

The new design is a chair that consists of 3D printed connectors combined with plywood panels. The sketch on the picture shows a basic impression of how it will look. And one of the cool things about it is that it uses the properties of nGen_FLEX to make the connection to the plywood!

On the pictures you can see several printed tests to see which connection to the wood will be the best. I have also designed several different shapes for the connectors themselves and printed these in PLA Economy to see how printable they were, and how the form itself looks in real life instead of my screen.

And now it is time to start with the printing and assembling process of the entire chair, which will take me about two weeks if everything is going as planned.

So untill next time!


To be continued…


More on the materials


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.


PLA Economy

We launched PLA Economy in November last year and has been a best seller ever since. We offer 2.2kg filament on a big spool for a little over € 35 (excluding VAT and shipping) at the best colorFabb quality you are used to. We have extensively tested this PLA grade in our print lab. Since this week we offer a fifth color to our portfolio: Dark Blue, which ships now from stock.

Visit our webshop now.

Update from our intern

A few weeks ago we introduced our new intern, Niels van Valburg. You can read the previous post here.

Below is the progress on his project he is working on at colorFabb:


Hey there!

So last time I explained a bit about what my project is going to be about. For those of you who have not yet read the previous post, I am doing my Bachelor Thesis project for Industrial Product Design at colorFabb. The idea is to print a chair with nGen_FLEX where the material properties are used to an advantage.

So to give an update on how it is going so far. I started researching how I could use metamaterials to make functional parts without having to assemble them. Metamaterials are materials that are engineered in such a way, that they have properties that they normally would not have. A good example are the colorFabb Pliers!

So I have experimented with different designs, and came up with a solution on how to apply it in my concept so far. In the sketches you can see the result.

Some of the test prints made during this study:

So now the real engineering and printing can begin. I still have to figure out how to connect all the parts of the chair together, but I already have some ideas on how it might work.

So until next time!


Niels is doing a lot of research with nGen_FLEX.

About nGen-FLEX

nGen_FLEX was developed with Eastman chemical company. Based on their work with co-polyesters nGen_FLEX makes a very compatible material with other Amphora grade materials.

With just the right amount of flex, nGen_FLEX is best described as a semi flexible material. Still capable of being fed through a Bowden tube and printed at regular PLA speeds.

Fast printing
nGen_FLEX is engineered as a semi-flexible materials which allows most users to print at regular print speeds, cutting down build times compared to other very flexible filaments. Also bowden style 3D printers, 1.75mm and 2.85mm, will be able to push this filament through without much trouble.

Temperature resistance
nGen_FLEX is temperature resistant to about 125C. That means 3D printed objects can be steam sterilized at 121C.

Flexible and tough
Printed in single perimeters and without infill or very little objects will feel quite flexible, but printed with multiple perimeters and more infill objects will be very firm and tough. The material is rated at a shore hardness of 95A.

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