Reasons Why Getting the Right 3D Printer Nozzle Is So Important

Posted by Tim White

3d_printer_nozzle

With the rapid advancement of 3D printing technologies, there’s so much to worry about when shopping for printers and printer parts. Each and every part plays a crucial role in the quality of the prints the printer produces. One of the most overlooked 3D printing parts is the nozzle. 3D printer nozzles come in various sizes and are made from a variety of materials. Why does the nozzle matter so much? Because it directly impacts the extrusion width of each and every line in your print.

That being said, the 3D printer nozzle plays a crucial role in everything you print, but even more so when it comes to intricate and detailed prints. Regardless, you should look to get the right 3D printer nozzle so that you don’t waste filament and come up with inferior quality prints. There’s no right type of 3D nozzle that will fit everyone’s needs, meaning, you’ll have to consider what elements matter to you and what you’re trying to achieve with your prints.

The first step to selecting the right nozzle for your task is to consider its size. The most standard sizes are 0.40 and 0.35mm. The main reason for their popularity is the fact that they’re versatile and great all-round. These nozzles can print layer heights of 0.1mm, which translates into detailed prints. More often than not, a 0.4 or 0.35mm nozzle will be great for most print jobs. However, these nozzles also print slower, but a quality, detailed print is certainly worth waiting slightly longer for.

Besides nozzle size, another important factor to consider when buying a 3D nozzle is the material. Nozzles are made from a wide range of materials, and the right one for your printing job will depend on the type of filament you print with. The reason for this is quite simple – some filaments are abrasive and will wear down some types of metal. The most commonly used materials to manufacture nozzles are the following:

  • Brass – this material can print ABS, PLA, PETG, TPE, TPU, PC, Nylon and other non-abrasive materials;
  • Stainless steel – this material can print with a wide range of filaments, including abrasive types;
  • Hardened steel – ideal for printing with abrasive materials exclusively;
  • Special materials – such as ruby and tungsten, make for incredibly tough nozzles that can withstand constant abrasion. They’re for printing abrasive materials exclusively and cost more than other options.

Ideally, you should have multiple different-sized nozzles made of a few different materials so that you can interchange them between prints, depending on what you’re trying to print. That will ensure that you get quality and detailed prints consistently. Nozzles are quite affordable and having several of them won’t break your bank. However, if you’re on a tight budget, follow the guidelines above so that you can shop for the right nozzle with confidence.

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