Netherlands-based colorFabb introduced a colorful new line of 3D printer filament, “nGen_LUX”.
colorFabb has for many years been one of the pioneers in developing unusual 3D printer materials that advance the technology. Their materials are used in countless 3D printers worldwide daily, if not every second.
Years ago they experimented with unusual colors, but then moved on to more practical innovations. They were one of the very first 3D printer filament companies to partner with an actual chemical company to develop a custom thermoplastic mixture that truly addressed the needs of 3D printing.
Their partnership with Eastman Chemical resulted in Amphora, an amazing substance that prints extremely well, has excellent thermal properties and is even has very low emissions during printing. When introduced it was a bit of a revolution, as to that date all 3D printer filaments were simply re-used materials that had been designed for other industrial uses, like ABS. They worked in 3D printing, but certainly not optimally.
Thus when they announce something new like nGen_LUX I pay attention.
What is nGen_LUX? It is a new thermoplastic formulation based, once again, on the Amphora material, so it takes on many of the excellent properties of that substance.
But the goal of nGen_LUX is neither print reliability nor strength. Instead this product focuses on visual appearance.
One of the issues with virtually all 3D printer filament is that the layers of 3D prints are frequently quite visible to the eye. nGen_LUX attempts to rectify that issue.
The secret of its success is in the optical qualities of the material. colorFabb explains:
The material uses diffuse reflection to scatter light in all directions. For the eye it’s nearly impossible to spot layering, even at 0.2mm layerheight. nGen_LUX allows users to print visually appealing models without the need of post processing.
Now this could be very interesting to anyone 3D printing objects requiring visual quality, including artwork, fashion pieces or exposed part surfaces.
I haven’t yet tried nGen_LUX, but I would certainly like to based on the images of sample prints published by colorFabb, some of which are shown here.
The company has also chosen to include a series of extremely attractive colors for this material, including green, black, yellow, violet and gold. The black in particular provides a very unusual sparkly appearance.
The nGen_LUX material is a bit pricey, however, with 750g spools running for €66 (USD$81, or USD$108 per kg). Nevertheless, it is likely to become a popular material, with “quantity 0 available” shown on several of the colors at their online store.
If you’re interested in trying this material out on your 3D printer, check out colorFabb’s nGen_LUX page.