Lodewijk van der Grinten Prijs 2016

Our special filaments are perfectly suited for special occasions, like awards ceremonies. Last night was such a night and a special night for entrepeneurs in our region in and around the Dutch city Venlo, colorFabb’s home town. Every year the Lodewijk van der Grinten prize is awarded to a local entrepeneur or local business who has done something special for and within the city and the region.

Please note: links in this article mostly link to a Dutch language site.

This year there were three nominees: Cabooter Group, Scelta Mushrooms and Pulse Business Solutions. Being nominated is already an honor and all three nominees were awarded with a special trophy to commemorate their nomination. The trophy was custom designed and printed with colorFabb’s special filaments.

The nominees

The big winner of this evening, receiving the big award was Jan Klerken from Scelta Mushrooms for their work in R&D in the world of mushrooms! We congratulate Jan and his team at Scelta Mushrooms with winning this year’s award!

The trophy for the nominees

A little bit about the award…

The Entrepreneur Award is named after Lodewijkvan der Grinten (1831 – 1895), founder of the current Océ. The name is not chosen without reason. Océ has become one of the biggest economic powers in Venlo and its region. The award is an initiative of the Foundation Lodewijk van der Grinten Business Award, in which LLTB Horst Venlo, Venlo Small and Medium Businesses (MKB), Entrepreneurial Venlo and the city of Venlo participate. It is handed out during a ceremony ever since 2010. The award is also made possible by sponsors, of which colorFabb is one.

The city if Venlo is located in the south of the Netherlands, next to the German border and in between the big harbors of Rotterdam and Antwerpen on one side and the German Ruhr area and Central Europe on the other side. Venlo and its surrounding region has been called one of the (if not the) best logistics hubs of Europe! With so much business in the area it is hard to stand out, which makes winning the award such an achievement!

The trophy

The trophy for the nominees was designed by Van Alles Wat Ontwerp. It was then printed by the colorFabb print lab team on the Ultimaker 3 using both bronzeFill and copperFill with a 0.2mm layer height – which dual nozzle system was especially suited for this task. It took 38 hours to print every trophy.

After that, we have post-processed the prints further by sanding the outer edges roughly and quickly. After that we used a polishing wheel to do the bulk of the polishing and finalized the print by polishing the details manually with some steel wool.

Check the video below for how the print was designed and printed (not in real time, of course):

Our special filaments have proven themselves to be quite award worthy, after seeing our woodFill, bronzeFill and copperFill have been used for the bioPlastics award only 2 weeks ago! You can read the post on that here.

colorFabb’s entire range of special filaments are available in our webshop and through our network of distributors and resellers worldwide. If you are interested in post-processing the metal filled filaments, look no further than the article we wrote earlier this year about post-processing! But if you decide to look further, there is a nice collection of articles and blogs to be found here.

And remember, for the remainder of the year, because it is colorFabb’s fourth anniversary, we continue our Buy 4, Pay 3 promotion. Use coupon code colorfabb4you on our website to get the fourth spool you order for free! Some conditions apply though: cheapest spool is for free and samples and PLA Economy are exempt from this part of the promotion. Since it is less than two weeks before Christmas, don’t forget to order in time!

Bioplastics Award

The feature print we want to show today is special in more than one way. Normally, our prints are for in-house use and showing off what our filaments are capable of on a wide variety of platforms. Today’s print however has been made by us to be presented as an award: The Bioplastics Award!


The Bioplastics Award is annually given during the Bioplastics Conference to a company who has achieved something special in the field of bioplastics. This year, the jury selected a project on which three companies had collaborated: the new bioplastics wrapper of the Snickers bars. The project started when a product manager at the Mars factory in Veghel, the Netherlands, approached Rodenburg, the Dutch bioplastics producer, with a challenge: Could Rodenburg develop a biobased packaging material for Mars’ candy bars that was just as good as the one the company was currently using?

The answer was “Yes!” and after some trials the product was approved, resulting – amongst others – in the Bioplastics Award 2016. You can read the full article here.


Bioplastics Magazine is the leading magazine in the world in regards to bioplastics. They have published about colorFabb before, which you can read about here and about Stacker as well.  The magazine organizes the annual Bioplastics conference which was held this year on November 29 and 30 in Berlin.

The award was printed by us with colorFabb special filaments: woodFill, bronzeFill and copperFill. The base polymer of these materials is our very own PLA/PHA, which has been the basis of a wide range of filaments, both a portfolio of 30 colors and our special filaments, for the past four years.


The woodFill base plate was printed no the Swiss made DeltaTower while the bronzeFill and copperFill parts were printed on the MassPortal Pharaoh and post-processed afterwards.

You can find more information about post-processing in our dedicated blog here and in a collection of articles.

colorFabb’s entire range of special filaments are available in our webshop and through our network of distributors and resellers worldwide. For the remainder of the year, because it is colorFabb’s fourth anniversary, we continue our Buy 4, Pay 3 promotion. Use coupon code colorfabb4you on our website to get the fourth spool you order for free!



Display Case

Today we printed a Raspberry Pi 7 Inch touch screen display case. For this we used our woodFill and bambooFill. Designed by luc_e, it is a perfect showcase for some truly beautiful materials like our special filaments.


Design: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1585924

Ever since launching at the London 3D Print Show in 2013 woodFill has been a great success. Our first special filament, it was followed by bambooFill and corkFill in our range of aesthetically stunningly beautiful filaments. Printing with these materials makes your room smell like a wood shop! Both woodFill and bambooFill work on most printers that can handle PLA. You can find a tutorial here.


These parts were printed on an Ultimaker 2 at 0.16mm layer height.

Both woodFill and bambooFill are available in our webshop are are part of our line-up of special filaments.


colorFabb gift box

Recently at the TCT Show we finally caught up with Tony Short. Tony has been using colorFabb’s special filaments with great effect and we have been following his impressive work for quite a while now. You can find a few examples of his work on Twitter: here, here and here. We are always happy to meet up with our users at shows, but Tony had a surprise for us in store: a printed giftbox made with our special filaments, based on the colorFabb logo. A typographer by trade, Tony put in his best effort and came up with a truly stunning print:


We’ll let Tony explain in his own words how he made this beautiful gift box:

“Since I began 3D printing I’ve been a big fan of Colorfabb’s more exotic materials. I’ve been creating artworks with them for the last year or so, and I was very pleased to find that colorFabb loved my designs / prints as well. I decided to make one of my printed fancy boxes, using CF’s wood and metal filaments. Normally my work has a typographic flavour (given that’s my background) but in this instance I designed a box using the ‘petal?’ device from the CF logo.”

“I designed the box using Moments of Inspiration (MoI3D) software. Starting with the ‘wooden’ shell first, and creating the holes for the inset ‘metal’ panels.  On my Ulitmaker2 printer the Woodfill filament has always been slightly less than perfect, but I don’t mind that because it gives the finished job some defects, which makes it look more natural. They are printed at 0.3mm layers with a 0.6mm nozzle, so don’t take much time. Afterwards the minimal supports for the inset holes are removed, and because they will be covered with panels I don’t need to worry about the surface finish there.”

“I finish Woodfill prints with multiple passes of sandpaper, usually 120, 180, 400, 1500, 4000 grit, and then a couple of coats of acrylic lacquer.”


“For the three metal panels I wanted to create patterns that related to CF, ending up with a Dutch townhouse scene, a more traditional tulip pattern and an abstract design based on the CF logo letterforms. I did think that using tulips might be a bit stereotypical, but given that CF use windmills on their packaging I thought I would be fairly safe.”

“All three patterns we built as 3D objects in MOI3D, then repeated, merged and flattened to create the finish 3D files. They were printed in Copperfill and Bronzefill, 0.1 layer height, 0.4 nozzle. No supports are needed, and finishing is a lot easier than the Woodfill sanding!”

“The townhouses and tulips were given a rough sand down to remove any stray bits and blobs. Then sprayed with black matt paint, fairly thick to get into all the nooks and crannies. This is then wiped off with a rag, whilst still wet, to give an aged look. Once dry these are then brushed with a brass wire brush, and finished with some high grit paper. The lettering panel was roughly brushed, but then treated with some oxidising liquid which accelerates the ‘verdigris’ process. Left overnight it was bright green the next day, so some strategic sanding and polishing knocked back the effect to look more realistic.”


“The metal panels were simply glued into their holes, and the box given a final coat of lacquer to protect the metal finish, and stop any additional oxidisation. I use a lacquer designed for covering gilding with metal leaf, but I guess any would do.”

“The way the box is printed with Woodfill gives a realistic wood grain effect, and the 3D printing means you can make designs that would be very difficult using traditional techniques.”


We once again thank Tony for his beautiful gift box and using our materials to such a great effect.

We have seen great use of our special filaments and post-processing possibilities. We have collected several blogs about post-processing metal filled filaments in one place, which you can visit here.

Tony’s work can be followed on Twitter, via his account. Follow him and be amazed by his work.

Our special filaments are available online and throughout our worldwide distributor and reseller network. Enquire locally for availability. We also offer a special filament value pack online, where you can choose 8 special filaments in one package.

TCT Show 2016 recap

Hi all,

We wrapped up the TCT Show 2016. Packed our goods, stacked them on the pallets and everything is heading back to colorFabb HQ again soon. We’re about to board our plane and leave Birmingham once more. It has been a great two days in Birmingham, meeting old friends and making new ones. We were there with our partners Stacker and Eastman Chemical Company, answering all your questions, showing the prints and the printers and giving away a lot of free samples of our co-polyesters.


Two true artists dropped by: Steve Cox and Tony Short. They brought us their finest prints to showcase at our booth. Steve brought a statue, printed with bronzeFill and manually polished:


Also, Tony Short dropped by and gave us a fantastic present: a gift box based on the colorFabb logo. You can see it for yourself. This gift is much appreciated and will get a special place at the office.


As we said, true artists who not only know how to print, but how to post-process to achieve the highest quality possible.

Of course we had a big announcement at the beginning of the show. We launched nGen_FLEX this week and the initial reactions at show were extremely positive. Our new flexible filament has a Tg of over 125 degrees and is extremely well suited for engineering parts and prosthetics. Based on a co-polyester from Eastman, you can be assured of the high quality of the material. We have created a dedicated landing page for nGen_FLEX, which you can reach by clicking here.

We recently sent a few people spools to test nGen_FLEX and we saw an overwhelming support for our latest filament. Here are a few mentions of our beta testers:




Layer adhesion is great and you can use this semi-flexible material with a Bowden tube, which we showed while printing on an Ultimaker 2+ with nGen_FLEX continuously during the show.


nGen_FLEX is now available in black and dark gray.

The one feature print everybody talked about was the OpenRC F1 Car, designed by Daniel Norée, we published about last week. If you missed it, you can catch up here. We printed the entire car (a full 107cm long) with co-polyester based filaments: nGen, colorFabb_XT, colorFabb_HT, XT-CF20 and of course our latest nGen_FLEX which we used for the tires.


The F1 car was mostly printed on the Stacker S4 during the summer. We had the Stacker on site during the TCT, printing technical parts – 4 at the same time! The Stacker S4 is a perfect printer for large scale projects and small series production. You can find more information by visiting our website: http://stacker.colorfabb.com/


A final honorable mention goes out to the team of Creat3D, our UK distributor. They built a big colorFabb tower at their stand!


We want to thank everybody who visited us or followed the TCT Show through social media. Special thanks to Ludovic and Richard from Eastman, as well as Norston from Stacker to man the stand with us during these two busy days. It was great meeting everybody again and are too many to mention.

We hope to see you again next year!

(Oh, and don’t forget: the 10% discount code in our webshop will be valid the entire weekend. Use TCT2016 as the coupon code for a 10% discount on all spools of filament!)