Are you thinking of changing the nozzle size on your Ender 3 printer?
Do you need to know the nozzle sizes your printer supports, their pros and cons, and the respective slicer software settings?
You have come to the right place.
The Ender 3 printer, from Creality, is one of the most popular integrated 3D printers worldwide.
Since its release in 2017, Creality has shipped more than 800,000 Ender 3 units
This 3D printer is popular because it allows you to achieve high-precision 3D printing at an attractive price point.
There are several variables that you can control to achieve the speed and quality of your 3D prints.
One of these is the nozzle size.
The Ender 3 printer comes with default nozzle dimensions of 0.4 mm and nozzle thread size is M6. Nozzle sizes ranging from 0.2 mm to 1 mm are supported on this printer.
0.4 mm nozzle size offers a good balance between resolution and print speed, so it is a good size to start with.
With an Ender 3 nozzle upgrade, you can install the nozzle size that suits your requirements.
This article will cover the different nozzle sizes that you can install on your Ender 3 printer.
It will also cover the effect of nozzle size on various printing parameters, the pros, and cons of larger and smaller nozzle sizes, and the best material for your printer nozzle.
How To Choose Ender 3 (Pro/V2) Nozzle Size
The nozzle size you choose will have an effect on each of the following parameters.
Your Ender 3 can print at higher prints speeds when you use larger printer nozzles.
This is because larger nozzles enable the extrusion of more filament material per unit of time.
The resolution of a 3D printer is the smallest movement that the nozzle can make when depositing material.
Higher resolutions allow higher-quality 3D printing, and lower resolution delivers lower-quality printing.
Smaller nozzle sizes enable higher resolution and therefore higher printing quality.
Layer height is also known as layer thickness or Z-axis resolution.
The printer nozzle size is one of the factors that determine the layer height, which in turn affects print speed and print quality.
The Appearance of 3D Prints
Smaller nozzle sizes enable higher resolution, leading to finely detailed and sharp 3D prints.
With a large nozzle, the printing resolution reduces, leading to 3D prints that appear grainy and blocky.
What Size Nozzle Comes With Ender 3 Models
Ender 3 product line includes several models.
All the most popular models like Ender 3 Pro, Ender 3 V2, and Ender 3 S1 are equipped with the standard nozzle diameter of 0.4 mm using FDM printing technology.
However, they differ in specifications such as build volume, product dimensions, display (with/without rotary knob), Z-axis count (single/dual Z-axis), maximum heat bed temperature, maximum printing speed, maximum travel speed, extruder type, maximum nozzle temperature, and filament runout sensor material.
So you can take your time, go over the detailed specifications, and choose the printer model that best suits your requirements.
Best Nozzle Sizes For Your Ender 3 Printer
Your Ender 3 printer is an amazing tool. But like any other tool, what it delivers depends on the skills of its users.
In the context of 3D printing, skill refers to knowing how to configure the slicer software.
When you change the nozzle size, you also need to optimize the slicer settings.
Whenever you try a new nozzle, it is always a good idea to run some test prints to get a better idea of the settings you need to change.
The rules of thumb for layer height and extrusion width that you can use for any nozzle size are:
- Maximum layer height: 50 – 75% of nozzle diameter
- Extrusion width: 1.2 x nozzle diameter
A few more rules of thumb:
- When printing with a larger nozzle:
- Increase nozzle temperature to help maintain a constant temperature for faster filament flow
- Reduce the perimeter count
- Reduce speed to ensure the filament has enough time to heat up before it gets extruded
- When printing with a smaller nozzle:
- Use a low minimum layer height to prevent clogging
- Decrease nozzle temperature to reduce heat creep because the filament is not moving as fast.
- Slow the print speed down to increase print quality and reduce the potential for overshoot.
Pros and Cons of Different Nozzle Sizes
While you can use different-sized nozzles on your Ender 3 printer, it is best to consider the pros and cons of each nozzle size.
Large Nozzle Size
You can install nozzles with a larger diameter than the 0.4 mm default nozzle size that ships with your Ender 3 printer.
Below, you can see the pros and cons of nozzles that are larger than the default nozzle.
- Faster printing: With more material deposited per unit of time, you get faster printing, and can print more objects in less time
- Higher strength: You can print thicker material layers with larger nozzles, which provides better strength and durability compared to parts printed with smaller nozzles
- Higher printer availability: Larger nozzles are less likely to get clogged by the filament. This is especially important for professional 3D printing environments, where printer downtime can have an adverse effect on business productivity.
- Lower resolutions: Larger nozzle sizes can not support higher resolutions, leading to lower print quality.
- Hotend issue: Larger nozzles can deposit more material per unit of time. However, the printer hotend must be able to cope with filament heating requirements. Before installing a larger nozzle on your printer, make sure that that hotend can handle the required filament flow rate.
- Visible layers: The layer becomes visibly significant when printing with larger nozzle sizes, such as the 1.0 mm nozzle. This tends to have an advice effect on the 3D product’s appearance.
Small Nozzle Size
You can install nozzles with a smaller diameter than the 0.4 mm default nozzle size that ships with your Ender 3 printer. Smaller nozzles, like larger nozzles, also have their pros and cons.
- Higher resolution: With smaller nozzles, it’s possible to capture smaller surface details that are often ignored by the slicing software for larger nozzle sizes.
- Lower layer heights: Smaller nozzle sizes allow you to use smaller layer heights which is especially useful if you want to make something that is small and requires fine detail.
- Slower print speed: While you can print at higher resolutions and produce finely detailed products, this comes at the cost of slower print speed. So be prepared to see your printing times increase by up 3 times!
- Filament compatibility issues: Smaller nozzles can’t handle more abrasive filament materials. Therefore you check the filaments supported by the nozzle size that you choose.
- Clogging: Compares to larger nozzles, smaller nozzles have a smaller opening. Impurities or dust in the filament larger than the nozzle diameter can cause the nozzle to jam. This means that, compared to larger nozzle sizes, there is a higher probability of nozzle clogging if you use a smaller nozzle.
What size wrench you can use to remove the nozzle?
You can use a 6 mm/7 mm L-shaped wrench to replace the nozzle on your Ender 3 printer.
What nozzle material is best suited for Ender 3 printer?
The nozzle on your 3D printer is part of the printer’s hot end and is exposed to high temperatures.
The nozzle must also retain heat to prevent the filament from solidifying as it goes through.
Common materials used for nozzle construction include brass, stainless steel, and hardened steel. Brass has excellent thermal conductivity and is suited to non-abrasive filament material. Steel is more robust than brass and can be used with comparatively more abrasive filament material.
However, steel is less conductive than brass and requires a higher printing temperature.
Ender 3 series printers support several filament materials including PLA, PETG, TPU, ABS, PA, and PLA-wood.
These are non-abrasive materials. Therefore, the best nozzle material for your Ender 3 printer is brass.
Most 3D printing enthusiasts, like you, love to create works of art.
When it comes to 3D printing, creating works of art requires an in-depth understanding of the various factors that affect print quality.
Your Ender 3 printer comes with a 0.4 mm nozzle. Depending on your requirements, you can use a nozzle with a larger or smaller diameter.
For any nozzle size that you use, you must optimize the slicer software settings to get the best results.
After changing the nozzle and adjusting the slicer settings, it’s also a good idea to make a few practice runs, so you can optimize settings further.