3D printing nozzles

3D printing nozzles

Here is some basic information about choosing and using nozzles for your 3D printer.

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E3D Nozzle pack

First thing you must do is check your printer manufacturer information to determine what size and type of nozzles are compatibile with the hotend of your printer. You also need to read the removal and replacement instructions.

3D printer nozzles are made of several different materials, each of which have different performance properties. Most 3D printer nozzles are made of brass or steel, with brass being the most common. Brass will heat up faster and generally more evenly than steel. Steel nozzles are certainly harder than brass nozzles making them much more durable and longer wearing. There are stainless steel nozzles that are used mostly for food-safe applications and others made of titanium and other exotic metals, but are not very common.

The bore size will probably be the biggest determining factor in your choice of nozzle. Bigger or smaller bore is the issue. The major trade-off between the two is fine detail with a smaller bore and speed with a larger bore. Smaller bore nozzles are capable of recreating much finer detail than a larger bore nozzle and a larger bore nozzle can create a print much faster than a smaller bore nozzle. However, there are several other considerations when choosing your nozzle bore. The speed of your extruder will be commensurately related to the bore size of your nozzle. This is for a couple of reasons. Smaller bore nozzles are inherently more susceptible to clogging than larger bore nozzles. Attempting to feed filament too fast into a small bore nozzle will result in clogging. Conversely, with a bigger bore nozzle, filament must be heated longer to allow a larger volume of filament to pass through without clogging.

Along with having the capability of providing more fine detail, a small bore nozzle will create less layer lines and allo for lower layer heights.

Layer heights as well as temperature and extruder speed must all be taken into consideration, and most times experimented with, in concert with nozzle bore to get the performance you are looking for.

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