ColorFabb Filament Review: High Quality Filament From A European Producer


ColorFabb is one of the best filament brands in the world. As a premier Dutch filament producer, ColorFabb guarantees precision quality filaments for your most important prints. Their filaments are expensive but worth it.

Introduction

ColorFabb is a high quality filament producer from the Netherlands. ColorFabb was launched in 2013 when the filament market at the time was dominated by cheap filament companies. The founders of ColorFabb recognized the need for high-end, premium quality filament in the filament market, and created ColorFabb to meet the demand. They produce all of their filaments in house on six production lines. They also package, store and ship their filaments from their factory and warehouse. ColorFabb’s operations are state-of-the-art and all of their filaments are high quality with very little variance in diameter. Of course, as a producer of premium quality filaments, ColorFabb filaments are more expensive than other filament brands. You can expect to pay between $40 and $85 per spool depending on the type of filament.

ColorFabb Standard Black PLA/PHA Filament - 1.75mm (0.75kg)
ColorFabb Shining Silver PLA/PHA Filament - 1.75mm (0.75kg)
LulzBot nGen Amphora Filament, AM3300 Polymer, 0.75kg Reel, 2.85 mm, Black
ColorFabb XT-CF20 Carbon Fiber Filament - 1.75mm (0.75kg)
ColorFabb XT Black - 1.75mm (0.75kg)

ColorFabb has massive customer loyalty. Once customers find it they almost never go to another brand. ColorFabb has achieved this level of popularity because ColorFabb filaments are so high quality that printing with them is a dream. Paying a few extra dollars for a spool is well worth it when it saves time and energy that would otherwise be spent unclogging your extruder or finding printer settings. A lot of serious ColorFabb customers order higher volumes of their filaments for wholesale prices that reduce the individual spool price to around $30. For instance, ColorFabb from offers a customizable 16 pack of their filament spools. These can be shipped to the US in under a week and cost and have a shipping tax of only $50. This brings the entire cost of each of these fantastic spools down to around $31.

For serious 3D printer enthusiasts, ColorFabb is one of the best filament brands available. While not necessarily great for large prints given the steeper price, ColorFabb is easily one of the best filament brands to print with and everyone should try it at least once.

Who Owns ColorFabb?

ColorFabb is owned and operated by Ruud Rouleaux and parent company Helian Polymers. Ruud Rouleaux is an additive manufacturing expert and leader in the plastics industry who recognized a need for high quality 3D filament in the filament market in 2012. Founded the following year in March of 2013 in the Netherlands, ColorFabb is now a multidisciplinary team focused on providing the best quality filament possible to the 3D printing industry.

Where Does ColorFabb 3D Filament Come From? Where Can I Buy It?

ColorFabb filaments are produced at the ColorFabb manufacturing warehouse in Venlo, Netherlands. The warehouse has six production lines and handles all packaging and distribution operations. The raw plastic itself comes for FKuR, a German plastics supplier. ColorFabb then processes these high grade plastics into filaments.

ColorFabb products are available both on the ColorFabb website and through resellers in various states and countries around the world. To find the closest source of ColorFabb filament to you, simply go on their website where they have a store locator map. You can also order online from various resellers websites in addition to Amazon. Amazon carries many of ColorFabb’s most popular products.

However, for some of their better deals, such as the 16 filament spool pack, you have to order through their website or a reseller. Resellers often also have deals on colorfabb filament that ColorFabb itself might not be able to offer. Also, on the ColorFabb website there are often fabulous sales and new limited edition filament materials for you to try. You can also find Value Pack samples, pellets and 3D printers for sale on the ColorFabb website.

The Filament: Price, Quality, and Color Range

As a premium filament producer and distributor, ColorFabb filaments are top of the line. Appropriately, the price is not as cheap as other brands, but the quality that you get for spending a little bit extra is undoubtedly worth it. ColorFabb products tend to cost between $40 and $80 depending on the material and the price. But if you buy the 16 spool value pack of customizable spools you can bring the cost down to around $30 per spool. Color range is also phenomenal and ColorFabb PLAs have some of the best colors around.

Price

Colorfabb filaments cost between 30 and 35 Euros which translates to about $40 or $50 after tax and import fees. On Amazon for instance, ColorFabb filaments are available at a vast range of prices. ColorFabb silver pla filament sells for almost $50 per .75 kilograms spool. Meanwhile, ColorFabb Bronzeville metal filament 1.75 millimeters sells for almost $80 per .75 kilograms spool. In order to save money on ColorFabb filament and get the best deal, customers who plan to order a lot of ColorFabb filament should check out their customizable 16 spool filament pack on their website. This pack comes directly to your door in 3 to 7 days with an import tax of around $50. The value pack brings the cost of each spool down to about $30 per spool. That’s a great deal for ColorFabb filament seeing as how these filaments are some of the best quality available today.

Color Range

ColorFabb offers all of the standard primary colors and different shades of many colors, such as 3 shades of red, 2 shades of orange, 4 shades of green, and several shades of blue, purple, yellow, and brown. ColorFabb offers a similarly impressive range of colors for other specialty filaments such as nGen and ColorFabb XT. For other types of specialty filaments such as wood and metal filled filaments, ColorFabb offers one of the best ranges of colors and tones available today. From cork, bamboo, and regular wood filament to bronze, brass, copper, and gold, ColorFabb easily blows the competition out of the water in terms of the number of different types of wood and metal filaments available.

Prints: Strength and Texture

Prints using ColorFabb filament are always excellent. There are almost no problems except for some occasional clogs depending on how fast you are printing. Sometimes when printing at very high speed filament can become compressed inside the extruder and block the flow of filament through your machine. This only happens rarely with ColorFabb but it’s worth considering as a possible cause for any blockages you might experience if you’re printing fast and at high temperatures. The prints tend to have a matte finish with not so much shine as other filaments. But the overall texture is very nice and pleasing to the touch. The prints are also fairly strong. ColorFabb mixes in PHA with their PLA, which improves the strength and durability of the filament.

Quality and Materials

ColorFabb produces some of the highest quality filament available on the market today. All of its filaments have exceptional quality standards and print extremely well. They are also consistent from one spool to the next so you don’t have to worry about whether or not the next spool you use will be a dud. The diameter is in general fantastic and there are very few reports of any clogging with any filament. When there is clogging, it’s usually user error and not a result of problems with the filament.

Here’s a list of the filaments ColorFabb offers:

  • PLA/ PHA
  • Co-polyesters:
    • ColorFabb_XT
    • ColorFabb NGEN
    • ColorFabb_HT
    • ColorFabb NGen_Flex
  • Composites
    • Wood
    • Bronze
    • Copper
    • Carbon Fiber
  • Pellets

PLA/PHA

The PLA from ColorFabb is very good. It has a matte finish and it’s not very shiny but it feels very good to the touch. You can see the quality straight out-of-the-box. It looks good and it’s packaged well. ColorFabb PLA has a very even flow through the printer and it’s wound around the spool well so that there is no problem feeding the filament into your extruder. ColorFabb adds some PHA to their PLA, which helps give it a bit of extra strength. Just how much of a difference the addition of PHA makes is hard to judge. Also, this PLA is harder to compare to other brands simply because there aren’t too many other filament brands that add PHA to their PLA. That being said, this PLA mix is strong and well worth the money. ColorFabb PLA is the go to filament for many experienced and beginner level 3D printer enthusiasts.

Wood / Metal

The wood and metal filaments are the most expensive filaments offered by ColorFabb with the exception maybe of the carbon fiber PLAs. However they are some of the best wood and metal filaments available. There are several types of wood filament, from bamboo and cork to just general wood, and they are really easy to work with. You can sand them and they take stain well. These wood filaments look convincingly like wood when compared to other wood filaments available.

The metallic PLAs are also extremely interesting and easy to work with. Brass is a more unusual metal color, as is copper, and you can really do a lot with these filaments. Other metal filament makers usually stick with silver and bronze, but ColorFabb makes a few other types of metal filaments as well. You can use them for functional parts given the fact that they’re slightly stronger than other PLAs. You can usually pass them off as metal even though they have a slight matte finish because you can polish them up with a little bit of post-processing to give them a better shine.

nGen Co-polyester

In conjunction with Eastman Chemical Company, ColorFabb offers several copolyester materials for 3D printing called nGen, nGen_xt, colorfabb_HT and nGen-flex. These materials all use Eastman’s Amphora polymer as their base ingredient. Amphora is a strong and nearly odorless polymer perfect for 3D printing. ColorFabb created their nGEN filaments using Eastman Amphora with the intention of providing a printer material with high gloss and clarity but also with superior toughness, flexibility, and ease of use. 

These copolyester filaments are sold in three grades to meet all of your printing needs. Each grade has different properties and we suggest you check out the ColorFabb website for more information. However if you want to give one a shot, the easiest one to print with and the best one for beginners is the regular nGen. It is super rigid and doesn’t have a strong odor. This basic nGen filament is also the most popular of the ColorFabb copolyester filaments due to ease of use.

Website, Packaging, and Spool Design

ColorFabb has a superior website and top quality filament packaging. The spool design is also perfectly in line with industry standards. What ColorFabb offers is exactly what every customer wants. The user interface on the website is intuitive and easy-to-use. The company makes it simple to find the product you want and when ColorFabb filaments arrive at your doorstep you get the pleasure of opening up a beautiful package, loading your spool on to your printer with no problems and printing out your first object to your exact specifications. What more can you ask for?

Website

Visiting the ColorFabb website is a wonderful experience. You basically get to see what a top-of-the-line filament and producer should look like. There’s a beautiful scrolling display of products you can print with and new types of filament that they offer. Plus there’s always a sale or some kind of deal on the sidebar. The product listings are also very good with nice descriptions and easy to see pictures. The sign out process is great and you can pay in Euros or dollars depending on where you are. There are absolutely no English spelling mistakes, which is not surprising at all given the fact that most Dutch people speak impeccable English. As a European company ColorFabb is clearly oriented towards the global market, but especially the American market. ColorFabb makes it very easy for American customers to buy their Superior Products through their website.

Packaging

It is really a pleasure to receive a Colorfabb spool in the mail and open it up. Whether you buy it through a third-party or from the website, you’ll get a nice box with clear labeling and a beautiful logo. The box will be shrink-wrapped and the spool inside will be shrink-wrapped as well with a desiccant included. This means that ColorFabb almost never has any problems with humidity or moisture getting inside the spool during delivery. You can see a nice video on the website explaining the whole process about how the spools are produced, packaged and shipped. The shipping is done mostly by DHL and UPS. ColorFabb also ships internationally with other package handlers.

Spool Design

The spools are made of a hard clear plastic with a sizable center hole diameter in line with most commercial 3D printers available today. The spools are able to comfortably handle the amount of filament on the role. There are no tangles or tightness, even as you get to the center of the spool. The spools themselves can be recycled, which is nice because you can make your own filament with them if you have your own extruder. Or if you simply wish to reduce the amount of plastic waste going into landfills, you can do so by recycling ColorFabb spools.

The Take-Away

Anyone looking to buy filament from a brand that they know will work every time and provide the best printing experience possible should take a look at ColorFabb. But ColorFabb is not not cheap. At around $35 to $40 for their lowest priced filament, you will be spending almost double what you would spend on other filaments, such as Hatchbox and eSUN. But just remember, ColorFabb is totally worth it.

The ColorFabb value pack is possibly the best deal on the internet from any filament manufacturer. It offers a customizable set of 16 filaments of your choice. They’ll ship it right to your door and international shipping fees included, buying this pack is still a deal in comparison to buying individual spools of colorfabb filament. Buy this value pack now and get the best filament deal on the internet.

The best part about ColorFabb is the overall care that goes into the production and sale of their filaments. Few other filament companies exhibit the standard of customer service, website maintenance, and packaging that ColorFabb does. After all, ColorFabb was founded fairly recently in 2013 in response to the market need for better filament companies. In recent years, cheap filament has come to dominate the 3D printing industry as companies raced to produce ever larger quantities of low price plastic. Color Fab aims to offer a higher-end alternative. And it does a great job.

Try ColorFabb today and if you’re not happy with the choice just call them up and send it back or they will offer a refund. But, you will almost certainly have a good experience. Buy your own spool right now on Amazon or through their website.

Similar Filament Brands You Should Try

  • SainSmart
  • 3D Black Magic
  • Hatchbox
  • 3D Solutech
  • eSun
  • MakerGeeks

 

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