Let’s dispel a few myths about part cooling mods.
For a lot of you a cooling mod may not be necessary. For those of you first starting in 3d printing, get used to your machine in its stock configuration. If all you are going to print are simple things using a lot of supports and normal infill your stock fan will work great.
“Because you asked”……….
“Part cooling” is really a misnomer. It should be called filament cooling. With a very defined airflow you can start to cool the currently extruding filament the moment it exits the nozzle. Too much airflow and turbulence will deflect the molten filament away from the plane of travel, too little, and we won’t cool the filament. We are not trying to cool the print we are actually trying to cool the current extruded filament. With a constant, balanced flow of fresh air directly on that filament you can start to get the filament cool enough to reach “Glass Transition” temperature as it is flowing from the nozzle. When your filament reaches “Glass Transition” temperature the filament will support itself and in the case of overhangs, produces a solid base for the next layer of extrusion. Being able to print overhangs better allows you to print with a lot fewer supports. Fewer supports mean shorter post processing and cleaner prints. Being able to bridge will also save a print if you have not checked your part in your slicer closely and have areas that are void. Bridging will allow these areas to print and personally have saved many a print. A cooling mod also allows you to run your filament at the upper end of the heat curve for the particular filament. Running at a higher heat promotes better inter layer bonding and has a by-product of smoothing the outside walls. ..............It also allows you to see the nozzle.
Petsfang plenums and ducts are engineered to produce a smooth, balanced flow of fresh air directly on the filament. The very defined directional airflow exhaust the air to the back of the bed giving a constant, cool airflow to the filament. The airflows “shape” is somewhat like a wafer which produces a dwell time over the filament much longer, promoting greater filament cooling.
Keep in mind, with a cooling mod, we are trying to cool a single piece of hair sized filament.
So why should we use a part cooling mod?
1. Better filament bridging over wide areas with no support parallel to the build plate or bridging over low percentage infill.
2. Better layering when printing excessive angle overhangs.
3. Improved inter layer adhesion. It allows for a higher temperature at the nozzle outlet to bond the layers as it extrudes to the previous layer. A byproduct of higher nozzle temps are smoother less visible layers especially in vase or lithoplate mode. Another byproduct is enabling finer detail printing.
4. A byproduct of a dual outlet design (sometimes called a fang) is better vision of the printing nozzle for checking layers.