Destroying and rebuilding the hot end nozzle

The metal sheet I used as a flat, machinable build plate was not the proper surface, so I attached a PMMA sheet, covered with polyimide, using bulldog clips (from the writing materials department).

Not ideal for printing PLA (crepe tape would have been the appropriate choice), but enough to continue calibration.

IMG_20130823_072130 IMG_20130823_080805

As I expected the circle was egg-shaped, but bootstrapping is meant to be the first step. If the egg is repeatable, it is good enough to print the next version of itself…

IMG_20130824_214636 IMG_20130824_214944

…but throughput of the hot end was pathetic. And PLA jams were still haapening regularly.

I had to fix this first.

Finally I went after this issue:,175501,175501

Hot ends vary in how much force they require to extrude filament, it’s a combination of how large the melt zone is and most importantly how long the nozzle orifice is.
If the nozzle orifice is too long it can require a tremendous amount of force to extrude even with a 0.5mm nozzle. Look for the thread on JHead copies where people were having issues because of the longer orifice.
Buddaschnozles IME require very little force to extrude, JHeads seem to be pretty good, my SeeMeCNC hotend requires a lot more force to extrude, you can trivially feel the difference if you push the plastic through the extruder by hand.
If you are shredding plastic, the extruder is clearly overpowering the grip the hobbed bolt has on it, assuming the hobbed bolt is a reasonable design, then you need to reduce the amount of force that has to be applied, changing the extruder won’t change that.

…after all my J-Head was not made by Reifsnyder Precision Works.

The Budaschnozzle was good – look at that: Budaschnozzle 1.1, Printing infill at 200mm/s (youtube)

Here is the critical dimension…


…and I measured more than a millimeter. So i ordered a set of small drills (to clear the cuttings afterwards) and started to drill. Unfortunately a bit too far. -.-


Can the blowtorch braze the aluminium nozzle? Guess not, but it’s wasted anyay…



Time for Plan B. is not online anymore, but I think Reifsnyder used maggot screws and/or acorn nuts for the first prototypes. As I had to drill out the aluminium block it had to be one of those grub screws.


IMG_20130828_135645 IMG_20130828_132835

First the larger bore. The nuts were countered tightly enough to allow drilling into the hexagon socket.

IMG_20130828_135719 IMG_20130828_140232

13.06 – 12.47 = 0.59 mm orifice – close enough for the tools I had at my disposal. (And the melt zone was large – so I had the hot end dripping permanently afterwards.)

The difficult part (after spanning it generally) was to get the 0.5 mm drill to bite into the ground tip. And then came “not breaking it”.

IMG_20130828_135903  IMG_20130828_141415

Success! Now I used the drill press to get the thread-cutting tap aligned (but drilled by hand afterwards).


After not using PTFE tape on the grub screw I later had to use high temperature silicon to seal it up (without disassembly – I was lazy). The aluminium block was tightened properly against the PEEK, but PLA was leaking at the side of the setscrew.

IMG_20130828_143032 IMG_20130828_143329

Testing before installation:

IMG_20130828_150617 IMG_20130828_154039

First try on printing:


…good enough to finally try Airtripper’s Pocket Filament Reel Rollers to avoid manually unwinding the spool. (

IMG_20130829_120021 IMG_20130829_122441 IMG_20130829_140422

IMG_20130829_140517 IMG_20130829_140523 IMG_20130829_142033  IMG_20130830_094251IMG_20130830_094234

=> Half way thorugh my original thread in now. 🙂

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