Upgrade Your 3D Printer with Metal Heat Break

All metal heat break or bi-metallic heat break can potentially add quite some performance to your 3D printer. 

Heat Break in 3D Printer Extruder

The heat break fits in between the hot end and the cold end of 3D printer extruder. The heat break is used to have a very sharp temperature gradient between the melted filament and the solid part. Heat break is important because if you don't have this sharp gradient, the filament trends to get soft way before the heating zone and eventually blocks the filament path. This is what we called heat creep.

heat break of 3d printer

 

All Metal and Bi-Metallic Heat Break

In normal bowden hotends, PTFE is used to isolate the hot end from the cold end. In metal or bi-metal heat break, a thin metal tube would play the role. Metal hotends usually have a heat break with very thin-wall throat, where only a minimum amount of heat can travel through. Stainless and titanium, which features small heat transfer coefficient, are often used for that application.

3d printer heat break

Less Heat Creep with Bi-Metal Heat Break

Bi-metallic heat break has a multi-part and multi-material construction. Bi-metal heat breaks consist of copper threads and stainless steel tubing inside. The upper part of the heat break is made from copper that all the heat made through the thin tube is transmitted very quickly into the heat sink where it dissipates and therefore also helps avoiding heatcreep. 

The lower thread sits in the heatblock is to increase the length of your melting zone. The metal part makes your filament heating efficiently all the way from the start.

Flexible 3D Print Materials with Metal Heat Break

All metal hot break can be better than a PTFE inside hotend because it requires less maintenance and improves the temperature capability.

If you only print PLA, you won't benefit a lot from metal heat break upgrade. But if you're into more challenging materials, all-metal or bi-metal heat break seems to be a really capable and simple upgrade, especially if you currently run a Bowden setup!


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