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Fibtip develops ceramic coated nozzles for 3D printing

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TRD Surfaces, a Danish startup that spun off the Technical University of Denmark, is introducing fibtip, a newly developed 3D printing nozzle, for filament extrusion 3D printers.

The company specializes in hardening steel with our unique surface technology, which originally was developed at the university. The same ceramic coating surface technology used on fitbit has also been used successfully in large diesel engines from MAN ES and industrial-grade water nozzles.

Fibtip develops ceramic coated nozzles for 3D printingThe company came up with the idea to apply their surface to 3D printing nozzles, which only proved that this surface treatment has so much more to offer. Earlier applications only took advantage of the surface’s extreme durability.

“We thought: ‘fine this should work well when printing in abrasive filament’, however, we had some doubts about the bulk material being tool steel. Due to tool steel not having a thermal conductivity that can rival brass or tungsten carbide,” said fibtip Production Manager Alexander Hejgaard Andersen. However, when we tested our nozzle and compared it to brass or tungsten nozzles we did see a decline in thermal conductivity, but instead an increase. We later found out that this was because our surface, which is made from chromium carbide, has a thermal conductivity that is twice the amount of brass and is even better than tungsten carbide. Even though the layer is so thin, it will still contribute very much to the thermal transfer of the nozzle.”

Another surprise came after a failed print with molten plastic covering the whole hot end. Usually this will result in a lengthy cleaning procedure, but in this case the plastic came right off. After more testing, the fibtip team discovered that the chromium carbide surface has a unique anti-stick property which makes cleaning the nozzle much easier, and keeps the nozzle build-up to a minimum. Even the inside of the nozzle is coated and thus has this anti-stick property reducing clogging risk.

With the fibtip nozzle users get:

  1. Extreme durability with every filament (we even have a lifetime guarantee on every nozzle)
  2. Anti-stick surface reducing nozzle built up, cleaning effort and clogging risk
  3. And extraordinary thermal conductivity giving an excellent heat transfer between nozzle and filament.
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