3D Printer Nozzle Change and Struggles

posted in: 3d printing, brandon | 0

Hello all,

I’ve been really quite busy recently (aren’t I always?) and I have made a few interesting things over the past month or so… But I digress, this is all about 3d printers and adding a new nozzle!

Buying a Nozzle

I bought the Chinese knockoff of the E3D-V6 nozzle off of the usual site, and it was less than 1/4th the price of the original!

However, the cost does hit you eventually.

I found this out when I took the new extruder apart and found that the heat break has a PTFE liner.  This is okay for me because I won’t be printing polycarbonate, nylon, or t-glase any time soon (or so I think).

(sorry I don’t have any pictures)

I believe the nozzle is slightly less than the equivalent of the E3D-Lite6 in that it doesn’t need the PTFE tubing to extend all the way in from the outside and has its own internal PTFE tubing.  My speculation is that two separate sets of PTFE tubing might cause more problems than a single tube (but I can be wrong).

Installing the Nozzle

Installation is relatively simple.  You take the original screws for the original nozzle out from where they were and you replace the old nozzle with the new nozzle.

This is really not a hard procedure (unless something goes wrong), so I won’t provide much detail.

Testing the Nozzle

Nozzle testing is relatively straightforward, but be forewarned that it can be complicated very easily (as it was for me).

Set the nozzle temperature (using your printer’s LCD if you’re fortunate enough to have one) to something that’s low and relatively harmless.  I set it to 100℃.

For me, I had a bit of a problem: the thermristor stopped working completely.  So I had to come up with a solution to this in order to get my printer back in business.  (I honestly don’t print very much, but it’s inconvenient to have my printer out of service when I need something .)  I ripped the thermristor off of my old hotend and jammed it into my new one (after thoroughly cleaning the silicone off first).  I fit it into the heater block as best I could, and hopefully it’s good enough.

The installed thermristor with retaining screw
The installed thermristor with retaining screw

After the nozzle heats up to a sufficient temperature for the first time, autocalibrate it with some filament jammed into it.  You must have the filament jammed in or the autotuning will not work correctly!  Autotuning also works best if you have it set to the temperature that you’re usually printing at.

M303 E0 S200 C8

M303 – the M-code that sets your 3d printer to autotune

E0 – extruder 0.  Repeat this with all of your extruders if this is a multi-extruder printer.

S200 – set temperature to 200℃.

C8 – calibrate with 8 “loops”.

When the calibration is done, a final PID output will be presented.  Set this in both your firmware and your printer. (It’s recommended to set your firmware to whatever you set your printer to on the GUI… just so that you can reset to a known default in case anything goes wrong.)  The m301 below sets your printer extruder PIDs.

M301 P32.97 I2.12 D67.76

Tada.  Print a test print now.  I just printed a cube.  Ugh.

More Images (Before / After)



It’s only now that I realize that I actually had another Chinese knockoff of the E3D extruder before I bought my current knockoff.  Huh — interesting.  The old one had a PTFE liner too, but it was the original tubing that lined it.  The thermal break wasn’t as strong as the new one’s though.  The heat break (male threaded portion) was not machined to have a narrow section before the heatsink, so the heatsink was dissipating quite a lot more power.

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