When it comes to optimizing a 3D printer, the nozzle is often overlooked. The nozzle is the last part that comes into contact with the filament, and can affect strength, print time, and filament selection. That is why we dive a little deeper into the matter here.
In 3D printing there are many different factors that can make a difference. We can easily name over 50 settings that you can consider before you start 3D printing.
One of the things that can make a difference is the 3D printer nozzle. The right nozzle for your project can make a big difference in print quality. That is why you can read below why nozzles are so important, what the differences are and what the advantages and disadvantages are of the different 3D printer nozzles.
The nozzle is the part of the 3D printer that extrudes the filament to build the part. You may well imagine that the nozzle therefore has a lot of influence on the printing time and the quality of the 3D printed part. The main points to consider are the nozzle size and material.
3D Printer Nozzle Size: Large or Small?
Nozzle diameters normally range from 0.1mm to 1.0mm. because of this, there are various sizes that you can consider, but which size is the most suitable?
When choosing the right 3D printer nozzle, you have to find the balance between how much filament and how fast is extruded at the same time. The most common size is 0.4mm. it may be obvious that larger nozzles can spray more filament at once than small nozzles. But there are also effects that are less obvious. Here are some differences between the larger and smaller nozzles.
Large 3D printer nozzles (>0.4 mm):
- Very strong.
- Shortened 3D printing time.
- Fewer nozzle related printing errors.
Small 3D printer nozzles (<0.4 mm):
- Higher accuracy.
- Greater risk of getting stuck.
- Higher quality overhangs.
- Support is easier to remove.
It is important to look carefully at your needs before choosing a nozzle. The most commonly used size is 0.4mm. Because this offers a nice balance between print speed and accuracy. In general, a 0.4mm nozzle will provide enough flexibility for anyone looking to get good performance. Replacing the nozzle is quick and inexpensive.
3D Printer nozzle material.
Most 3D printers are supplied with a brass (brass) nozzle as standard. But brass is certainly not the only material used. Other materials are stainless steel and hardened steel
When you start 3D printing with more exotic materials, the material of the nozzle becomes increasingly important. Using the wrong nozzle can damage the nozzle and result in a failed print. Below is an overview of various 3D printer nozzle materials and which filaments can be printed with them.
Brass / Brass: Non-abrasive materials only.
Brass nozzles are suitable for various filaments that are not abrasive.
Stainless Steel/ Stainless Steel: Light use with abrasive materials.
Stainless steel nozzles are suitable for various filaments, including abrasive ones. It is true that these nozzles wear out faster than a nozzle made of hardened steel. So this nozzle will have to be replaced a little more often if you print a lot with abrasive materials.
- carbon fiber
- Glow-in-the-dark filaments
- Metallic Filaments:
- Exotic filaments
- Wood filled
Hardened Steel / Hardened Steel: Frequent use with abrasive materials.
Hardened steel nozzles are suitable for various filaments, including abrasive ones. These nozzles last longer than those made of stainless steel. That is why these nozzles are ideal for anyone who frequently prints with abrasive materials.
The printable materials are the same as with the stainless steel nozzles.