Open Edge’s Strange But Amazing 3D Print Nozzle

By on December 22nd, 2015 in Hardware

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Open Edge first appeared years ago when they began with the FoldaRap folding 3D printer, but now they’re on to something quite interesting: a very sophisticated nozzle. 

They’ve been focusing on developing a new nozzle as they realized something quite fundamental: the force required to push the filament through a nozzle can be significant. If they were somehow able to decrease the resistance of the nozzle, it could mean: 

  • More reliable printing, particularly on borden-style machines
  • Less need for strong extruder motors, possibly lowering cost and increasing reliability

And it seems they’ve accomplished this! They have created nozzle with a “unique inner conical geometry” that significantly reduces push resistance. Don’t believe us? Check out this chart of their tests. The number represent the force in grams required to push through each nozzle configuration:

As you can see, their resistance is significantly less (above), particularly at higher temperatures (below). We think the improved nozzle is a fundamental improvement to plastic extrusion-based 3D printing technology. 

Here you can see one of the several tests they performed to determine the force required on various nozzles. 

They’ve now designed the nozzle for use in other machines, but we suspect they’d rather you purchase the nozzle – along with the rest of the 3D printer – right from them! 

They’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign for their new Mondrian desktop 3D printer, which of course, includes the new nozzle. This machine sports a 200 x 200 x 200mm build volume, and can print up to 0.1mm layers at 40mm/second. It’s print volume is quite good considering the exterior size of the machine. There’s a heated print surface permitting the use of plastics other than PLA, and if we didn’t mention it, the machine uses a borden-style extruder. 

They’re working on much more, including a WiFi interface for an on-board Raspberry Pi controller that will be pre-configured with OctoPrint, enabling cloud-based operations. They’re also researching a way to perform liquid extrusions, which might lead to food printing capabilities, as well as “laser engraving, paste extrusion, plotting, cutting, etc”. This could be a very interesting machine in the future. 

For now, however, you’ll have to pre-order one from their Kickstarter page, where they’re offering a variety of purchase options, with a basic assembled version going for €1,100 (USD$1,190). 

Via Open Edge and Kickstarter

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!