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I'm returning to 3d printing and there's all sorts of new things going on. One of which is a silicone sock. I suspect it's part of the engineering where you want to keep certain parts hot, and certain parts cold, and it assists with that, but I'm not sure. Internet searches have been degrading, and have degraded a lot in the past year or so, so I can't find anything on the subject on how and why, just products.

When do you need a silicone sock? What problem does it solve?

My Ender 3v2 came with one, but apparently previous generations did not. My other printers do not have an option for them.

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A silicone sock helps keep the heat from the hot end from radiating down onto the freshly-printed parts, which have a blower fan cooling them.

The sock also helps keep the hot end hot and away from that stream of room-temperature cooling air blowing at the part.

As such, the sock is a thermal isolator, helping to keep the hot bits hot and the cooler bits cool.


Additionally, silicone rubber is pretty good at not sticking to hot filament. If your print goes bad and produces "spaghetti" then the sock will mitigate how much plastic gets stuck to the hot end.

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  • $\begingroup$ Are there certain heat blocks that are more or less susceptible to this problem? FOr example copper vs aluminum. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 18:36
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    $\begingroup$ Might want to add if your print goes bad and produces "spaghetti", the sock will mitigate how much plastic gets stuck to the hot end. $\endgroup$
    – agarza
    Commented Nov 21, 2021 at 23:59
  • $\begingroup$ @YetAnotherRandomUser sorry, I don't have an answer for that. Since the Ender came with one, there's no gain in removing it. $\endgroup$
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 22, 2021 at 0:22
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    $\begingroup$ Good answer, one other benefit of the sock is less heat radiates up on the bottom of the cold end fins, helping a little with heat creep. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 25, 2021 at 5:31
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    $\begingroup$ I experienced that the heater block can compensate an always-on part cooling fan very good, but I run into thermal runaway (9 out of 10 times) if the fan kicks in after N-layers. A silicon sock keeps the temperature of the block quite stable. $\endgroup$
    – Kev Inski
    Commented Dec 20, 2021 at 9:09

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