We Are Learning 3D Printing Through Our Personal Experience…
Last year we have tried the Low Friction MK8 Extruder Nozzles from Performance 3-d as an upgrade to our MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer. These were among the first, if not the first, 3D printer nozzles that were available with a low friction coating to help prevent filament jams and extend the life of the nozzle. Since then we’ve seen more options getting released on the market in the form of nozzles with various material and coatings, and since we’ve also seen a lot of new exotic filaments released on the market these more durable 3D printer nozzles have become a hot topic. We have already tried some other alternatives to and now Performance 3-d has also upgraded their product line with improved nozzles and new models from different materials.
Performance 3-d now also offers improved thermal barrier tubes to go along with your new improved nozzle upgrades with both being Swiss CNC machined and plated with our Duraplat3-d low-friction, wear resistant coating making them great for all around printing as well as when using abrasive filaments like carbon fiber or metallic. They are now offering not only Brass, but also high-heat transfer Aluminum and tough-as-nails Tool Steel 3D printer nozzles that are all completely coated with the Duraplat3-d coating. The direct replacement and upgrade for Makerbot Replicator 2 thermal barrier tubes can also improve the experience by reducing problems as they are also plated with the electroless nickel based Duraplat3-d coating. The high lubricity plating, along with the stepped internal bore, will prevent clogging in the liquid zone of the hot end meaning that when combined with a plated nozzle filament jams should become a thing of the past.
Duraplat3-d coating benefits:
– Specially engineered for improved lubricity and low friction
– Entirely coated inside and outside
– Reduce extrusion stress and help prevent hang-ups
– High hardness (68Rc) for a lifetime of printing
– Eliminate plastic globs stuck to nozzle
– Reduce plastic curl during extrusion
– Wear resistant for abrasive filaments (carbon fiber, metallic, etc…)
– Corrosion resistant
– Used in aerospace and injection molds and dies
We already have got some nozzles from the new and improved Elite series (coated brass nozzles) as well as from the Hercules series (coated steel nozzles) and the new coated thermal barriers to try out, so we’ll be posting our feedback from using them shortly. Meanwhile you can check the specifications of the new specially coated nozzles as well as the new thermal barrier tubes from Performance 3-D for full specifications and additional details.
The guys at E3D have published an interesting article with information regarding the wear level of standard brass nozzles used in most FFF/FDM 3D printers nowadays when printing with abrasive filaments. They have made some tests using the ColorFabb XT-CF20 carbon fiber filament printing it with a standard brass nozzle and then with a new hardened steel nozzle that they are now offering as a great solution to working with abrasive 3D printer filaments. It seems that a standard brass nozzle can get pretty worn off after printing just about 250g of ColorFabb XT-CF20 3D printer filament as you can see on the photo above (left is brass nozzle, right is hardened steel nozzle). As a comparison the hardened steel nozzles they are selling do not show any notable wear even after printing 10 times more abrasive filament. So if you are using more exotic filaments that contain more abrasive elements in them, then you should really consider going for a more abrasive resistant nozzle. Unfortunately the hardened steel nozzles being sold by E3D are designed for the extruders that they are also making or other similar models, so if your 3D printer uses a different extruder you should look for alternatives.
The solution to the wear of the nozzle we have found out to work well for the MakerBot Replicator 3D printer that we are using is in the form of specially coated nozzles from a company called AVN Swiss (now apparently renamed to Micro Swiss) and we would recommend to get not only a nozzle, but the thermal barrier tube they sell as well. Earlier this month we have tested the same ColorFabb XT-CF20 carbon fiber filament that E3D used and after printing about 200 grams of it with the specially coated nozzle from AVN Swiss we did not notice any wear on the nozzle and we have used it with other abrasive filaments prior to that. So MakerBot Replicator 2 and other MakerBot users as well as ones that have a clone 3D printer to check these upgrade nozzles or even better the whole hotend upgrade.