Sunday, May 31, 2009


Tips, Tips and more Tips

I've recently ended up with a whole bunch of welding tips and some tattoo tips.
I thought it might be interesting to compare them.
From RepRap_bits
From RepRap_bits
Halfords are the smallest : an M5 thread, and a short body (18mm). B&Q have a larger M6 thread and are nearly 24mm long. Both welding tips are copper, and the tattoo tips are stainless steel. The tattoo tips have a long barrel, but a huge hole for a rubber band in the side. (white line is 3mm standard ABS filament)
From RepRap_bits
The nozzle holes are all similar sizes. the first two are 0.6mm Halfords. The next two are 0.8mm from B&Q. The tattoo tips come in various sizes. These are the two smallest round holes: I think they're designated R1 and R2, and look to be a similar size to 0.6/0.8mm. Some of the tattoo nozzles are much larger.
From RepRap_bits
The shapes are very different: the Halfords tip has the 'best' shape, a 45degree taper. The B&Q has a flat tip - it might cause the extrudate to stick, although it would be easy to reshape with a drill and file.
Both the welding tips need to be carefully drilled out - typically 3mm - to within a whisker of the exit hole - so that the thin section is as short as possible.

The tattoo tips seem to be made by drilling a 6.8 or 7mm hole, then a 2mm? hole right through - then a tube of the required dimension is (brazed?) attached to bring the diameter down to the exit hole, and the tip shaped(guessing). From visual inspection, it looks like the 2/2.5mm hole extends almost all the way to the tip.
From RepRap_bits

I think that if the excess tube is 'trimmed' it will form a good nozzle shape internally.
The tattoo tips need to be attached and/or the big hole in the side sealed. a few initial thoughts are:
I'll have a play with them (I've got 18, so plenty of spares) and see if anything works.

Of course, if 0.6 or 0.8mm is too big for you, you can always use the nichrome wire/high temp solder trick to get a smaller exit hole.
Since solder is a generally softer, has anyone tried blocking the hole and drilling the solder with a small drill bit to get a 0.4 hole?

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The hole in the tattoo tips is for a rubber band not ink. Tattoo artist use the rubber band to hold the needle(s) flat against the back of the tip. This allows them much better control of the line that the needle lays down. At least this how all of my tattoos have been. To get ink on the tip they just dip the tip in a tiny thimble of ink and push the pedal to make it vibrate and draw some ink into the tube.

Funny little coincidence the captcha for this comment is inkingher
Thanks charles.
I must confess complete ignorance of the tattoo mechanics. I haven't dabbled with them personally.

I just found them when searching for 0.6mm tips under a tenner on ebay, and thought they looked convertable.

That explains why the flat/magnum ones are open and yet still guide the needle.

I'll edit the post so I don't look too ignorant...
Tattoo needles come in different sizes. Single tip, 2, 3, 4 etc up to like 8 for a wide line. Then they also get thicker by stacking tips on top of each other. you make a 7 by soldering 4 side by side and then 3 staggered on top. I used to make needle tips for some local shops when I was in high school to earn an extra buck. Mostly because I had the proper soldering equipment. Here is a link to needle size variation image.

on another note I was thinking that jets for a holly carburetor would work nicely. You can buy sets of them from .3mm up I think. I remember my grandfather having a few tackle boxed full of them for his mustangs he raced. They are very cheap on ebay and all come threaded.
Here's my rough work so far a B&Q nozzle.

I used the B&Q tip as it was cheaper and a bit more solid.

All I need now is some PEEK/PTFE tubing with an ID of 3mm and an M6 tap. Very low cost and simple.
Yes, I've tried blocking the nozzle with solder - I used nichrome wire to form the hole because solder does not stick to it.

I gave up after splitting 2 nozzles and finally melting a third.

I get good results from drilling out dome nuts. It's not as hard as it sounds.

I've not put the aerial/grubscrew nozzle on an extruder yet, but that'll happen fairly soon.

Vik :v)
I'm using the B&Q welding tips with a 0,6mm hole, in a copy of the nophead's stainless steel extruder - they work very well after some modifications. First, I drilled them out, with a cobalt steel drill (it's sharp enough to not let the copper reshape under pressure and seal the exit hole, so there's no need to re-drill it), then I turned down the nozzle end to 1,5mm diameter and added a slight taper around the hole.
I've been using PTFE and PEEK rod from - they posted me some rods pretty quickly.

Using a standard drill, you can put a 3mm hole down a short section using the afgahn lathe technique. I've done this several times.

PTFE is a little soft - you don't need a tap, a bolt will cut its own thread, but it can pull out.
PEEK is a bit more expensive but much stronger. You'll need a tap to cut a thread.

See some of my pics here:
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