3D Printing Nerd: Don’t Damage Your Nozzle


By Joel Telling, @joeltelling


3D Printers extrude molten plastic through a nozzle. The nozzle is usually brass, and has an extremely small hole for the molten plastic to extrude from.


When printing with exotic filaments that contain large / hard particulates, you run the risk of damaging your nozzle. Brass is a soften metal, and when a filament such as carbon fiber is used, the carbon fiber particles in the plastic can damage the brass as it passes through the opening. This means it can widen the hole, and ruin the nozzle.


Carbon fiber filament, stainless steel filament, some wood filaments – they are known to damage nozzles. Most people know this. What most people DO NOT know is that glow in the dark filaments can ALSO be damaging to your nozzle.




Glow in the dark filament use a chemical called Strontium Aluminate. It is a photo luminescent phosphor with a long persistence of phosphorescence. It is also a fairly hard chemical that can damage the brass as it passes through a nozzle.


So, if you have a 3d printer, and you’ve just run a bunch of glow in the dark filament through, you may want to check your nozzle. Just in case.


As always, #highfive!



  1. DrewFebruary 22nd, 2016 at 11:12 am

    Good tips here for protecting your nozzle. You definitely don’t want to risk the damage there. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. WindyMay 8th, 2016 at 4:50 am

    I was thinking of turning one up on my Shaublin lathe from Phosphor_bronze https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phosphor_bronze
    it should be a little better for heat transfer than the Stainless steel options on offer

    would be best but I don’t have any on hand and it a PITA to machine in mt home machine shop with its hazmat problems while being machined
    it is such an obvious material to try i expect lots of the real experts here with industrial shop access have already tried it perhaps they could say how it worked out?

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