Some time ago, Colorfabb sended me 2 spools to review This review is all about their nGen. The Woodfill is being reviewed separately, since these are 2 totally different filaments.
Colorfabb is a brand that I saw passing regularly in groups about 3D printing where I’m active.
Time to find out what they have on different materials.
I went searching for their website and found out they are located in Holland. The company was founded in 2012.
In the box was a small extra: a catalogue.
I’ve found this a very intersting little extra. That way you can easaly see what the brand has as different materials, but also some info about the use of these filaments.
How about opening the box?
A well packed box, one that doesn’t have a boring look. This will not change the quality of the filament or the result in the prints, but the eye loves something to see as well. There was an extra wrap of plastic around the box. Very well, Colorfabb. This protects the filament with an extra layer to prevent moisture to get inside the box. The coil is transparant, also packed in plastic foil, wich included a silicate bag against moisture. On the spool there was a sticker with some info written on it about the filament. Here I only have 1 remark. I miss an indication on the spool to see how much filament there is approximately left on the spool. More and more brands are doing this now.
nGen is a co-polyester based material, developed together with Eastman Chemical Company. They claim the material would be very strong, but also should have “a nice shiny finish”, and as a result also awesome details in the prints. It gives away no odor while printing. When I was searching the internet for information about this product, I’ve noticed that several other sources say that this material compares a bit to PETG, but should be easier to use.
The spool here contained 750 grams and the filament had a diameter of 1.75 mm.The material should be printed between 220°C and 240°C. The temperature of the bed should be between 75°C and 85°C. Printing on a could bed should be possible, but then they advise glue, or 3D-Lac, or PEI, or something similar (not tested).
Enough talking, time to start some printing. A temp-tower, 0.2 mm layers. Bed on 85°C. The diameter of the filament was very consistent. I measured only a 0.02 mm difference in 10 spots over 5 meters. Since this material should resemble to PETG, I started with a tower I’ve designed for PETG.
What do we see here? Some things immediately catch my eye. A great shiny finish. Between 220°C and 240°C, the details are superb. The moment you drop the temperature to 230°C or lower, the stringing is being reduced heavily. The big issue here was bridging. on the lowest advised temperature of 220°C, it was barely acceptable. Later in my tests, I found out that this was caused by settings in the cooling department.
Since the poor bridging showed up here, I stopped the normal printing procedure and started printing some extra “overhang” tests.
The result was very, very, very disappointing.The moment I passed the 40° angle overhang, quality exploded in the wrong directing. What could have been the reason for that. i was thinking a temperature issue. I wrote my contact at Colorfabb en he gave me an addres of a technician at the company. some writing back and forward, the issue was resolved. It appears my settings in the slicer are ok, but that the printer did start to spin the cooling fan on slow RPM. I never had that issue before. the solution was simple: the moment you need cooling, bump the fan to 100% and then drop it back to 30%. That way the fan keeps spinning.
Previous issue solved, time to continue my normal testing: the calibration cube.
Just like the previous prints, this confirms identical things. Everything looks pretty good, except the bridging and overhangs. This cube was printed on 230°C, that was the cause of the stringing. De next prints, I dropped the temp to 220°C and you can notice that stringing was not really an issue anymore.
To finish the normal testing, I gave the owls a go. 0.2 mm layers, temp 220°C on the nozzle and 85°C on the bed.
Was I happy with the result? YES! After some tweaking of temp, but in special the cooling, I’ve got very nice results
I did some additional printing:
- my temperatures are the lowest that are suggested by Colorfabb
- when temperature is a bit higher, the material is very willing to start “stringing”
- bridging is more difficult then with PLA, even with a good working cooling fan
- a very nice shiny look on the prints
- I miss markings on the spool, to give you an idea on how much filament is left on the spool
Personally, when printing stuff that doesn’t require supports and overhangs, I would use this filament. In the other case, I would consider using PETG, where I found that settings for overhangs and supports are more easy to achieve. You can achieve these good settings with nGEN, but it takes much more effort.