Flexible pliers

Or: How to print pliers with two materials in one print. We’re having a lot of fun with our dual nozzle printers here in the brand new colorFabb HQ and today we showcase once again a great print with two different materials. Yesterday we used nGen as a support material for a drill case print in colorFabb_XT (click here for that post). Today we use nGen again in combination with nGen_FLEX. We present you the flexible pliers:

Design by: I-lab Toulon (modified by colorFabb for dual material printing)

The original concept is from a German institute that the I-Lab team re-worked. Originally intended for a single material (which works perfectly fine we found), we thought it would be more interesting to up the ante, print with two materials and use ngen_FLEX Dark Gray where it matters most while printing the rest with the more rigid nGen Silver Metallic.

This original design creates a completely functional part from a single print, straight from the 3D printer. It brings out the functionality of nGen_FLEX to its fullest by using different internal structures to create more rigid and more flexible sections in a single part.

UPDATE: the files to print your very own Flexible Pliers are now online! You can find the I-Lab design on Thingiverse and Youmagine. Our remixed version for dual material can be found here.


For both prints we used the BCN3D Sigma. They took only a couple of hours and we printed with a 0.15mm layer height.

We have printed before with nGen and nGen_FLEX (here) and the (layer) adhesion between these two materials is excellent! Dual extrusion printers like the BCN3D Sigma, the new Ultimaker 3 and the upcoming Stacker S2 (keep your eyes open for that one!) allow for great freedom to design and print truly functional parts.

nGen was released a little over a year ago and is an all-round filament which has many advantages over, say, a PLA. The temperature resistance is over 80 degrees C and it works on most printers with a heated build plate.  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.

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.

Both nGen and nGen_FLEX are 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.

Both nGen and nGen_FLEX are available now in our webshop (click here or here) and via our network of distributors and resellers. Click here for a reseller closest to you.