I’m investing in a new third-party tool head for my Mini 1 to use with abrasive and flexible filaments. I’m considering going with 1.75mm for future-proofing. While I do have several reels of 2.85 kicking around, I figure I’ll still have the stock tool head to use with them.
Is this a good move? From what I’ve read, metal-filled filaments are less brittle in the 1.75 diameter, though flexible filaments are maybe harder to use? I’m considering a .4 or .5 diameter Nozzle X, as detail is more important to me than speed.
I use both I like the 1.75 is more available and is more pliable.
Thanks mbur, that’s good to know. I’ll probably go with the 1.75 nozzle.
There are a LOT more filament varieties available in the 1.75mm size. For those who use their printers as a “workhorse” (printing more industrial parts rather than art, etc.) they can get everything they could possibly need in 2.85mm … and don’t miss the artsy filament types.
For filaments that have interesting additives (wood, metal, etc.) the possibility of a clog goes up as the nozzle opening size is smaller (also a larger nozzle can print faster). But this comes at a trade-off of having slightly less fine detail.
Thanks Tim! I’m leaning toward a 1.75mm toolhead with a .5 Nozzle X.
I printed Bronzefill once or twice with no troubles on my stock .5 brass nozzle, and the level of detail’s pretty good. Guess I could always swap it out for a larger nozzle if clogging becomes an issue.
Sometimes you can good deals on used toolheads or even parts to build one. Why not just have 2 or 5 that way you can have more options.
For sure, I did look for a used toolhead, but haven’t found any, and don’t really have the skill or time to commit to building one. So I’m resigned to purchasing new this time around, anyway. I like the idea of having several around to choose from, though.
I use Nozzle X. When switch to it (or any hardened steel nozzle) expect to need to turn up your print temps a bit to compensate. I print PLA at 230°C. But really ,… print a “temperature tower” model and determine which temp works best for your printer and filament combination. I find that sometimes the best temperature varies even if the only thing you change is the color of the filament (apparently those additives matter).
Good advice, Tim, thanks. I ended up ordering a 1.75mm toolhead with .5 Nozzle X. Trouble is, all the affordable 1.75 metal composite filaments seem to be currently out-of-stock at all Canadian suppliers. Maybe the shortage is related to the pandemic somehow?
I noticed while printing PPE that it was hard to get filaments between businesses being shut down and a surge in demand for people with 3D printers to produce supplies. I managed to get a relationship with IC3D (out of Columbus Ohio) because I only live a few hours away (with extended shipping times I knew I could get filament from them faster than most others).
I basically told them I wanted PETG but didn’t care about the color. They actually modified their ordering website to create a color called “no preference” … you’ll get whatever color happens to being produced at the time. If you wanted to pick a specific color, you could be waiting a few days until they happen to get around to produce it.
The point is, their production shifted almost entirely to producing the filaments needed for PPE – which I think was mostly PETG and PLA.
Well, if that’s the case, at least it’s for a good cause. I tried printing a visor, but it wasn’t ready for prime time.
I have an older Mini. What would be the best way to alter it to take the 1.75 filament? Do Lulzbot sell parts to do this or do I need to cobble parts from other manufacturers?
Thanks in advance.
LulzBot does not make any 1.75 tool-heads. But IT-Works 3D does and this is probably your easiest option and it upgrades you to a Titan AeroStruder. Another advantage to this (albeit more expensive approach) is that an AeroStruder with a filament guide-path installed is extremely versatile – you can print all kinds of material with it … things like TPU no longer need a special tool head to print because the AeroStruder “just works” (it does need that short plastic “filament guide path” between the hobb gear and the cold-end to prevent the filament from flexing. It is technically possible to operate without one… but then you can only use stiff filaments – no TPUs. I think the IT-Works toolhead does have the filament guide-path that lets it print TPU.
Another option might be to swap out your hexagon hot-end on your existing tool head. I’m not sure if this is all you need to swap, but here’s the part: https://itworks3d.com/product/hexagon-hotend-assembly-2/ ($30)
I’d phone IT-Works 3D and ask them before just buying the parts in case there are other components of the tool head that need to be swapped.
I ordered a 1.75 Pro X toolhead for abrasive filaments from IT-Works. Zach and Melanie were very helpful and responsive, and the price was better than Lulzbot’s own HS+ toolhead.
It should arrive any day–now if only I can source some filament! Ironically I chose 1.75 for the variety of filaments available, but ironically, affordable metal-filled options are available only in 2.85 at the moment in Canada.
Update: some metal filaments are back in stock here. Mine have arrived and are under quarantine. Still awaiting the new 1.75 hardened toolhead. Might actually get to print something this month!
I’m going to try converting my Taz 6 stock toolhead to 1.75mm. I ordered the 1.75mm hexagon kit from It-Works 3D that Tim linked above. With that I’m going to try the Bi-Metallic heartbreak (MK8 style) from Slice Engineering (ordered from Matterhackers).