ColorFabb are one of the biggest third-party 3D printing material manufacturers in the world, and they are without doubt the most innovative. They have brought to market a huge variety of 3D printing filaments for people to enjoy, including a range of filaments that mimic metals and organic materials which really test the boundaries of FFF 3D printers.
For those of you who are new to ColorFabb, we have prepared a handy guide to ColorFabb filaments for you below.
ColorFabb filaments are among the highest quality filaments on the market, and they are created using an equal to or greater quality control process than many OEMs use.
All ColorFabb filaments are produced in-house by ColorFabb’s production facility, so there is no outsourcing whatsoever. ColorFabb’s production facility is in the Netherlands, and among other things, utilises laser measurement systems which scan the filament during the production process at a rate of 1,000 times per second to guarantee the highest quality.
ColorFabb filaments are compatible with a wide range of 3D printers. They test every filament they develop with several 3D printers, including Ultimaker machines, Makerbot machines, the Leapfrog Creator, the BEETHEFIRST and the Prusa i3 HEPHOSTOS. They also test their filaments with several other 3D printers.
However, this does not mean that your 3D printer supports ColorFabb filament. To find out if your machine supports ColorFabb filament, you should contact the retailer you purchased your 3D printer from or the OEM. It is also important to note that multi-compatibility is not guaranteed, i.e. your 3D printer might support ColorFabb PLA/PHA and ColorFabb_XT, but it might not support ColorFabb composite materials, such as BrassFill.
Filaments – Basic Materials
Here is a summary of each of the basic filaments ColorFabb has created:
ColorFabb PLA/PHA works well with both heated and non-heated build plates and it is 100 per cent biodegradable. This is a superior filament to regular PLA; it is tougher and less brittle, because it is infused with PHA, an all-natural linear polyester. This filament is available in a huge range of colours and in different spool sizes.
ColorFabb’s PLA Economy line is manufactured with the same quality control processes as their most expensive filaments. This not standard PLA though – it has been reengineered to flow better and have better cross-layer adhesion. It is designed to be printed at a low temperature range, and it has the same fast print speeds as a regular PLA.
Both of these materials are a great alternative to OEM PLA.
Filaments – Co-Polyesters
Here is a summary of each of the co-polyester filaments ColorFabb has created:
ColorFabb_XT is a co-polyester developed in conjunction with the Eastman Chemical Company. It utilises Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymer. It is a high-strength and very tough material with low-odour and FDA food contact compliance. It is available in a huge variety of colours and can be used to print functional and engineering parts.
ColorFabb_HT was also developed with the Eastman Chemical Company. This material utilises Eastman Amphora HT5300, which has a temperature resistance of over 100⁰C. This material has been designed to offer the best print results on a heated build platform. Parts printed with ColorFabb_HT are strong and temperature resistant.
ColorFabb NGED utilises the Eastman Amphora AM3300 compound, which can be printed at a low temperature range. This material is strong and tough with excellent dimensional stability, even when printed on a low-temp build plate. This material looks stunning when printed and it is available in a wide range of colours and metallic finishes.
ColorFabb NGEN_FLEX is the flexible version of NGEN. It is a semi-flexible material that can be printed at PLA speeds on a low-temp build plate. It is available in Black or Dark Grey and can be printed on its own or with another material being used as an infill. Parts printed with NGEN_FLEX are flexible and durable, with a Shore A hardness level of 95.
Use a co-polyester filament to create super-tough parts.
Filaments – Specials
Here is a summary of each of the ‘specials’ filaments ColorFabb has created:
XT-CF20 is a hybrid filaments that’s part Eastman Amphora™ 3D polymer and part chopped carbon fibre. It is reinforced with 20 per cent carbon fibre. It is an incredibly stiff and durable material with excellent hardness. It also gives a beautiful matte finish when printed, although it is abrasive, so it should be printed with stainless steel nozzles.
CorkFill is a unique filament that looks and feels like cork when printed. It is made from a combination of PLA/PHA and cork particles. It prints at temperatures between 210° and 230°C at speeds between 40 and 60 mm/s. When printed, it has a dark brown colour and a unique texture. It is lightweight and ideal for making buoyant parts.
SteelFill is made from a combination of PLA/PHA and fine steel powder. With post-processing and a little polishing, you can create parts and models that look and feel like solid steel. This material can be printed without a heated print bed although it will only print consistently at temperatures between 190° and 210°C at 40 and 80 mm/s.
BrassFill is slightly softer than SteelFill so you should handle it with care. It is made from a combination of PLA/PHA and fine brass powder. When printed, BrassFill can be polished to a shiny lustre or it can be sanded to give it a rustic appearance. Parts printed with BrassFill feel metallic, although they will not weight as much as real brass.
BronzeFill is made from a combination of PLA/PHA and fine bronze powder. This material can be sanded and polished when printed. It is harder than BrassFill but not quite as hard as SteelFill. Parts printed with BronzeFill look and feel like real bronze. Like BrassFill, a heated print bed is not strictly necessarily to print this material.
CopperFill is one of our favourite ColorFabb materials. It is made from a combination of PLA/PHA and fine copper powder. It is slightly harder to print with than BronzeFill with the best results coming from all-metal hot ends. Like BronzeFill and BrassFill, this material can be sanded or polished to bring out a stunning shine when printed.
WoodFill is made from a combination of PLA/PHA and 30 per cent recycled wood fibres. This is one of the stand-out filaments by ColorFabb, allowing you to create models that look, smell and feel like real wood. Parts can be polished, varnished and treated to enhance the wood effect and it can be printed without a heated print bed.
BambooFill is made from 80 per cent PLA/PHA and 20 per cent fine bamboo fibres. It is a surprisingly durable material with a unique texture. When printed, the colour is identical to fresh bamboo, and it smells like bamboo too! This material doesn’t warp when printing and it can be sanded down and painted or marked after being printed.
GlowFill is a glow-in-the-dark filament made from PLA/PHA with a concentrated phosphorescent pigment. During the day, this filament is a lovely cream colour but at night it turns into a bright, glowing greenish yellow. This material is unique and it’s surprisingly easy to print with, printing at a speed of 40 – 100 mm/s with excellent quality.