3D Printing with a 0.4mm Nozzle and 0.8mm Nozzle on the Same Part

One of the challenges that we as 3D printer users face is how to print effectively with a combination of nozzle sizes. How to increase print speed without sacrificing part accuracy and detail.

But the fact is, it isn’t possible in a traditional sense; you have to choose between fast print speeds or quality.

The goal of 3D printing is to manufacture true-to-design models – they have to be perfect. 0.4mm nozzles print fine detail, while 0.8mm nozzles print with less detail but faster. Where detail and fast print speeds are needed, it is typical for a designer to design their model as two parts that can be printed separately and glued / fixed together. However, 3D Platform’s Lead Design Engineer Joe has recently trialled a new way to use large and small nozzles in combination.

“Today I successfully 3D printed with a 0.4mm nozzle and a 0.8mm nozzle on the same part,” explains Joe. “The method I used to achieve this is mainly CAD based, but the process is quite easy and can be applied to any solid model.”

Joe was able to use two different nozzles to 3D print a single part. For the less detailed sections, he used a 0.8mm nozzle for faster print speeds, and for highly detailed sections, he used a 0.4mm nozzle. The part he created was a basic shadow board. He used the large nozzle for the base, and the fine nozzle for the pocket.

Here’s the part as a drawing:

Drawing 1

And here’s a skeleton drawing showing the edges:

Drawing 2

The finished product can be seen here:


Joe found that to print a single part with two different nozzles, the print settings had to be a multiple of each other.

So, for example:

0.4mm nozzle / 0.25mm layer height / 0.42mm layer width

0.8mm nozzle / 0.50mm layer height / 0.84mm layer width

By keeping the print settings as a multiple of each other, Joe found that the slicing software performed a better, more consistent job.

To find out more about Joe’s newfound 3D printing technique, visit Joe’s Corner on the 3D Platform website.