Addressing the issue of nozzle wear using composite filaments has been a priority for us and it looks like we have found a good way to extend nozzle life! Using brass nozzles plated with a super-hard "electroless" nickel coating has increased the life of our FlashForge nozzles significantly. With the stock brass nozzles, we can only print about 500g of material before wear becomes a problem. With the new nozzles, we have run more than 4Kg without measurable wear.
How do we measure wear? Well, we have some ridiculously small drill bits :-) They go up in .002in increments and we use them like "go no-go" gauges.
Currently we have both MK8 and MK10 (Newer Flash Forge) Nozzles in stock (in both .4mm and .6mm). Below is an image of the MK10 version.
We are super excited about this advancement in hardware that will help you print in exotic materials with confidence!
Here are a few images of Stainless Steel prints using our .4mm coated nozzle. They were all printed with a single nozzle with no measurable wear.
Eric Harrell (ericthepoolboy) uploaded an amazing model of a 4 cylinder Toyota engine to thingiverse, with pretty much every single part. We wanted to run a lot of material through, so I just started printing parts of it out. The Block took 20hrs at 30% infill. We asked for permission to post images because it is licensed non-commercial but have not heard back.
Other prints in the pile are a Flower, Train, and giant hex blocks that are designed basically to use up filament. They are 100% infill and and 750g of material.
We also printed a 600g T-rex with 100% infill that is 6in long :-). This is a solid guy, and I polished his nose up some just for fun.
Thanks for reading and happy printing!
The Proto-pasta team.