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Noob Question: When do you know it's time to replace your nozzle?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by drbanks, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. drbanks

    drbanks Active Member

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    This doesn't have immediate relevance since I'm about to replace the nozzle with a hardened one, but it makes me wonder: All other things being equal, what are the signs that your old nozzle is worn or damaged or otherwise in need of replacement?

    And related: is the extruder, or at least the $50 replacement hot-end that Robo3D sells a consumable, and if so, what are the signs it needs replacement, too?
     
  2. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    The extruder itself is not really a wear item, but the nozzles (brass ones for sure) certainly are. Your prints will get sloppy as the nozzle diameter wears open (gets larger) since your slicer is still set for a smaller diameter. Even the heater cores used in the hotend can be replaced. The only thing is that mechanical/metal parts for the stock hotend are not readily available. Just nozzles.
     
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  3. WheresWaldo

    WheresWaldo Volunteer ( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)
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    I know that for myself and @Geof, we buy nozzles in bulk, his bulk is bigger than my bulk. I buy about 10-12 at a time, then just replace them every month or two and I know I have pretty much beat the wear monster. I will replace it sooner if I am using an abrasive type of filament (ones that are metal or wood filled or carbon fiber).
     
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  4. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Active Member

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    Did anybody try a ruby nozzle from Olsson? These things are very expensive ($90 when not on sale), but if you're going through nozzles every month maybe it's worth the extra expense if you never have to replace it.
     

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  5. WheresWaldo

    WheresWaldo Volunteer ( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)
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    There is a recent discussion in Off Topic, and there have been other discussions too. The overall consensus is that they are simply not worth the extra money and a hardened steel nozzle (not Stainless Steel) will have a much bigger ROI at a much cheaper price point. There is also a nozzle called Everlast which is based on the same idea, using a Sapphire for the tip. Still not worth the money in my opinion. and the inherent designs are flawed compared to a Brass or Steel nozzle.
     
  6. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Active Member

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    When you are referring to a hardened steel but not stainless steel, are you referring to steel plated brass or some other combination or alloy?
     
  7. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Hardened steel. Not an alloy of brass, it is all 100% steel. Actual steel, hardened. It will not be shiny :) It normally has a dull greyish color.

    https://e3d-online.com/hardened-v6-nozzles

    Stainless steel is not hardened. In fact, due to its low-carbon content it cannot be hardened.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardened_steel
     
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  8. WheresWaldo

    WheresWaldo Volunteer ( ͠° ͟ʖ ͡°)
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    Stainless steel was created for food grade printers and bioprinters, it is only marginally harder than brass nozzles and is required if you want to meet FDA regulations. There is no reason for us to ever buy a Stainless Steel nozzle. More money than brass and doesn't last any longer. But it is shiny.
     
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  9. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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  10. drbanks

    drbanks Active Member

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    Maybe one answer to my question:

    Just printed something with threads. Printed one a few days ago, and it was fine. But now, twice, printed it again and got really crappy results: Blobby threads, bad layer adhesion, and generally useless.

    Using all available cortical computational power, I decided that maybe it was time to replace the nozzle.

    Not that this was without risk. I'd long been meaning to replace the nozzle with a hardened one, but given that any plan that involves me picking up a screwdriver is inherently flawed, just imagine the potential hilarity of a plan involving me picking up two wrenches.

    Exacerbating this was the fact that there was so much crap burned onto the old nozzle's exterior, it'd no longer fit a 7mm wrench. in fact, it wouldn't fit 8mm, either, but anything larger (like 9mm) was too big. So about half the process was scraping crap off a 230 degree nozzle.

    Glad to say that the process completed without much drama. Got the old nozzle off as soon as I could get a wrench to fit, put the new one on while still hot, tightened it to what felt like enough. Reset the Z-offset and tried again, and MUCH BETTER. While I've had the zits problem with layers .1mm or less, they'd recently been showing back up at .2mm. Much better with the new nozzle.

    So yeah, that.

    And even though none of this had anything to do with hardened nozzles, it's nice to have the damned thing finally installed.
     
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  11. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Well, rest assured that the hardened nozzles install the same way ;)
     
  12. BrooklynBay

    BrooklynBay Active Member

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    Thanks for the update. You could have used a plain pliers to unscrew the old nozzle if so much junk was on it, and it didn't work with any box wrenches. I use a small ignition pliers when nothing else works. What kind of nozzle did you use as a replacement?
     
  13. drbanks

    drbanks Active Member

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    E3D hardened .4mm
     
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  14. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    You can use pliers for the heater block although an adjustable is better, but for the nozzle itself you really want the right wrench. Robo used to provide one (or Hexagon did -- not clear on that). It is a 7mm if memory serves. Use a spanner and you will be fine and it will be easier :)
     
  15. drbanks

    drbanks Active Member

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    I used a crescent hammer for the heater block and one of those cheesy 7mm nozzle wrenches.

    My question for the future is whether a 7mm socket is acceptable
     
  16. mark tomlinson

    mark tomlinson ༼ つ ◕_ ◕ ༽つ
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    Sure, if it fits it works :) As long as you are keeping the strain off of the heat break with the other wrench it is fine.
     
  17. kncamranh

    kncamranh Guest

    I will replace it sooner if I am using an abrasive type of filament. Thank forr post
     

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