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Wood PLA nozzle suggestions  

Trusted Member
Wood PLA nozzle suggestions

I have some Hatchbox PLA that has wood added at 30%.  I tried to print with it, but found it clumped a good bit at the nozzle.  I read somewhere I should use a .5mm nozzle.  Somewhere it said to use one made of hardened steel.  Any experience to share on this?  Such a nozzle costs $21 at Amazon.

This guy says no steel needed:

"wood filaments can be printed without specialized hardened steel nozzles and do not wreck your nozzle"

"smaller nozzles are not recommended for wood 3D printing. The wood fibers can clog even 0.4mm nozzles, so it’s recommended to switch out for a 0.5mm nozzle or larger."


Posted : 19/01/2022 6:57 pm
Eric E
RE: Wood PLA nozzle suggestions

Brass is soft.  Brass nozzles are affordable.  But you will find out the nozzle is tired by failed prints, which costs money and time.  Steel nozzles are thermally different and may give you other grief.  Such that wood PLA has chunks of stuff in it, a .5 or .6 nozzle makes sense to me.  And such that not all wood PLA is the same, I would seriously expect spools that are meaningfully abrasive.

Your link to a guy who says no steel needed seems like, well, a GSPhD (Google Search PhD).  Lots of words, little information.  If he is so smart about wood PLA, you expect at least one photo of something he printed.  Nope, just affiliate links to Amazon where he gets a few coins from time to time.

Have not done wood yet, but have done glow in the dark PLA, which for some reason is abrasive, and done a fair amount of nylon with carbon fiber and fiberglass - which is seriously abrasive.  I use this:

Not cheap, but will (should) last forever.  Thermally close enough to the brass, that you don't really have to tune for it.  And, not coated.  Watch out for coated nozzles that will bite the dust if you cold pull.  A coated nozzle destroyed by normal maintenance is really expensive at the end of the day.

Good luck,

Don’t trust forum advice.

Posted : 19/01/2022 8:12 pm
Noble Member
RE: Wood PLA nozzle suggestions

I've printed plenty of wood. There are two different issues at play here.

First, there's the potential to clog the nozzle. With higher wood content, there will be higher amounts of wood in the filament and a higher likelihood of clogs. Some wood filament has only 15%, 30% seems on the high side. I for one use 0.6 mm nozzles for wood to avoid any issues but I have printed 20% wood filament with a standard 0.4 mm nozzle just fine.

Then there's the question of abrasion. Some materials are very abrasive. I wouldn't put wood into the "very" category. You print a spool of wood with a brass nozzle, I wouldn't expect to see much if any impact. You print wood every day, probably a different story. But then again, brass is dirt cheap, so you may just want to keep a stash of nozzles and swap them if you see any degradation in performance. The more expensive approach is to go for steel or tungsten carbide. I've had the Nozzle X but in my hands it required adjustments to my print profiles. More recently I switched all my printers over to tungsten carbide, and everything works fine with stock settings. Just be beware that there are nozzles completely made from tungsten carbide and others where just the tips are tungsten carbide, the rest is steel, or they're made from tungsten alloy.

TL;DR: For the occasional one off wood print, I would argue don't worry, but if you're getting clogs, go to 0.6mm. For more frequent use, you may want to consider adding a steel or tungsten carbide nozzle, especially if you might print more abrasive filaments as well.

Having said that, YMMV, and I wouldn't be surprised to hear from others with different experiences.

Posted : 19/01/2022 11:20 pm
Active Member
RE: Wood PLA nozzle suggestions

I used Geeetech Wood and my 0.4mm nozzle got clogged after 2.5h. I think I will buy a 0.6mm nozzle.

Posted : 20/01/2022 12:17 pm