3DChimera - Connecting the Dots

FFF: Nozzle Sizes Demystified - 3DChimera

FFF: Nozzle Sizes Demystified

Nozzles can be a confusing topic in 3D printing, mainly because it feels intuitive that a smaller nozzle sizes would provide for a better finish.  This is simply not true.

When thinking about nozzle size there are really 2 things to consider...

optimize for strength

Optimize for STRENGTH with Simplify3D & German RepRap 3D Printers

There are many characteristics to consider when optimizing for strength.  Obviously, this is highly dependent upon the material properties of your filament.  It is also highly dependent on the number of shells in the part, the infill shape, and the infill density.

optimize for speed

Optimize for SPEED with Simplify3D & German RepRap 3D Printers

To optimize for Speed on a German RepRap printer, you need to consider the layer size (similar to optimizing for surface finish...only opposite).  In this case, the nozzle diameter is also important to consider since we cannot print a layer thicker than 80% of the nozzle diameter. 
optimize for surface finish

Optimize for SURFACE FINISH with Simplify3D & German RepRap 3D Printers

We can optimize surface finish on any German RepRap 3D Printer with Simplify3D (our slicer software).  Surface finish is a function of layer size and nozzle size. The smaller both are, the better it looks. The tradeoff is print time, the smaller the layer and nozzle size are, the longer it takes to print.