Effects of nozzle material and its lifespan on the quality of PLA parts manufactured by FFF 3D Printing

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Joana Tribuzi Melo
Leonardo Santana
Henrique Takashi Idogava
Ana Isabel Lopes Pais
Jorge Lino Alves


The calibrated nozzle is one of the main components of a Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) 3D printer. However, few studies explore its lifespan, and the effects of the thermal conductivity of the material on which it is built in the 3D Printing process. These aspects were evaluated in this study through the analysis of mechanical properties (flexural test), porosity and density of Poly (lactic acid) (PLA) parts. Samples were manufactured with brass, hardened steel, and Vanadium™ nozzles, varying the building orientation and the raster angle parameters. A brass nozzle with a long printing history was used. The main finding showed that the lifespan of the brass nozzle was a significant factor in reducing the quality of printed parts compared to those obtained with low heat conduction nozzles (hardened steel and Vanadium™).

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Author Biographies

Joana Tribuzi Melo, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto

Master student at Department of Mechanical Engineering of Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto

Leonardo Santana, Universidade de São Paulo

Postdoctoral fellow at the University of São Paulo 

Henrique Takashi Idogava, Universidade de São Paulo

PhD student at University of São Paulo

Jorge Lino Alves, LAETA, INEGI, Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto

Professor at Faculty of Engineering of University of Porto