Benefits of Independent Dual Extruders

What type of extruders can an FDM 3D printer have? In general, it could have one or two nozzles. Although printers with one nozzle are quite popular, two nozzles allow you to use additional materials and combine colors in one print, which makes them more beneficial fr high-quality 3D printing.

At the moment, there are two kinds of dual extruders: dependent and independent. With dependent extruders, nozzles are “stuck” with each other, and one goes the same direction with another nozzle. With independent extruders, nozzles move independently from each other. While dependent extruders dominate the market, printers with independent extrusion system could improve the printing results and reduce the production time.

What are independent dual extruders?

IDEX – short for Independent Dual Extruders – is the 3D printing technique that allows two print heads to move independently from each other. Each head has its own nozzle and can print with the same, or different material than the other head. This technology has a number of advantages in comparison to a single head with dual extruders.

Benefits of independent dual extruders

  • No more oozing (Multi color print without contamination)

Several 3D printers on the market offer dual extrusion by placing two nozzles in a single print head. Since the inactive nozzle is always close to the part that is being printed, this technology comes with several drawbacks like oozing. This is not the case when extruders are moving independently, allowing one to stand in an “idle” mode while other is busy printing.

For independent extruders the situation is different: each independent head has its own nozzle and filament. When one nozzle is active and printing, the other inactive nozzle moves to the side of the bed. Since the head that is not printing is on the side, any filament that leaks out of the inactive head does not stick to your workpiece. This prevents contamination of materials and gives cleaner prints.

An additional whipping system could further reduce any mixing of the colors when switching from one color to the other. These combined results in clean multi-color prints.

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  • Twice as fast with sync and mirror mode

The independent dual extruders system allows printing two identical parts simultaneously. This doubles the production speed of the printer, making the machine much more effective for serial manufacturing.

The Bolt Pro dual separated head 3D printer is unique with this feature because of its advanced User Interface. The software automatically copies the selected part for you. Less hassle for you and more production from your printer.

Printing symmetrical parts of molds is also possible with mirror mode. Instead of making a copy of the selected print, the Bolt Pro mirrors the print. Then it proceeds printing both the part and mirrored part at the same time.

  • More possibilities with multi material printing

Another big advantage of the independent dual extruders is that it allows the two nozzles to have a big temperature difference and therefore allows to combine different materials. For instance, complex prints using soluble support such as the print of the left are made possible. Since the heads are separated from each other, it is possible to set the nozzles at different temperatures with a large difference in temperature between them. This allows the user to make many more material combinations.

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