Is changing to a smaller nozzle, say .4 to .2 as straight forward as it would seem? Remove the nozzle and replace with the new one then change relevant settings?



It’s more or less that simple yes, just make sure you follow the printer manufactures guide on doing it, i.e. Heat up the nozzle.


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It depents on the type of printer.

If you have an olsson block for example. yes.

Most cases it isn’t that straight forward

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Yes it is that simple but keep in mind that your printing hours will change considering that a smaller nozzle has to travel more times to make a 1mm wall thicknes for example.also check if the nozzle height has not changed.

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Yes, but with a hot nozzle if full of filament. However, 0.2 create a lot of back pressure on the nozzle. And also slows printing seen way down. So your feed rate has to go slower. And then you may need to increase the current to the stepper motor on the extruder depending on your setup. So yes can swap a nozzle easy, but slicer settings will change dramatically.

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And nozzle diameter determines the thickest layer you should make with that size nozzle

Usually it is. I have changed out my Di3 0.4 nozzle to a 0.3. Just be careful of any thermistors and tiny wires if you have those. I think about 80% of the people I see on the Di3 that try and unclog / remove their nozzle end up breaking their thermistor. Also, you will / should heat up the extruder some when you do the final tightening of the nozzle. Most of the times you screw the nozzle all the way in, back it out half a turn, then screw in the cold end tube as far as it will go, then heat the extrude and finish tightening the nozzle. This assures a good seal between the two (but vendor specific so check your printers instructions). I found switching to a 0.2 caused too many problems (skipping) from the amount of filament trying to squeeze down to that size and caused back pressure and skipping.

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It’s harder to get the first layer right and also cannot print fast because of thinner filament extrusion. For your infills, they may not look as great as .4 depending on the quality of the filament, you actually have weaker objects with same settings so you need to increase the infill. And of course .2 clogs more frequent than .4 . In my experience 1.75mm filament works much better than 3mm for smaller nozzles like .2 in terms of both print quality and maintenance.


Right. The guide is usually layer thickness shouldn’t be more than 80% of nozzle size. A smaller nozzle will help with resolution in one direction (wall thickness). I settled on 0.3 for one of my printers for detailed prints (with a compromise between speed and quality). So a 0.3 nozzle would print layers no thicker than 0.25 and 0.2 no more than 0.16 where a 0.4 can printer layers up to 0.32

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WOW! Thanks everyone for the great tips. I should have included more info such as Flashforge creator pro/QIDI machines, S3D, glass bed, 1.75 filament etc.

I was mainly just interested in trying it out for smaller more detailed items to see how it goes and learn a bit more. Print time really wouldn’t be a big concern so slowing way down is fine.

Thanks again.


Very welcome.

Mostly yes, expect longer print times for the same model size though, and ensure all settings are in fact correct. I have however not really noticed much difference (except for the time) between my 0.4 and 0.2 heads on the Kossel mini. I also found that you can’t feed filament as quick as with the bigger nozzle, but that may be just my personal experience and not necessarily the norm.

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Actually, I just changed one of my nozzles last night for the first time, from .4 to .25. I have a MendelMax 3 Dual, with E3DV6. I designed a small part for a friends Dremel grinder, and needed the smaller nozzle for the fine detail of this part (a 10.4mm dia spline). Followed the E3D wiki directions: Loosen heat break, heat up to 285C (pulled filament @ 235C) , Remove nozzle, install new nozzle and tighten, let block cool, tighten heat break.

In S3D, changed nozzle size to .25, manual width to .25. Printed a 20x20mm cube, single wall, no infill or top. Wall thickness came out to .29, so I set width to .29 and printed my part in natural PETG at 75% infill, .200 layer height. Part seems to be great.

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Nice. I am doing the same idea. I have some small simple parts (bushings) that print ok with the .4 but I am wanting to see how they print with a smaller nozzle and how easy the change goes.

The nozzle simply unscrews and the new one screws on. I haven’t changed mine yet, so I can’t say it’s easy for sure. It seems like it woudn’t be a problem, I mean the E3D is designed to be taken apart and nozzle changed easily…definitely just follow the directions.

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Smaller nozzles exponentially increase print time and are more prone to clogging. You shouldn’t have to print slower but depending on the material, it is sometimes helpful to slightly increase temp to keep the material flowing through the smaller hole. I constantly change nozzles and even mill my own for special purposes. The nozzle should be matched to the smallest feature on the part. I also print a lot of parts with very thin walls, so matching the nozzle to the proper shell with is also very helpful.
The more effort you put into initial calibration, the less trouble you will have when switching nozzles.

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Adjust your z offset before attempting to print, if your new nozzle is closer to the bed than old one can gouge your bed and wreck your new nozzle

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Thanks, I always level after any changes. Easy enough to do and habit now! Good to think of though to lower the bed in case it is a bit lower when starting up.

Yes, you are right.

Take care to change nozzle heating it to a temperature that can melt your material and verify bed leveling of course… Then, in your slicer, set new nozzle diameter, suitable temperature, speed and so on.

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Based on my experience, the nozzle diameter force to reduce the height of the layer (usually half of the nozzle diameter. If you keep for example the layer height to 0.18 with nozzle diameter of 0.2mm, there will appear some cut on the wall surface, due to the fact that the touching conditions of the “tube” is minimal. At least this was happens to me with ABS. Therefore I came back to 0.4/0.6mm if I don’t have specific need of high accuracy. Hope this experience could help you.

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