3D Printer Nozzle Guide

Selecting The Right 3D Printer Nozzle

3D printer nozzle selection is pretty straight forward. It all depends on what type of filament you plan on printing. If you are just printing non-abrasive materials like PLA, ABS, and PETG, then a regular (and cheap) brass nozzle should work just fine. For more abrasive filament you might want to consider something more durable.

What Makes A Good Nozzle:

  1. High Thermal Conductivity: You want the heat to flow easily through the nozzle so that it melts your filament adequately 
  2. Low Coefficient of Friction: Filament needs to easily pass through the nozzle to avoid getting a clog 
  3. Wear Resistance: For abrasive materials, it is necessary to have some type of hardened nozzle. If you were to use plain brass for some of the more abrasive materials you will find your 0.4mm nozzle turn into a 0.5mm nozzle very quickly (not good!) 
  4. Accurate Hole Tolerance: I have purchased 0.4mm nozzles that I found out were 0.3mm after measuring (using gage pins). This might not seem like a big difference but that is 25% undersized! Your prints will suffer if your slicer thinks your nozzle is different than what it actually is.

Brass Printer Nozzle

Brass is the cheapest nozzle available and also what most printers come stock with. They are one of the best performing nozzle types when printing non-abrasive materials.

Great for: Non-abrasive materials

Abrasion Resistance: Low

Thermal Conductivity: High

Hardened Steel Nozzle

A hardened steel nozzle provides good wear resistance for light abrasive material printing. The one drawback is that it does not have nearly as good of thermal properties as brass so you might find yourself needing to increase your hotend temperature to compensate.

Great for: Moderately abrasive materials 

Abrasion Resistance: Moderate

Thermal Conductivity: Moderate

Ruby 3D Printer Nozzle

Ruby nozzles are a hybrid of brass and ruby. The entire nozzle is made of regular brass with a small ruby press fit in the tip to provide wear resistance from abrasive material. If you are planning on printing a lot of abrasive material this is a good nozzle choice. The one drawback is the ruby is prone to chipping if you accidentally crash your nozzle into the bed. 

Great for: all abrasive materials 

Abrasion Resistance: High

Thermal Conductivity: High

Tungsten Carbide 3D Printer Nozzle

Tungsten Carbide Nozzles are the most durable option currently available. They are nearly as hard as a diamond (hardest known object) while still not being prone to chipping like a ruby. It also has nearly as good of thermal properties as brass. While this nozzle is fairly expensive, it will likely last the life of whatever machine you put it on

Great for: all abrasive materials

Abrasion Resistance: High

Thermal Conductivity: High

Recommended Products:

Ruby 3D Printer Nozzle

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