The last couple of months were interesting for me when it comes to nozzles for your 3D printer’s hotend. I’m printing quite a few very abrasive filaments from time to time, and a regular brass nozzle is not a tool to be used when it comes to these products. When using carbon or glass filled materials you need something stronger. Luckily some manufacturers make specialized nozzles for the job. The E3D v6 hotend with the standard v6 brass nozzle is one of the most commonly used hotends on the market, and already there are solutions on the market like regular E3D hardened steel nozzles and the new coated Nozzle-X. Other manufacturers came up with great inventions too like 3DVerkstan with the Olsson Ruby nozzle and P3D with their coated aircraft aluminum- and hardened steel nozzle.
Zodiac – High Performance 3D Printing Nozzle
Today we will talk about a new player in the field. I found out about this nozzle on Instagram. I was browsing through my timeline and found this beautiful picture of a v6 style nozzle. The Zodiac high-performance extruder nozzle for 3D printing. It looks great but after some research, I found out it performs great as well. Zodiac is a brand of RevTec 3d, an Austrian based 3D printing service and they were so nice to send me one of the Zodiac v6 nozzles for testing purposes. The nozzle comes in a beautiful, jewelry type of box and ones you’ve opened the box you will find the nozzle, a small sample and it’s number. Every Zodiac nozzle is inspected and numbered before it leaves the factory. My nozzle is number 0201.
The Zodiac has a hardened tooling steel body with a micro-polish finish on the internal bore and is finished with a base- and top-layer coating for adhesive strength, high abrasion and wear resistance. I installed my Zodiac nozzle on my Original Prusa i3 MK3S with MMU2S (Multi-Material Upgrade) by Josef Prusa. The MK3S already is equipped with an E3D v6 hot-end so I only had to change the nozzle and calibrate the first layer again. I did do an additional upgrade to the MK3S and installed a hot-end heater by Maxiwatt but more on that in another blog post.
First I tried some regular materials. I used some PLA, PETG, and ASA to see the performance of the nozzle with these filaments and all prints looked amazing. The only thing I always change with any steel nozzle is the print temperature. I tend to set it around 10 °Celsius higher. Regular brass nozzles are better in heat transfer than steel nozzles. The results were impressive so time to use some more abrasive materials.
I started with PA-CF Pro from FiberThree. A carbon filled filament with major PA 6 content, with very high tensile strength, low warping effect and chemical resistent to many chemicals. This material is printed in high temperatures, around 275 °Celsius and the Zodiac nozzle handles these well. The nozzle can handle temperatures up to 300 °Celsius without problems which is great for most materials on the market. I choose to print all the new extruder parts for my Original Prusa i3 MK3S and the quality of these parts is amazing. They are super strong and look great. And the Zodiac still looked like new after printing 100 grams of this wearable material. I could find NO damage on the outside of the nozzle tip. I do have to push much more material through the nozzle to see how much it does to the outside, and more importantly, the Zodiac® bi-Layer coated inside of the nozzle. So I suggest I use the Zodiac for a couple of months before I report back with more information about the wear and overall performance of this nozzle. I do have some highly abrasive and mostly carbon- and glass-filled materials waiting to get printed so after a couple of hundred hours I will place the nozzle under a microscope to see the potential damage on its inside. I do already recommend this nozzle. The service these guys provide is great. And I am more than sure you will have many hours of pleasure with this upgrade.
Press HERE for Zodiac v6 Technical Data Sheet in my Knowledge Base.
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