Germany-based dddmaterial has launched a second Kickstarter campaign to produce a batch of powerful tungsten 3D printer nozzles.
The company launched a crowdfunding campaign earlier this year, and now they’re back.
Tungsten is an unusual choice for a hot end material, but when you examine the facts it makes much sense. Typical hot end nozzles used by extrusion-based desktop 3D printers are made from brass. Brass is a relatively soft metal, and thus is subject to damage by use of any filaments containing material with a hardness greater than that of brass, such as several metal-infused filaments. Carbon fiber-infused filaments also cause issues with brass nozzles.
Because of this effect, some 3D printer manufacturers have switched to using steel hot end nozzles, although they may still be affected by a steel or carbon fiber filament. Brass nozzles can also be damaged by sloppy cleaning, when inserting a thin needle for cleaning.
The most typical nozzle damage is putting the nozzle’s hole out of round, or increasing the area of the nozzle. This results in additional plastic being extruded, unbeknownst to your slicing software, depositing excess plastic on your print.
But those worries are gone when using a very stiff nozzle such as dddmaterial’s tungsten option.
There are other advantages to tungsten aside from hardness, namely thermal conductivity. Tungsten’s conductivity is significantly better than steel, and even better than brass. This means your hot end will heat up more quickly and operate more efficiently.
The main disadvantage to tungsten nozzles is that they’re a bit more expensive than brass or steel.
I mentioned that this is the second Kickstarter for the company. Their previous campaign, launched in March of this year, failed to achieve its funding goal of €40,000 (USD$45,000). In this type of campaign, it’s critical to hit the target demand because the product price levels are no doubt dependent on acquiring a particular volume discount.
Will they succeed this time? Perhaps. Their new financial target is quite a bit less at €19,500 (USD$21,750). Coincidentally this target is just less than the amount of interest they attracted during the last campaign, so they’re likely hoping to recapture the interest of backers.
The product pricing is the same as in the original campaign, so I suspect they have either been able to knock down the costs from their suppliers at a lower volume, or have compromised their profit level somewhat.
I believe this campaign is simply about volume; if the company attracts sufficient backers, they’re almost certainly able to produce the goods, unlike some other questionable crowdfunding projects where the product is complex.
If you’re seeking a more reliable hot end nozzle, consider dddmaterial’s tungsten nozzle.