Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Ultra-Light Hot-End Works!

A while back, I made up this hot-end to get an idea of how light I could machine one.  Completely assembled and configured with a PTFE sleeve for 3mm filament, this little guy weighed in at 14.7 grams.

Not long after, I sent it out to be tested.  Before sending it out, I had to convert it to 1.75mm by making up a PTFE liner with a 2mm ID.

Today, I received a confirmation that this nozzle does indeed print PLA with a 1.75mm filament!  While a cooling fan was required in order to keep the nozzle holder cool, this proves that a 15 gram hot-end is certainly feasible.

Some concerns were expressed, however.  Once concern was that the hot-end is too long.  This is easily rectified as, without an aluminum heat-sink, I can shorten a hot-end.  The other concern was that the nozzle tip would sometimes hang on the prints.  At the present time, the nozzle tip has a 2mm OD.  Reducing the OD, of the tip, may be a reasonable compromise to this problem while still ensuring that a nice, flat, layer is extruded.

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