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Nozzle failure

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Hey Guys,

So I've been having quite a bit of issues with my ultimaker lately, first I thought it was the PLA I was using, (switched from silver to black) and then I thought it was clogged, and then i thought my bowden tube was too tight. I had all the symptoms.

The problem started half way through a pretty long print of the below object.


Everything was going fine, until half way through the big block it started under extruding like crazy. (I stopped that print) but the subsequent re-prints (the one you see above) was done at 50% speed in order for it to spit out enough PLA. Quality was ok, but Wasn't quite up to the ultimaker standards I was use to... I thought this was due to the fact that I was printing at .25mm height, and I've printed almost everything at .10 - .15 before.

So anyways, I tried cleaning the nozzle which worked for a little bit, but I've been printing everything at 40%-60% of 50mm/sec. Pretty slow. But any faster and it would start underextruding. At 50% it would produce acceptable quality. (pictured object)

I finally realized something was up when on the first layer, it seemed to extrude only on certain directions of travel, which made me think that the nozzle was blocked at an angle.. So i took it apart and here's what I found after cleaning off the PLA. Looks like it blew out or something. Though I find it hard to believe that molten PLA would be able to do that to brass.



It's like it blew out or something... i did notice a few times puffs of smoke squirted out the nozzle. I always thought that was weird, might or might not be related.

Here's a new nozzle for comparison. Luckily I ordered an extra hot-end for possibly a future duel extruder or I'd be stuck without a functional printer for a while.



I've only had the ultimaker since May-ish. It's been pretty awesome, except for the past few weeks..

This is the resulting comparison in print quality.


Have anyone experienced this before? I'm kind of glad that I found the problem. But kinda bummed that the nozzle has apparently exploded.

If you see the support pattern on the bridge, you can tell it's doing the same thing on the camera rig. Should have gave me a clue, it was only happening on one side of the print, but I had changed up my fan shroud so I thought it was the direct cooling doing that.

Hope this helps someone out in the future, or at least mildly entertain you with super macro photos.

Is there any place in Canada or North America that sells the nozzle? Would this be something covered under hardware failures? I really don't want to ship from the EU for a tiny part.


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A MakerGear BigHead nozzle


and 36mm heater "barrel"


are pretty much plug'n'play with the UM, though Joergen and I have posted about our simple mods in the forum, which enable nozzle temps above 260C. Joergen and I both recommend the 0.50mm for ABS. For PLA, you should be fine with the 0.35mm.

>Is there any place in Canada or North America that sells the nozzle? Would this be something covered under hardware >failures? I really don't want to ship from the EU for a tiny part.


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I've also fixed my stock setup with a Makergear nozzle+tube, and the near 200 trouble-free hours we've put on the machine over the past month are a good indicator of it's reliabililty. The only thing you may have to do is adjust your Z stops because of the longer tube. If you're doing prints at .25, you should probably also get a larger nozzle - I have the Makergear 0.5mm nozzle and have done some relatively fast (80mm/s) prints at .25mm layer height that came out extremely clean, despite using problematic (viscous) black PLA.

The damage to your nozzle looks like corrosion, though... definitely strange. The prints in your new/old image look pretty matte, or maybe just somewhat underextruded. What brand of PLA are you using?


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Yeah, I guess my thought regarding corrosion was that there might be some contaminant on or in the PLA that was dissolving the brass as it exited the nozzle and interacted with the air at high temps, the same way that materials with chlorine dissolve the internals of a laser cutter when you cut them. Seems pretty far fetched in this case though.

It could also have just been some physical abuse that cause the nozzle to fracture... it looks like your tip had taken some hits.

Anyway, cool stuff what you're printing. I'm working on a few printable lens adapters for my NEX camera. Is there some sort of optic being held in the screen cover you printed?


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