How to Make a High Resolution NYLON, ABS and PLA Nozzle for a 3D Printer.




Introduction: How to Make a High Resolution NYLON, ABS and PLA Nozzle for a 3D Printer.

About: is an Engineer with a background in electronics, optics, mechanical designs, chemistry, plastic injection molding and plastic die tooling.

This instructable will detail how to make a high resolution NYLON, ABS and PLA nozzle for a 3D Printer.
For a complete description as to building the new 3D Printer that can print in NYLON, just visit the main instructable:

This design will make use of a little known source of super low cost 0.5mm nozzles available just about anywhere.  The simple everyday  “Pocket Oiler”.  You may already have one as these as sometimes they are given out as advertising gifts!
At least 4 different oilers show up on Amazon’s web site, like

I still thought that some of the Pocket Oilers listed at some sites were just a bit expensive even at $5.00 - $8.00 so shop around.
The modification can be a bit tedious, you may want to pick up more than one.

Step 1: Cold Rolling the Pocket Oiler Tip

Use of the pocket oiler tip assumes you have a hot-end heater block with 6mm or 1/4 28 female threads.  The two types of pocket oilers I've used, have what's known as an "NPT" type thread, or plumbing pipe thread that fits well into a 6mm threaded heater block.

This is more of a procedure rather than a step-by-step instructable, so let's get the tools and parts we need!
Tools and Parts:

As you can see from the photo, we'll need the following:
1. Variable Speed Drill
2. Needle Nose Pliers
3. 2 each sockets for from a socket wrench set. - 1/2 inch and your next largest socket
4. Some wire, preferably a hard nickle wire typically used in small heaters
5. Our pocket oiler tip
6. A couple drops of just about any oil, even some left over from the pocket oiler will do fine


The process is that we will place the sockets on the pliers to form a cylindrical die set.  We'll add a few drops of oil to both the oiler tip as well as the sockets.  We'll place the tip in a drill, a section of wire down the tip and then start the drills rotation to max speed.  We'll then place the hand die set close to where the tip meets the aluminum support.  While the drill spins, we'll apply a increasingly stronger pressure on the die set via our pliers.  Eventually, the die set will "pressure cut" through the needle and the die set will clamp the wire.  What remains is a cold rolled reduction of the inner diameter of the oiler tip that is the same as the diameter of the wire.

Items of note:
Read through the process to fully understand each portion.  I would suggest that you practice on a small nail as nails are made of soft metal and you should see the results of the die and pressure.
The most important point is consistency and patience.  It's important to maintain even a small pressure at all times.
Once you have the drill running and the die set pressing on the needle tip, the actual time may be as high as 10 min of pressure.
Don't hurry, or you'll fracture the walls of the needle. If the wire falls out of the tip, just release pressure, replace the wire and start again.  Once hurry.  I've done this several times to build nozzles of different ID's.....resolution and it seems the longer it takes, the better the results.

A smaller inner diameter nozzle means a higher resolution 3D Print.  The 3D Print may take longer, but it's worth it if the part has a lot of detail.

Again, this tip is for NYLON, ABS and PLA plastics.
NYLON has some great properties for parts that ABS and PLA can not compete with.
To build a 3D Printer that can print NYLON, Check out the following instructable.



    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest
    • Metalworking Contest

      Metalworking Contest

    10 Discussions

    This may be a supplier of different size oiler and oiler tips, which may allow you a selection. Hope this is helpful.

    Just an idea but would football/basketball inflator needles not work? They look very similar and are available for much less (5 for £1 here in the UK)

    [Thanks for the cnc/printer instructable btw - whether I ever actually ever get around to building it who knows, but just reading it has been a pleasure]

    2 replies

    First, thank you for the comments!
    I measured a basketball inflator nozzle tonight. It's about .82mm and looks to be a 5/16" thread. May be metric, not sure. It's certainly usable, but would print a heavy thread. The only drawback is that to push that much material, you will need to run at a higher temp and slower speed. Does make for a low cost nozzle, though!

    I checked the threads on the basketball needle. It's a ,302-32 not metric and certainly not standard. I think you'll have a hard time finding a tap that size.

    Thanks, this looks like something I can about how long should the end be? It looks like it is about a half of an inch? Thanks!

    2 replies

    I just picked up some more pocket oilers (they finally arrived) and will update this instructable with a video and more photos. I'll add a section on how you might update an existing nozzle, but I don't know much more than what some of the other 3D printer mfg's show. I'm also going to provide a list of sources that carry this pocket oiler as Amazon charges a bit much (4X) for what I can get locally.
    Actually, the end was longer than I wanted so I'm going to try a smaller Dia set of sockets. Look for an update soon.


    This is a fascinating instructable, but it needs some formatting work. Could you perhaps break the last step down into two or three steps and add some pictures illustrating both what you are doing and what the end product should look like?

    If you are willing to start over from scratch, starting the instructable with the construction of a hot end that will take the threaded pocket-oiler tips would be awesome and probably earn you some well-deserved accolades. It's very unlikely that I would be the only person submitting such an instructable to the Make Magazine blog.

    2 replies

    I'm not sure if this instructable has anything to do with this, but the local supplier here in St Louis, has run out of pocket oilers. He mentioned that he didn't know why they were suddenly in such high demand as he's sold more in the last three weeks, then in the last three years. They were running $2.25 each and he used to have boxes of these. MY friend that gives them away as advertising is out of town for now. So I've ordered several and will update with a video to show how I perform the rolling operation as well as a video of end results.
    He said 5-10 days for shipping, so please check back.
    Again, thank you for your comment.

    I have to agree, as when I re-read this, it shows that I got in a hurry. Re-formatting certainly couldn't hurt. I plan to build three new nozzles next weekend. An excellent opportunity to take lot's of new photo's! Thanks for your correct observation.