Printing with the lowest layer height possible


I’m trying to print with the smallest possible layer height on my printer. I have 0.5mm nozzle. 0.10mm layer heights are no problem. However, 0.05mm layers heights are problematic. At this layer height the filament jams and unjams randomly inside the nozzle. I had a 25% success rate at this layer height with a fairly simple part.

This success rate drops to 0% if I try 0.025mm layer heights. The nozzles always jams immediately. I am not sure what I can do about this. I do realise that the resolution of my Z axis isn’t infinitely small. However, I once printed 0.025mm layer heights with another nozzle extruder setup. This setup was horrible but it did print 0.025mm layer heights.

Changing the nozzle diameter for a smaller one is not an option. My XY accuracy isn’t good enough for that.

Any ideas how to get this to work?

My printer is a custom printer build by myself.


0.5 mm nozzle and 0.025mm or 0.05 layer height -> think about it :wink:


I thought about it before I posted the question. Obviously I don’t know the answer to my question.


it it totally normal that 0.05mm doesn’t work well on most of the machines.

And a 0.5mm nozzle with 0.05mm layer lines ? or 0.0025mm / good luck with the fine tuning.

With a 0.3 mm nozzle you might have a chance.
And you bed has to leveled perfect as hell.
The nozzle has to be perfect perpendicular over the build plate.

with a 0.5mm nozzle 0.1 is enough.

tom made a video from a makerfaire where a maker build a mechanical self leveling printer. it can print 0.05 mm layerheights.
But a normal fdm printer -> mostly marketing foo.


Thank you for your reply :slight_smile:

The bed leveling could be the issue. Lets assume the first layer is squished to much at curtain points. This will introduce pressure in the nozzle for the next few layers. Perhaps enough to clog the nozzle. Unstable Z heights may also lead to squished layers and perhaps clogging the nozzle.

I can try:

  • Increase Z gap to prevent to much squising of the first layer. This also eliminates any unevenness in the bed.
  • Reduce Z acceleration to improve Z accuracy
  • Possibly even turn of the Z hop during retraction for better Z accuracy

All these ideas are based on the idea that the nozzle clogs because of too much pressure in the nozzle. I am not even sure if this is the cause of the problem.

Tuning the 0.05mm layer height was easy. I just used the 0.10mm profile and reduced the layer height. It works fine besides the random clogging of the nozzle. That print of mine is fairly decent.


Ok it was not toms it was in joel’s video:

because of the clogging maybe the ptfe tube is not totally pushed in an there is a gap?
or it looks like a direct extruder on the picture?!?


That is an awesome machine. A different level of quality compared to my printer. :lol:

I have a all metal hotend. I assume a little gap, if there is any, is not going to do much :wink:

I am using a geared extruder almost mounted right on top of the hotend.