8 nozzle layer height

8 nozzle layer height DEFAULT

If you’re looking at replacing your worn out old nozzle or wanting to experiment with different size nozzles, the first thing you should know is the effects of changing the bore size of the nozzle on the print and what settings you need to change in your slicer to get the best out of your 3D printer.

What size nozzle does my 3D printer come with?

On 90% of 3D printers, ranging from the Prusa MK3 to the Creality Ender 3, the standard nozzle size is 0.4mm. The only exception is with 3D printers like the Lulzbot Taz series which comes stock with a 0.5mm nozzle. The only other thing you need to consider is the thread size of nozzle. There are 3 common hotend types for 3D printers which all have different thread types, check our the differences between the three here:

  • MK8 – Suitable for all Creality machines (Excluding CR-10S Pro/Max)
  • E3D/RepRap – Suitable for any E3D/Slice Engineering/Prusa machine and more
  • CR-10S Pro/Max – Unique nozzles for these printers. Have a 0.75mm thread pitch instead of 1mm.

How does nozzle size relate to my print?

The size or diameter of the nozzle is directly related to the extrusion width of the line the 3D printer can put down. Depending on what you do with 3D printing, this can affect how productive you can be and the quality of your prints in both positive and negative ways. The stock 0.4mm nozzle is the optimal size for balancing out between these two.

If you want to print small, intricate models or high precision parts, you will be wanting to print at the smallest layer heigh possible (0.1 – 0.05mm) and use as small a nozzle as possible (0.3 – 0.25mm). Printing at small layer heights with small nozzles results in an increased print time as the printer is limited to the volume of material it can extruder, which is a combination of layer height and extrusion width.

If you want to go to the other end of the spectrum and print parts as fast as possible with print quality being second to time, the bigger the nozzle the better. For a standard extruder, anything larger than a 0.8mm nozzle is not recommended as the hotend can’t maintain a constant temperature without slowing the speed down majorly, which is not what you want. Layer heights of up to 0.5mm nozzles are possible with a 0.8mm nozzle which can dratically increase print time.

What settings do I change in my slicer?

When you change your nozzle size, there are a few common things you want to change in the slicer no matter if you go up or down in size. These can be easily calculated using general rule of thumbs:

  1. Max Layer Height = 50 – 75% of nozzle diameter
  2. Extrusion width = 1.2 x nozzle diameter

When it comes to printing with a larger nozzle, there are a few things you will want to change to maintain the best possible quality without limiting the print time too much. These include:

  1. Increase nozzle temperature 5° – 10°: As more material is flowing through the nozzle, this helps to maintain a constant temperature when the faster flow of filament is sucking all the heat away from the nozzle.
  2. Reduce the perimeter count: As the extrusion width will now be close to 1mm, you won’t need as many perimeters for a similar wall thickness with a 0.4mm nozzle. It is advised to at least use a minimum of 2 walls to maintain decent print quality
  3. Reduce speed: This helps to make sure the filament has enough time to heat up before it is extruded. 25mm/s or lower is recommended but even though we’re slowing it down, the overall print time is still significantly reduced.

For 3D printing with a smaller nozzle, it is almost the exact opposite of above. For fine detail and high-quality prints, these changes are what we suggest:

  1. The layer height of 0.07-0.1mm: This minimum layer height helps to prevent any possible clogging as the nozzle would be too close to the printed part with nowhere for the filament to go.
  2. Decrease nozzle temperature 5° – 10°: As less material is flowing through the nozzle, the hotend doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain the temperature. Reducing this reduces the chance of heat creep as the filament isn’t moving as fast.
  3. Slow the print speed down: To get the best quality with as minimal ringing and unwanted artifacts in the prints, slow the printer down. Anywhere from 70% – 50% reduction is best. Slowing down the print increases overall quality as the precision is increased and the potential for overshoot is minimised.

With any nozzle you get, it is always good practice to run some test prints through it to get an idea of what settings you need to change. A temperature tower, extrusion multiplier test, and an overhang test are a couple of test prints that help finetune various issues you may encounter along the way such as stringing, poor overhangs, bad adhesion or issues with support material but majority of printers should have no issues with these basic changes.

We’d love to chat to you about your 3D Printing needs. Get in touch!

Sours: https://www.phaser3d.com/tuning-your-slicer-for-your-nozzle-size/

The default nozzle diameter for most of today’s printers is 0.4 mm, and the nozzles used in Original Prusa i3 MK3S+ and the MINI printers are no exception. Changing the nozzle takes just a few minutes and it can bring a number of benefits. According to our survey, only approximately 20 % of users tried replacing their printer’s nozzle at some point, which is quite a low number. Let’s look at how changing the nozzle can improve your experience.

A smaller nozzle is great for detailed (but slower) prints, while larger nozzles print faster, but the quality suffers – or does it? In reality, it’s a bit more complicated. In our article, we will demonstrate the benefits of smaller and larger nozzles in real situations. But first, we need to clarify something users often get wrong – the correlation between layer height and nozzle diameter.

Layer height vs nozzle diameter

Layer height should not exceed 80 % of the nozzle diameter. If you are using the standard 0.4mm nozzle, the maximal layer height is about 0.32 mm. However, with a 0.6mm nozzle, it’s possible to achieve up to a 0.48 mm layer height.

Apart from these limitations, the two parameters are independent of each other. Tweaking their settings separately will bring completely different results. The nozzle diameter affects the overall level of detail almost exclusively in the horizontal plane (parallel to the print surface). What does this mean? With a smaller nozzle, you will be able to print a more detailed text –  assuming it’s placed on the top side of the printed object. Contrary to that, the layer height affects the level of detail on vertical and slanted sides of an object. You have a much greater chance of seeing individual layers on organic-looking objects. The lower you set the layer height, the better the overall result. On the other hand, it makes little sense to print rectangular-shaped objects with very low layer height. There will be little to no difference in the end result, plus the printing time will be unnecessarily long.

Print up to 4 times faster!

3D printing is not exactly a fast process. Even a print that is just a few inches tall can take several hours to complete. So it’s quite puzzling how overlooked large-diameter nozzle printing is, despite the fact that it can lead to a dramatic improvement of the printing speed.

STL download link – Chibi Grim by Tanya Wiesner

A larger-diameter nozzle lays down wider perimeters, which means that it uses fewer perimeters than a smaller-diameter nozzle to print a wall of the same thickness. A nozzle with a larger diameter also allows for printing with increased layer height. Combining these two effects leads to a noticeably shorter print time. There’s a catch, though: if you keep the same layer height to print something with just one perimeter, like a vase, you won’t notice any improvement in speed. Because the nozzle has to go through exactly the same sequence of moves, independent of diameter. Yes, the vase will have a slightly thicker wall, but the print time will be almost the same.

Effect on mechanical properties

Another advantage of using larger nozzles is the increased toughness of printed objects. An impact resistance test revealed that the objects printed with the 0.6mm nozzle absorbed up to 25.6 % energy more than those printed with a 0.4mm nozzle. And objects printed with a 0.25mm version absorbed 3.6 % less energy than those printed with a 0.4mm nozzle. This test was performed on ten different samples. We then removed the minimum and maximum values, which is why you can see values of 8 samples. To learn more about the Charpy impact strength test, please visit this link.

 

Supports

Supports are usually printed as a one perimeter wide polyline. If you go to slicer settings, you may often notice that the supports are deliberately underextruded, so they are easier to remove. And, of course, using a different printer nozzle directly affects the width of support walls. You can turn this into an advantage. By simply using a smaller nozzle supports will be thinner and easier to remove. Using larger nozzles has an opposite effect leading to wider and sturdier supports, which can be a bit difficult to remove.

How to replace the extruder nozzle?

Ready-made settings for 0.25mm, 0.6mm, and 0.8mm nozzles

If you want to try 0.25mm, 0.6mm, or 0.8mm nozzle and own an Original Prusa printer, you don’t need to create brand new slicer profiles. We’ve done that for you! Open the Configuration Wizard in PrusaSlicer and tick the nozzle diameter checkbox under your printer corresponding to your nozzle size. Then simply select it as the active printer profile.

 

0.25mm nozzle

Pros

Better looking printed texts

Better resolution in XY axes – perfect for jewelry, logos…

Extremely easy-to-remove supports

Cons

Significantly longer print times

Higher risk of nozzle getting clogged

Not compatible with some filaments (filaments containing larger particles)

Examples of practical use (0.25 mm)

Printing texts

As already mentioned, the nozzle diameter has a noticeable effect on the printing resolution of the plane parallel to the print surface. This means that a 0.25mm nozzle is suitable for printing detailed text. Let’s compare it to the default 0.4mm nozzle. Despite the fact that ‘Detect thin walls’ is enabled, parts of the letters can be lost during slicing. This won’t happen with a 0.25mm nozzle, so you can use it to print an unusual business card to woo the crowds 🙂 It’s worth mentioning that changing the layer height won’t affect the text legibility.

Slic3r preview shows that the object’s details are too small for the selected nozzle

Left: Business card printed with a 0.4mm nozzle. Right: Same model, printed with a 0.25mm nozzle.

Printing jewelry

This is another great use of a smaller nozzle. The difference between a 0.4mm and a 0.25mm nozzle is not so dramatic, because even a 0.4mm nozzle can print small objects reasonably well. Improvements will be visible especially when printing thin lines.

Printing miniatures

Surprisingly, printing miniatures using a small-diameter nozzle leads to a fairly minor improvement in print quality. You’ll notice the biggest improvement while printing supports for these objects. Supports printed with a 0.25mm nozzle are easy to remove and they leave nearly invisible marks on the object.

STL download link

On the other hand, if you don’t need supports, the difference between a 0.4mm and a 0.25mm nozzle is close to zero. Honestly, if we had switched the labels above those two chests, could you tell?

STL download link

0.60mm nozzle

A 0.60mm nozzle is suitable for any print that doesn’t rely on tiny details. Headphone stands, various holders, racks or flower pots… can all be printed in half the usual time. We have been mostly using a 0.4mm nozzle during the past few months, so frankly it was a pleasant re-discovery of how nifty the 0.6mm nozzle is.

Pros

Print times up to twice as fast

Almost the same print quality as a 0.4mm nozzle

More durable prints

Low risk of a clogged nozzle

Cons

Worse resolution of tiny details and texts

Supports are more difficult to remove

Examples of practical use (0.6 mm)

Flower pots and vases

Flower pots usually don’t feature any intricate details, so the difference between a 0.4mm and a 0.6mm print is nearly impossible to tell. In the example below, we’re using the same layer height. With an increased layer height, the 0.6mm would finish the print even faster. And thanks to the shape of the flower pot, the difference wouldn’t be too noticeable.

STL download link

Buddy the Dog

Buddy is quite a detailed model. However, the 0.6mm nozzle has no trouble with that whatsoever at this scale.

Voroni lamp

Thanks to the shape of this lamp (large flat surfaces), almost no quality has been sacrificed. A 0.6mm nozzle requires one perimeter less to achieve the same thickness of the wall as a 0.4mm nozzle (3 perimeters with 0.4 mm vs 2 perimeters with 0.6 mm). This saved a huge amount of time with the reduction of the print time by nearly 9 hours!

STL download link

1mm nozzle

One millimeter?! 0.04 inches? Yep, correct. Forget everything you think you know about 3D printing. Even prints that take dozens of hours to finish can be done in only a few hours using a 1mm nozzle. You can achieve up to 5 times faster printing speeds compared to a 0.4mm nozzle. Of course, there is a price to pay. With a 1mm nozzle, you will usually print at a layer height of 0.5 mm, but it’s possible to go even higher. Sure, the printed object’s layers will be highly visible, but sometimes that doesn’t hurt. In some cases, it can even give the model an interesting aesthetic, which could be quite challenging to achieve using other methods. We will, of course, demonstrate that on several examples below.

Pros

Extremely fast printing

Very sturdy prints

Unusual look with highly visible layers

Nearly zero risk of a clogged nozzle

Cons

Lack of detail

Visible layers

Supports very difficult to remove

Filament seems to disappear from the spool

Examples of practical use (1 mm)

Dinosaur – a toy for children

A surprising advantage of using a 1mm nozzle is its ability to print rounded edges naturally – without any extra settings. This is great for printing toys for children because the risk of cutting one’s finger on a sharp edge is minimized. Plus, the toy was printed five times faster compared to the default 0.4mm nozzle.

STL download link

Pencil holder

STL download link

Transparent prints without infill

Models printed using a transparent filament (e.g. PETG) without an infill and with a very high layer height have the ability to refract light in an interesting way. Especially, if you can print them with only one or two perimeters. Achieving a similar look would be otherwise quite challenging.

Conclusion

If we could recommend buying only one nozzle as an alternative to the 0.4mm nozzle, our vote goes to the 0.6mm option. It offers noticeably shorter printing times, but it’s still possible to print reasonably detailed models. If you usually print tiny models with texts, jewelry or logos, you should also consider the 0.25mm nozzle. The 1mm version has a limited use, but it’s still pretty fun to use. Even the original E3D nozzles, which can be purchased through our e-shop or directly from E3D, are just around 7 EUR per unit. This small investment can have a surprisingly large impact on how you print.

 


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The 3D Printer Bee

Martin

Besides many test devices, Martin now has his fourth own 3D printer running and prints as a hobby for friends, family and himself. He is happy to share his experience with each new article.

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What influence do the layer height and the nozzle diameter have on the end result in a 3D print? In a 3D printer, individual layers are applied on top of each other using a filament. The layer height refers to the height of each individual layer. 

For most printers, the adjustable layer height is between 0.1 and 0.4 mm. At the same time, however, the layer height also depends on the nozzle diameter. This is because the nozzle diameter results in a maximum and a minimum achievable layer height.

But how do the layer height and nozzle diameter affect print quality? 

Thicker layers offer higher printing speeds with lower resolution. With thinner layers, higher resolution can be achieved with increased printing time. The maximum layer height is about 75% of the diameter of the nozzle and the minimum layer height about 25%.

That was the short version. You can find out exactly how that works in this article.

Contents

Layer Height

In 3D printing, the object is built up layer by layer. For commercially available 3D printers, the layer height is approximately between 0.1 and 0.4 mm. Of course, there are also 3D printers available that can also create a layer height below 50 μm (= 0.05 mm).

With some printing processes, the layer height has hardly any effect on the result. But especially with the SLA and FDM processes, the choice of layer thickness is a very important factor.

The effect of layer height on the printing process

The selected layer height has a direct effect on the print result. Choosing the right layer height is quite comparable to deciding on the resolution of a TV screen. A lower layer thickness leads to a higher resolution of the object and to smoother surfaces. The layer thickness (= Z-resolution) can be set on every 3D printer and is sometimes also dependent on the 3D printing process.

On the other hand, the layer height has significant effects on the printing process. If, for example, the layer height is halved from 300 μm to 150 μm, then printing takes twice as much time and the costs also increase enormously. With a lower layer thickness, more layers are applied on top of each other, this circumstance leads to a higher error rate.

When lower layer thicknesses make little sense

A lower slice height leads to a higher Z-resolution, nevertheless, it is not always useful. The key question when deciding on the slice height is – is appearance more important or functionality? 

If the object has only horizontal surfaces and no or hardly any curves, then the effects of a lower layer height are hardly noticeable. If the angle between two layers is 90°, then a reduced layer height makes no sense. If the target object is, for example, a cube with an edge length of 60 mm, then reducing the layer height from 150 μm to 60 μm has no effect.

With a lower layer height, not only the printing time and the costs increase. In the end, a greater layer height often leads to improved mechanical properties. If, for example, the part is to be post-processed (sanded or painted), then a reduced layer height is more of a disadvantage.

The advantages of a lower layer height

The result of a lower layer height is a higher Z-resolution and thus a smoother surface. If you are dealing with delicate, detailed objects, then you should tend to use a lower layer height. 

The effect is most effective when the object has curves, angles, or holes. Imagine there is a hole printed along the horizontal axis. 

The hole would have to be cut in several superimposed layers, resulting in stair-like edges on the surface. With a significant proportion of curves, the lower layer height leads to higher accuracy and detail.

Nozzle

The nozzle is one of the most important components of a 3D printer. The nozzles have a tapered shape and are made of various materials. 

They have a thread at the bottom end with which they can be screwed to the hot end of the 3D printer. The length of the thread and also the diameter can differ for the individual nozzles. You should therefore check in advance whether the respective nozzle is compatible with your 3D printer and for which filaments it is suitable.

Nozzle diameter

The borehole diameter (nozzle diameter) for most nozzles is between 0.1 and 2 mm. The standard are nozzles with a diameter of 0.4 mm. It is worth buying a set of different nozzles. The nozzle diameter has a significant influence on the printing result.

Nozzles with a large diameter are suitable for an increased layer height, nozzles with a small diameter are ideal for a low layer height and thus for a higher resolution.

Nozzle materials

The nozzles for 3D printers are often made of brass, copper or (stainless) steel*. Optionally, a coating is also available. Depending on the intended use and requirements, nozzles made of other materials or alloys are also available. Some nozzles are made of ruby at the tip, for example.

The ideal material depends on the filament and your own requirements. For example, for a very hard filament, stainless steel nozzles are more suitable than brass, even if the thermal conductivity is somewhat worse.

Relationship Between Layer Height and Nozzle Diameter

The nozzle diameter in the 3D printer has a direct influence on the recommended layer thickness and thus also on the printing speed. Depending on the nozzle diameter, there is a recommended maximum and minimum layer height.

The maximum layer height is calculated according to formula 1, the minimum layer height according to formula 2:

  1. maximum layer height = 0.75 * nozzle diameter
  2. minimum layer height = 0.25 * nozzle diameter

Of course, these are rules of thumb, but they are helpful for orientation. If the nozzle diameter is 500 μm, then the maximum layer height is 375 μm and the minimum layer height is 125 μm. For example, many experts print with only half the nozzle diameter. With a nozzle diameter of 0.2 mm (= 200 μm), they print with a selected layer height of 100 μm. The given nozzle diameter limits the maximum amount of material that can be extruded.

A very small nozzle diameter also implies some low printing speed for the following reasons:

  • the diameter limits the amount of material to be extruded
  • more pressure is needed to press a large amount of filament through a small nozzle
  • at an increased speed, more material must be transported in the same time period

With an increased nozzle diameter, it is therefore possible to print faster. With a larger nozzle, however, you have to choose a larger layer height, which leads to a coarser resolution.

Practical Test & Comparison

To put these formulas to the test, I equipped my Anycubic Mega S with different nozzles. I set the layer height to 25%, 50% and 75% of the nozzle diameter respectively. 

Layer HeightNozzle DiameterPrint Time
0.7 mm1.0 mm0:06
0.5 mm1.0 mm0:08
0.25 mm1.0 mm0:15
0.6 mm0.8 mm0:07
0.4 mm0.8 mm0:10
0.2 mm0.8 mm0:19
0.45 mm0.6 mm0:13
0.3 mm0.6 mm0:18
0.15 mm0.6 mm0:37
0.3 mm0.4 mm0:24
0.2 mm0.4 mm0:38
0.1 mm0.4 mm1:03
0.225 mm0.3 mm0:46
0.15 mm0.3 mm1:07
0.075 mm0.3 mm2:15
0.15 mm0.2 mm1:26
0.1 mm0.2 mm2:08
0.05 mm0.2 mm4:18

What is directly noticeable in the pure data is the big difference between the printing times. 

Especially with the smaller diameters, this difference becomes greater and greater. With the 0.2 mm nozzle and at 25%, i.e. 0.05 mm layer height, this is already over four hours for the selected object!

Here you can see how the settings and the different nozzle diameters affected the surface:

From the tests, I have learned that for most objects it makes no difference to the eye if you use a layer height of 0.1 mm or less. 

You can really only see the difference between 0.1 mm and 0.05 mm if you look very closely. 

Besides, it’s always a question of whether it’s worth the time. 

The printing time doubles very quickly. Likewise, the printing time doubles quickly if you want to print the same layer height with a smaller nozzle (e.g. 0.15 mm layer height with a 0.6 mm nozzle takes 37 minutes and 0.15 mm with a 0.3 mm nozzle takes 1 hour and 7 minutes). 

This is, of course, because you have to print the same volume. With a smaller extrusion width, the printhead has to travel more distance and print more infill walls to get the same printed volume.

Related Questions

Which layer heights are typical for the different printing processes?

  • FDM 0.05 to 0.4 mm (standard 0.1 mm)
  • SLA/DLP 0.025 mm to 0.1 mm (standard 0.05 mm)
  • SLS 0.08 mm to 0.12 mm (standard 0.1 mm)
  • Material jetting 0.016 to 0.03 mm (standard 0.016)
  • Binder Jetting 0.1 mm
  • DMLS 0.03 mm to 0.05 mm

What materials are most nozzles made of and why?

Most 3D printer nozzles are made of brass. Brass has proven itself especially due to its good thermal conductivity. These nozzles are very easy to manufacture and are inexpensive. Brass nozzles are not suitable for filaments with a strong abrasive effect.

What are brass nozzles coated with?

A coating protects the brass nozzle from excessive abrasion. Chrome or nickel can be used as a coating.

What are stainless steel nozzles suitable for?

Stainless steel nozzles are much more robust than those made of brass or copper. A disadvantage is the poorer thermal conductivity, so you have to set a higher pressure temperature.

How much does a nozzle actually cost?

The price, of course, depends on the material. The cheapest are nozzles made of nickel without coating, these are sometimes available for less than 10 bucks. The price for stainless steel nozzles ranges from $15 to $25. Noticeably more expensive are nozzles with ruby, these can also cost $90 or more.

Which nozzle diameter is suitable for what? What is the standard diameter?

Most 3D printers are equipped with 0.4 mm nozzles. Nozzles with a diameter of < 0.4 mm are suitable for objects with intricate details. Nozzles with a diameter of 0.6 to 1 mm are perfect for less precise and fast 3D prints.

With a higher nozzle diameter and a higher printing speed, more filament must be melted. Note that the extruder and the heating cartridge have a power limit.

Conclusion

Both the layer height and the nozzle diameter have a decisive influence on the printing time, the costs and the printing result. The given nozzle diameter results in a minimum and a maximum layer height each (see formulas 1 and 2). 

Basically, the higher the nozzle diameter, the greater the maximum possible layer height. A greater layer height often also leads to fewer print defects and improved material properties. If the part is to be reworked, then a greater layer height is optimal.

In 3D printing, the object is built up layer by layer, with the layer height defining the height or thickness of each individual layer. A low layer height leads to a higher Z-resolution and to a significantly increased printing time. The maximum printing speed is also limited by the nozzle diameter. A higher nozzle diameter enables faster printing.

Nozzles with a small diameter of < 0.4 mm are suitable for printing fine, delicate objects with many details. The ideal material for the nozzles depends on the filament, but nickel is often a very good choice. With numerous curves, a better result is achieved this way due to the flatter surface. One disadvantage is that it increases the time needed for printing. If you halve the layer height, then the 3D printer will take twice the time.

So, when choosing nozzle diameter, the following factors are crucial:

  1. Does the object have many curved surfaces, holes or fine details? Then small nozzles and a low layer height are ideal. For non-curved objects with horizontal surfaces and 90° angles (cubes, cuboids), you should choose a high layer height.
  2. Is it a matter of visual appearance or functionality? If the object has to be reworked, then a greater layer height is clearly more practical. After all, printing is also a question of cost. If it’s mainly about functionality, then you should go for a greater layer height.

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What is Layer Height and Nozzle Diameter? - 3D Printing 101

How To: 3D Print With a Larger Nozzle

Whether it's time constraints or strength, a larger nozzle is an excellent addition to anyone's 3D printing toolbox. Take a look at some considerations when making this change.

Alec Richter

Sept. 27, 2018

(EDIT)

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For a lot of people, one of the biggest hurdles with 3D printing isn’t cost or quality, it’s time. My interest in 3D printing came from the perspective that it was a tool I could use to ramp up the detail for my props and personal cosplay projects in a passive way; I was not a user with strict deadlines. If I set a “deadline” for an upcoming convention, not finishing a print in time had no real consequence other than disappointment that I didn’t finish it in time. A professional doesn’t have that luxury, and I’ve talked to plenty that use more traditional mediums like clay sculpting, carving, or “kitbashing” to make something, specifically because a 3D printed project may take a week of print time and they only have a couple days, not counting the time it would take them to finish the prints as well. Print time is directly related to nozzle size; enter the Volcano hotend.

By the numbers

Let me start off by explaining what makes a Volcano the right choice for this project, and what are some of the expected problems that can come with it. Printing a statue in pieces with a standard 0.4mm nozzle would take an incredibly long time to print, but with the 1.2mm nozzle, prints take a fraction of the time. With a 1.2mm nozzle, you can achieve 0.9mm layers, and at the scale of this project, 0.9mm layers would be the same as printing a normal sized Phil at 0.05mm layers. With a layer height that large, prints on average are printed 3 times quicker. For reference,  box the full build volume of the Pulse would take 37.5 hours with the standard 0.4mm nozzle, but the Pulse HV can do the same in 12.5 hours.

Filament Consumption

Printing with a 1.2mm nozzle is not for the faint of heart; you can watch as your brand new spool of filament rapidly empties over the span of a couple hours. While printing with a larger nozzle does open up the possibility for printing large, basic parts over the course of several hours, it does mean you will go through filament at an incredible rate. That full size box I mentioned before? That was estimated to take 1.6kg of PLA, a rate of 130g/h. Consider that instead of sticking with a spool designed for a nozzle a third of the size, you should instead be moving up to larger spools to ensure you don’t run out mid print. Ten pound spools can be expected to be the new normal to keep pace with just how much material a 1.2mm nozzle can churn through.

When would I want a bigger nozzle?

All that being said, a larger nozzle isn’t for everyone; if you need fine detail or your prints are small, a large nozzle isn’t made for that. You would be better suited using a Moai or a 0.25mm nozzle for those sort of projects. I would suggest that if you need something that has a tight deadline or takes up most of your build volume or even requires printing in sections and you intend to finish the part anyways, then try out a larger nozzle.

Are print settings any different?

With the Volcano hotend system, the nozzle is longer to give filament more time to melt and the heater cartridge is parallel to the filament path (as opposed to perpendicular like on the v6) to improve the heat transfer from the cartridge to the larger heater block. While this does give the 3D printer the ability to print thicker layers, there are some settings you will need to think about differently with a 1.2mm nozzle than with a 0.4mm nozzle:

  • Printing temperature
    • While the bed temperature won’t need any changes, the nozzle temperature will need to be significantly raised from your usual; usually PLA is printed at about 200°C, but I regularly print PLA at 250°C with a volcano. This is because you are melting a lot more plastic at once and need even more heat to transfer to the filament AND ensure that it sticks to the previous layer. I’ve had even had layers separate at 230°C.
  • Perimeters
    • You don’t need as many perimeters to achieve the same strength, but you also don’t want to have less than 2 perimeters if you can avoid it. One perimeter, while equivalent to three perimeters on a 0.4mm nozzle, you open yourself up to the possibility of gaps between the start and end of the perimeter. With two perimeters, I’ve dropped prints from chest height, had them bounce around the concrete floor, and not even crack.
  • Infill
    • The pattern you use isn’t as important as the density. I use 5% infill for most of my big prints since the walls provide most of the structure;  but this does open up to some regular problems like top solid layers not having enough support to bridge over, leaving gaps in the top surface. At 5% infill, I’ve increased my top layers to 5 to be able to adequately cover each pass and that seems to work well enough. Of course, experiment with different infill percentages but I would suggest not going too high unless you want to print a cinderblock.
    • Also, be sure that your perimeter and infill overlap percentage is set to 0.6 (half of the nozzle size) or 50%
  • Layer Height
    • You could theoretically set the layer height to 0.05mm, but that’s kind of extreme. Normal use for a 1.2mm nozzle is between 0.3mm and 0.9mm layer height (25%-75% the nozzle size). If I’m using a 1.2mm nozzle, I’m almost always printing at 0.9mm because to me, that’s the whole point of it.
  • Speed
    • Speed will need to be significantly slower to make sure the filament has enough time to heat up. With a 0.4mm nozzle I usually keep the speeds around 45mm/s to balance speed and quality, but with a 1.2mm nozzle, 25mm/s is normal.
  • Cooling
    • Printing at a temperature significantly higher than normal means that you want really good cooling to make sure that your corners aren’t curling and that subsequent layers aren’t just melting your part into one big blob.
  • Support
    • Even though your nozzle is bigger, you will probably want to keep the pattern spacing the same because bridging is harder to manage. 3 interface layers works well and as usual an air gap of twice the layer height works well (which means a 1.8mm gap is to be expected).
  • Bed Adhesion
    • Bed adhesion isn’t any different than normal, just make sure to have the proper adhesives, Z offset, and brims to keep your print secured while also being able to remove it when they’re done. Poor adhesion can lead to really big and bad problems, like the Heart of Darkness:

To put this all in perspective, I printed this Master Sword in less than twelve hours using a 0.8mm nozzle and 0.6mm layer height. It doesn’t have a lot of detail, so I could solve the most of this with some bondo and save myself the print time it would have otherwise taken. I’ve also taken on a really big project here: Big Phil. This one part of him is more than one spool of filament, and yet it only took 8 hours to print. I wanted to start a really big evergreen project that we could proudly display at MatterHackers, and a life-size Phil seemed like the perfect idea. We will have more details about that project in the future, so stay tuned.

I hope this has given you some direction in taking a big step towards printing large and fast, but if you’ve already been using a Volcano hotend, I’d love to see what you’ve been creating, so feel free to tag us on social media with your big nozzle prints.

Thanks for reading and happy printing!

Sours: https://www.matterhackers.com/articles/how-to-3d-print-with-a-larger-nozzle

Layer 8 height nozzle

7.2. Nozzle Sizes¶

If you haven’t tried a different nozzle height yet, you’re missing half the fun. A nozzle swap is the simplest and most impactful change you can make to your 3D printer.

Prusa summed it up nicely in their YouTube video on nozzle sizes.

That’s like buying a DSLR camera and never changing the lens. It definitely works, but you’re limiting yourself.

Note

These notes are based on my experiences with the Prusa i3 Mk3 and Artillery/Evnovo Sidewinder X1 printers. If you are using a different printer, please verify the hardware details are similar.

According to the Prusa survey results, only 22% of users have tried another nozzle size, despite the fact that it’s one of the cheapest and simplest modifications you can make to an otherwise-stock 3D printer. Part of this is no doubt due to trepidation about changing something that’s working. Hopefully, I’ve gathered some notes here to set your mind at ease and expand on some of the information on working with alternate nozzle sizes on the Prusa i3 printers.

7.2.1. What changing the nozzle size does¶

The size of the nozzle opening influences a lot of factors that aren’t immediately obvious. It’s a good idea to understand the effects to avoid making frustrating mistakes as you experiment.

7.2.1.1. Nozzle diameter¶

The diameter of the nozzle opening determines resolution in the horizontal (X-Y) plane. This means that it will affect detailed features on the top surfaces of your prints. A 3D printer is going to have a difficult time printing any details smaller than the nozzle diameter.

  • If you’re doing fine detailed prints, too large of a nozzle can result in missing details and dull corners. Slicers will skip details that are too small to be printed the specified nozzle, or at best, try to approximate them.

  • If you’re printing large functional parts with minimal detail, a finer nozzle won’t gain you anything. You’ll add significant print time with no real gain. A larger nozzle will move a lot more filament in a given amount of time and significantly speed up print times.

In general, use a nozzle small enough to print the finest details in your print, but no smaller. Go as large as you can to speed up prints.

7.2.1.2. Extrusion width¶

Nozzle size impacts the range of extrusion widths you can print with. This affects how wide a perimeter wall is printed with a single pass.

7.2.1.2.1. Minimum extrusion widths¶

You can use extrusion widths narrower than your nozzle, but with some caveats:

  • The quality of thin lines may be poor, particularly for external perimeters.

  • Thin walls must also be printed with low layer heights to preserve good inter-layer adhesion. See Maximum layer heights below.

7.2.1.2.2. Maximum extrusion widths¶

The wider the extrusion, the fewer perimeter walls you have to print to achieve the desired wall thickness. The ability to use wider extrusion widths is one of the big wins with larger nozzles. Keeping extrusion widths to 120% or below of the nozzle size is recommended for good print finish with most nozzles.

If you are using quality nozzles, you can use considerably wider extrusions. Take a look at the E3D drawing for the V6 series nozzles and you’ll find some interesting details.

  • The A dimension in the drawing designates the diameter of the nozzle opening.

  • Unlike cheap clone nozzles, E3D uses a different thickness for material surrounding the nozzle opening, designated by the B dimension in the drawing.

The diameter of the nozzle in the B dimension varies, but is roughly double the size of the A dimension for the opening. This means that you can print at up twice the nozzle opening and still have sufficient pressure to get the squish necessary for good inter-layer adhesion. There are a couple of limitations to this:

  • Physics still apply. Speeds are still constrained by your hotend maximum volumetric rate. Reduce speeds as you increase extrusion widths or layer heights.

  • Wider external perimeters may suffer poor finish if the extrusion width exceeds the nozzle B dimension. Limiting wider extrusions to internal perimeters and infill may work best.

Nozzle squish provides better inter-layer adhesion

Fig. 7.3 Nozzle squish provides better inter-layer adhesion¶

Note

The C dimension of the E3D nozzles – the length of the opening – is also interesting. Theoretically, this is the optimal amount of retraction necessary to avoid oozing if you have otherwise calibrated your filament extrusion multiplier. I’ve had mixed luck with this.

7.2.1.3. Layer height¶

Nozzle diameter directly affects the layer heights that you can successfully print. Layer height determines resolution in the vertical (Z) plane.

  • At lower layer heights, curved vertical surfaces are smoother. Vertical detail is improved and prints look more finished.

  • At higher layer heights, vertical detail is lost but speed and strength are improved. Thick layers start to look like toothpaste.

If you’ve searched for information on layer heights, it’s very likely you’ve come across references to “magic” layer heights. Typically, these suggest using multiples of 0.04mm (e.g. 0.04mm, 0.12mm, 0.16mm) to evenly match extrusion stepper motor resolution. This is good advice, but the Prusa i3 Mk3 printer has much finer resolution. Layer heights on the Mk3 should be based on a multiple of 0.0025mm, which means that any value up to two decimal places after the decimal point is equally beneficial. Just choose any value of 0.XXmm and you’re fine. When in doubt, experiment.

7.2.1.3.1. Minimum layer heights¶

Keeping layer heights greater than 25% of the nozzle size is recommended, although you can experiment with this setting. There are two considerations for minimum layer heights:

  • Using too low of a layer height can create back pressure from the nozzle, creating surface blemishes and extruder skips.

  • The printer layer height minimum setting in PrusaSlicer is used to set a lower limit for adaptive variable layer heights. You want a realistic range for the slicer to use when adjusting heights automatically.

7.2.1.3.2. Maximum layer heights¶

FDM printing relies on adhesion between layers as filament is laid down. A certain amount of compression (squish) is desired to push the hot new layer of filament onto the cool layer below. The less squish, the less adhesion, resulting in brittle walls.

As you increase layer height, you are effectively producing extrusions with a more rounded cross-section, reducing the ratio between the height and width of the extrusion. When layer heights exceed 80% of the nozzle size, adhesion between layers is reduced.

Ultimately, your maximum layer height depends on your extrusion width. In order to maintain the desired oval or “stadium” extrusion cross section, a width-to-height ratio of roughly 3:2 works well so long as the width is less than the B dimension of the nozzle.

Maintaining width-to-height ratio for good extrusion cross section

Fig. 7.4 Maintaining width-to-height ratio for good extrusion cross section¶

7.2.1.3.3. Recommended minimum and maximum layer heights¶

Todo

update to reflect layer height based on extrusion width

Here’s a quick table showing a safe range of minimum and maximum layer heights for different nozzle sizes. I recommend starting in this range ti get familiar with new nozzles before experimenting with more extreme settings.

Nozzle Size

Minimum Layer Height

Maximum Layer Height

0.15mm

0.04

0.12

0.20mm

0.05

0.16

0.25mm

0.06

0.20

0.30mm

0.08

0.24

0.35mm

0.09

0.28

0.40mm

0.10

0.32

0.50mm

0.13

0.40

0.60mm

0.15

0.48

0.80mm

0.20

0.64

1.00mm

0.25

0.80

7.2.1.4. Example prints¶

I cranked out some sample prints to show the effects nozzle size has on a print. These are all 20mm cubes printed with Prusa default PLA defaults, no tuning and no post-processing. Our first examples are printed with the following settings:

  • Max volumetric speed 15 mm3/s (PLA)

  • 2 perimeters

  • 20% infill

  • 0 top layers

  • 5 bottom layers

  • Default PrusaSlicer extrusion width (calculated from nozzle size)

The first example shows a cube printed with a 0.40mm nozzle:

20mm cube printed with 0.40mm nozzle

Fig. 7.5 20mm cube printed with 0.40mm nozzle at 0.20mm layer height¶

Next, the same model printed with the same base settings and a 0.80mm nozzle:

20mm cube printed with 0.80mm nozzle

Fig. 7.6 20mm cube printed with 0.80mm nozzle at 0.20mm layer height¶

The next comparison uses an XYZ calibration cube printed with the following settings:

  • Max volumetric speed 15 mm3/s (PLA)

  • 2 perimeters

  • 20% infill

  • 5 top and bottom layers

  • Default PrusaSlicer extrusion width (calculated from nozzle size)

Here are the results with a 0.40mm nozzle:

20mm XYZ calibration cube printed with 0.40mm nozzle

Fig. 7.7 20mm XYZ calibration cube printed with 0.40mm nozzle at 0.20mm layer height¶

And the same print with a 0.80mm nozzle:

20mm XYZ calibration cube printed with 0.80mm nozzle

Fig. 7.8 20mm XYZ calibration cube printed with 0.80mm nozzle at 0.20mm layer height¶

A few things to notice:

  • All printed in roughly the same amount of time (~33 minutes). While the nozzle speeds used with the larger nozzle are much slower, significantly more plastic is extruded during each move.

  • Vertical (Z) resolution is the same. A larger nozzle can still print fine layer heights within limits.

  • Horizontal (XY - top surface) resolution is much finer with the smaller nozzle. Although these prints don’t highlight it, details smaller than the nozzle size will not print reliably. The slicer simply won’t produce output for features that are too small.

  • You can see a significant difference in smoothness on top of the cube printed with the smaller nozzle. Narrower extrusion widths produce smoother and more even top surfaces.

  • Perimeter thickness is greatly increased for the same number of moves when printing with a larger nozzle. The resulting parts are significantly stronger. You can reduce the number of perimeters printed and still achieve the same wall thickness.

  • Infill is similarly thicker and stronger with larger nozzles. Less of it needs to be printed, further saving time. Not as many infill extrusions are required for the same density.

  • Corners and edges are more rounded with the larger nozzle, but not grotesquely distorted.

  • Overhangs and bridges sag more easily with larger nozzles. Heavier extrusions distort more easily.

7.2.2. Print speed¶

The relationship between nozzle size and print speeds is complex. Most slicer software provides settings for linear speed – the amount of time to move from point A to point B – but that’s only half the story. Linear speed only affects how quickly the nozzle moves. Volumetric throughput – the amount of plastic actually laid down during a move – much more.

7.2.2.1. Understanding maximum volumetric speed (hotend throughput)¶

The key to successful printing at larger sizes is understanding the limitations of your printer hardware. The hotend on your printer is the part that actually heats and melts the filament. Every hotend has a limited capacity which is expressed as the “maximum volumetric speed” or rate it can handle. If you attempt to push more filament than this through the hotend, you’ll eventually encounter a variety of problems, including:

  • Under extrusion and uneven layers.

  • Extruder click and skips.

  • Nozzle and hotend jams.

  • Increased extruder motor heat.

The E3D V6 hotend that ships with the Prusa i3 Mk3 can process (melt) PLA filament through a 0.4mm nozzle at a rate of roughly 15 mm3/s, though 11.5 mm3/s is more realistic. For more information on calculating the maximum volumetric rate you can use with your hotend and nozzle, see my notes on calibrating maximum hotend volumetric rate.

Calculating maximum volumetric rates is straightforward:

Max. Volumetric Rate = Layer Height \times Extrusion Width \times Speed

7.2.2.2. Calculating maximum safe speeds based on volumetric speed¶

Given a maximum volumetric rate, layer height, and extrusion width, we can calculate a safe maximum speed:

Max. Speed = \frac{Max. Volumetric Rate}{Layer Height \times Extrusion Width}

Now we have to adjust the relevant slicer settings. The amount of work you have to do will depend on the slicer you’re using.

7.2.2.2.1. PrusaSlicer and maximum volumetric speeds¶

PrusaSlicer has some very useful settings for throttling linear speeds without having to make repetitive minute adjustments for each printed feature type. You can enter your usual print settings based on desired print quality and PrusaSlicer will throttle speeds in the generated gcode if, and only when, necessary to keep your maximum volumetric rate within the limit you set. This allows one setting to avoid a host of problems with under-extrusion, extruder skips, and nozzle jams.

7.2.2.2.2. Calculating safe maximum linear speeds with other slicers¶

Unfortunately, we have a bit more work to do if we want to use another slicer. We want to set layer height and extrusion width based on our print needs, trading off quality for faster print times. You first need to determine the maximum hotend volumetric rate your printer can work with using a specific filament and nozzle. This will give you an approximate “red line” value that you should not exceed to avoid hardware problems. In reality, you want to reduce this – probably by half – for print quality.

Let’s use the maximum volumetric speed of the E3D V6 hotend printing PLA through a 0.4mm nozzle of 11.5 mm3/s. We can determine the maximum safe print speed using the formula:

Max. Speed = \frac{11.5 mm^3/s}{Extrusion Width \times Layer Height}

Using this formula, we can calculate safe maximum linear print speeds for common nozzle sizes. Prusa recommends a maximum linear speed of 200 mm/s for the Prusa i3 Mk3, so your maximum speeds should generally stay below that.

Todo

Add print speed calculation table data

If you want to try my experimental print parameter calculation spreadsheet, feel free to give it a try here. If you have any problems using it, please let me know using one of the contacts listed at the bottom of this page.

7.2.2.3. Smaller nozzle impacts on speed¶

A smaller nozzle diameter limits both the layer heights and maximum extrusion widths that can be printed.

  • Lower layer heights dramatically increase print time.

  • Narrower extrusion widths increase the number of perimeters that must be printed to produce a specific wall thickness. This is somewhat offset by the ability to print at faster linear speeds with smaller nozzles.

In general, smaller nozzles are great for detail, but are slow and produce more fragile parts.

For more detail on printing with small nozzles, please refer to Selecting nozzle sizes for detailed prints.

7.2.2.4. Larger nozzle impacts on speed¶

A larger nozzle diameter expands the maximum layer heights and extrusion widths that can be printed.

  • Thicker layers allow much faster printing, particularly when using single-wall vase mode prints. This is a tremendous benefit for tall prints with translucent materials.

  • Wider extrusion width means stronger walls with fewer perimeter passes. There is a penalty in much slower linear speeds are required with larger nozzles.

In general, larger nozzles are great for strong, functional parts that print quickly, but lack detail.

For more detail on printing with large nozzles, please refer to Selecting nozzle sizes for large prints.

7.2.2.5. Make it up in volume¶

You can lay down thicker lines and save having to print as many perimeters with a thicker nozzle. You have to print slower with a larger nozzle, but you’ll finish prints sooner by printing fewer perimeters.

To really get a sense for what’s going on, take a look at the extruder visualizer movement on this print using a 0.80mm nozzle at 0.48mm layer heights and 0.96mm wide extrusions:

For more detail on why printing slower with a larger nozzle may speed your prints up significantly, see my notes on speed.

7.2.3. Guidelines for printing with different nozzle sizes¶

Here are some general rules-of-thumb I’ve found reading a variety of sources:

Todo

Update with more current findings.

  • Limit extrusion widths at up to 1.2 X nozzle opening diameter. I haven’t found any suggestions for minimums, other than “close to nozzle width”. Your slicer will usually not produce output for features that are much smaller than the nozzle size.

  • Limit layer heights to between 0.25 and 0.80 X nozzle opening diameter for reliable results.

  • Keep flow rate below the E3D V6 hotend maximum of 11.5 mm3/s.

Here are some summary settings for the three most common nozzle sizes. The Prusa-provided maximum print speeds for the Prusa i3 Mk3 is 200mm/s. I have capped speeds at that rate and noted these in italics. Different layer heights are shown for each size, corresponding to the minimum and maximum recommended layer heights for each size. I’ve rounded all speeds down.

7.2.3.1. Printing with a 0.25mm Nozzle¶

At this size you can use very thin layers which will appear almost satin-like. Layer lines are nearly invisible. Small horizontal detail can be printed accurately.

Layer Height

PLA (11.5 mm3/s)

PETG (8 mm3/s)

0.06mm

200 mm/s

200 mm/s

0.10mm

200 mm/s

200 mm/s

0.15mm

200 mm/s

177 mm/s

0.20mm

191 mm/s

133 mm/s

7.2.3.2. Printing with a 0.40mm Nozzle¶

This is the default nozzle size, with a good balance of horizontal and vertical detail. Speeds remain high at typical detail layer heights.

Layer Height

PLA (11.5 mm3/s)

PETG (8 mm3/s)

0.10mm

200 mm/s

166 mm/s

0.15mm

159 mm/s

111 mm/s

0.20mm

119 mm/s

83 mm/s

0.32mm

74 mm/s

52 mm/s

7.2.3.3. Printing with a 0.60mm Nozzle¶

As you get above 0.60mm, nozzle sizes really impact speeds and layer width. Horizontal detail is largely missing, but wide extrusions and massive layer heights allow functional parts to be printed quickly. You’ll notice the extruder moving much faster.

Layer Height

PLA (11.5 mm3/s)

PETG (8 mm3/s)

0.15mm

106 mm/s

74 mm/s

0.20mm

79 mm/s

55 mm/s

0.32mm

49 mm/s

34 mm/s

0.48mm

33 mm/s

23 mm/s

7.2.3.4. Printing with a 1.00mm Nozzle¶

At larger layer heights, print lines start to look like toothpaste. The result is almost a 3D 8 bit appearance. Some have likened it to turning anti-aliasing off. Printing at this volume really isn’t practical for the Prusa i3 Mk3, but the results are certainly interesting. The extruder wheel spins like a ferris wheel when printing at this size.

Layer Height

PLA (11.5 mm3/s)

PETG (8 mm3/s)

0.32mm

29 mm/s

20 mm/s

0.48mm

19 mm/s

13 mm/s

0.64mm

14 mm/s

10 mm/s

0.80mm

11 mm/s

8 mm/s

7.2.4. Conclusions¶

If I weren’t switching back and forth between trying out miniatures and functional prints, I’d leave a 0.60mm hardened steel nozzle mounted most of the time. For a lot of prints, it’s hard to tell the difference between a 0.60mm and a 0.40mm nozzle if you use the same layer heights. You gain the flexibility of printing 0.48mm wide extrusions with 0.32mm thick. Those wider extrusions can cut down on the number of perimeters and thicker layers can reduce the number of layers that need to be printed.

In short: Use a nozzle small enough to pick up the details you want to show, but no smaller. There is no benefit to printing at a higher resolution than required, and print times suffer significantly as your reduce nozzle size. The same thinking goes for layer heights. Thin enough to show the detail, but no thinner than necessary. Don’t let using a larger nozzle keep you from using lower layer heights where it makes sense.

Contact and feedback

You can find me on the Prusa support forums or Reddit where I lurk in many of the 3D printing-related subreddits. I occasionally drop into the Official Prusa 3D discord server where I can be reached as bobstro (bobstro#9830). You can email me directly at projects@ttlexceeded.com.

Last modified Apr 2, 2021. Last build on Aug 30, 2021.


> Sours: https://projects.ttlexceeded.com/3dprinting_nozzle_sizes.html
.4 Nozzle Layer Height Comparison

Replacing the nozzle on your 3D printer is one of the quickest ways you can make a major impact to your printed parts without making expensive hardware or extensive software changes. 3D printer nozzles are available in a variety of sizes, with the most common aftermarket nozzles ranging in diameter from .2mm (thin) to .8mm (thick). For printing models with fine details or small features, using a .2mm diameter nozzle allows you to extrude very thin layers that allow the printer to replicate more accurate geometry to the original CAD or STL file. Conversely, using a .8mm nozzle allows you to extrude a thick, wide bead of filament that can create large objects in a fraction of the time of a traditional .4mm diameter nozzle. If you’ve never changed a nozzle on your printer before, there’s never been a better time than now to experiment with different sizes. If you’re interested in learning more about how to change a nozzle and when to use different sizes, be sure to check out the examples used in this article.

This guide covers:

3D Printer Nozzle Types – MK8 vs v6

The Anet ET4X ships by default with a .4mm nozzle installed on the hot end, which is the default diameter for the vast majority of consumer 3D printers. The ET4X uses a MK8-style hot end, which accepts MK8-style nozzles. The MK8 configuration is commonly seen on Bowden-style printers such as the Creality Ender 3, CR-10, and the Anet ET family of machines. This style of nozzle is slightly shorter than the v6 nozzle, which is another popular standard. When replacing the nozzle on your machine, it’s important to determine that the nozzle you are purchasing is compatible with your hot end. If the nozzle isn’t long enough to reach the heatbreak, it’s possible for filament to leak out and create a mess that can be very difficult to clean up.

3DBenchy Printed with .2mm, .4mm and .8mm Size Nozzles

Inexpensive Nozzle Sets with Different Sizes for Testing

There are many options for .2mm nozzles available for purchase by most major 3D printer manufacturers, as well as combination offerings that provide a range of different sizes for a bundled price. Because the cost of the nozzles decreases with quantity, I decided to try a set sold on Amazon that included .2mm, .3mm, .4mm, .5mm, .6mm, .8mm nozzles as well as a few tools for removing the nozzle from the hot end. For $10.99, this bundle provides a good way to test a few inexpensive nozzles to get a better idea of how changing the diameter can impact a finished part. The tools that are included (a small wrench for holding the hot end stationary and a screwdriver with a socket for removing the nozzle) are worth the price of the kit alone, as they make removing/swapping the nozzle a quick process.


3D Printer Nozzle Set For e3d v6 Heat Block: (Amazon affiliate link)
Compatible with the following 3D Printers: Select Mini, Prusa i3 MK3S, Anycubic Chiron,


3D Printer Nozzle Set For MK8 Heat Block: (Amazon affiliate link)
Compatible with the following 3D Printers: Creality CR10, Ender 3 v2, Ender 5 PRO, Ultimaker 2, Anet ET, Tevo Tornado, Anycubic i3 Mega

3D Printer Nozzle Size 0.2mm – For Small and Detailed Prints

Most 3D printers sold today ship by default with a .4mm diameter nozzle, which is a good size for general 3D printing and striking a compromise between print quality and print speed. Thanks to an explosion in growth in the 3D printer accessories market, it’s easier than ever to replace your standard .4mm nozzle with a more application-specific nozzle for creating small, finely detailed parts.

0.2 mm Nozzle Slicer Software Settings

  • Layer Height – 0.08 mm
  • First Layer Height – 0.12 mm
  • Layer/Extrusion Width – 0.15 – 0.25 mm
  • Extrusion Multiplier – Can be adjusted between 0.95 – 1.05
  • Speed – Same as with 0.4mm nozzle
  • Temperature – Same as with 0.4mm nozzle
  • Exotic Materials (Wood, PETG, TPU) and Home Made Filaments – NOT Recommended (Increased risk of nozzle clogging even with bad quality PLA)
  • Settings for desktop 3D printers such as: Creality CR10, Ender 3, Ender 5, Prusa i3 MK3S, Prusa Mini, Monoprice, Anycubic, etc.
Plunderbuss Pete 3D Printed with .2mm Thin Nozzle

To test out the 0.2mm nozzle, I decided to use the 3DBenchy model which is ideal for testing FDM printers and experimenting with hardware changes. The Benchy model includes many features that are indicative of overall print quality like steep overhangs, thin walls, and fine details. Before printing the Benchy, the first step of the process is to create a slicing profile with a .2mm nozzle, as opposed to the default profile of .4mm. For this test I used PrusaSlicer, a free and easily modifiable printer slicing software tool. Building off of my Anet ET4X profile, I designed a profile for the .2mm nozzle that printed with a .08mm layer height, which is thinner than the standard .2mm layer height most 3D printers extruder material at.

Printing Benchy Scaled to 18%

Instead of printing the Benchy at standard scale, I scaled it down to 18% of its original size. This was the smallest size I could scale to while still creating a reliable toolpath to send to the printer. At this scale, the toolpath had to be checked on a layer-by-layer basis, as the walls become so thin in areas that the printer simply doesn’t extrude material. Even at this fine resolution, the total print time for this model is right around 10 minute due to the tiny amount of extruded material.

18% Scaled Benchy 3D Printed with 0.2mm Thin Nozzle Size

The Benchy printed quickly, with most layers only taking a few seconds to print out. The first and most immediate thing I noticed was that layers all seemed to be slightly deformed; this was likely due to the speed of the printer and the material not having enough time to cool before additional layers were added. This caused some slight bulging on the thin walls and a few other noticeable defects.

Overall, the general quality of the part was impressive for a first try, and the easily modifiable PrusaSlicer software is able to be dialed in on a per-machine per-material basis.

Why Use a 0.2mm Size Nozzle?

There are a lot of reasons why you would want to use an aftermarket nozzle with a different diameter than the .4mm standard, and I think it’s important to think about your application before picking a nozzle. While the .2mm diameter nozzle is able to print very fine layers with lots of detail, it also takes a long time to print larger models and may not be ideal for large, strong parts. Using a larger nozzle, such as a .8mm diameter, is ideal for extruding material more rapidly, but the drawback is the lower level of detail. Overall, I was impressed with the level of detail I was able to capture with a .2mm nozzle, and with some experimenting and optimizing of settings I think an even finer level of detail and part quality is achievable on an FDM 3D printer.

3D Printer Nozzle Size 0.8mm – Print Large Parts Quickly

For printing large parts quickly, a .8mm diameter nozzle is an excellent tool to have in your toolbox. Increasing your print temperature, slowing your print speed, and manually previewing your sliced model are all ways that you can increase the benefits of printing with this larger diameter nozzle. Given the low cost of 3D printer nozzles, it is certainly worth experimenting with a few to find out if they are able to benefit your projects. Paired with an inexpensive printer like the Anet ET4X, you can get some very interesting and unique results without replacing the entire toolhead.

0.8 mm Nozzle Slicer Software Settings

  • Layer Height – 0.6 mm
  • First Layer Height – 0.6 mm
  • Layer/Extrusion Width – 0.6 – 1 mm
  • Extrusion Multiplier – Can be adjusted between 0.95 – 1.05
  • Speed – Lower than with 0.4mm nozzle
  • Temperature – Slightly higher than with 0.4mm nozzle
  • Exotic Materials (Wood, PETG, TPU) and Home Made Filaments – Recommended (reduced risk of nozzle clogging)
  • Settings for desktop 3D printers such as: Creality CR10, Ender 3, Ender 5, Prusa i3 MK3S, Monoprice, Anycubic, etc.

Printing with a 0.8mm nozzle requires a bit of slicer preparation and planning as opposed to printing with a standard .4mm nozzle. Using a .8mm nozzle is ideal for printing large, monotonous objects that don’t have a lot of fine details or organic curves. Due to the larger nozzle diameter, more material is extruded during the printing process than a standard nozzle printing at the same speed. For this reason, you may find it necessary to reduce your print speed when using a larger nozzle to give the material enough time to heat properly while travelling through the hot end. Printing at a higher speed can cause the extruder drive gears to chew through the material as the hot end struggles to heat the material fast enough.

XYZ Cube 0.4mm and 0.8mm Nozzle and Their Settings Results

Printing Benchy Scaled up to 580%

Similar to the test I ran with the .2mm nozzle, I wanted to test the .8mm nozzle with a Benchy to compare my results and see what I could learn from the process. I sliced the model with PrusaSlicer and I was able to increase the size of the Benchy to 580% by aligning it diagonally on the build platform. I used a .6mm layer height for this build and dialed down the speed to allow the filament to heat up properly when extruding. The first layer for this print took nearly an hour and the total build time was just over 20 hours. While printing, the extruder motor moves very quickly as it pushes material through the hot end. One of the surprising aspects of printing with such a large layer thickness is how consistent the layers look. When printing with a .2mm nozzle and using very thin layer heights such as .07mm, the smallest layer shift sticks out and is very hard to overlook. Printing at a .6mm layer height, the layers looked remarkably consistent and even, with no inconsistent extrusion present.


Printing a Benchy at 580% scale on the Anet ET5X (300x300x400mm Build Plate)

Printing in Vase Mode with a Large Nozzle

When using a .8mm nozzle, it’s also possible to utilize Vase Mode 3D Printing (also known as Spiralized Contour), where the print slicer software creates a toolpath that traces the outer contour of the model, and only prints in a single helical toolpath. This results in a continuously rising Z height throughout the model, with no layer changes to slow down the printing. The printed model has only a single shell, which is ideal for models that don’t require any physical strength and are just used for aesthetic or functional purposes. Parts printed in Vase mode tend to be delicate, but when printed using a larger layer height they can be surprisingly durable considering their light weight and thin walls.

Wood Filament and Transparent PLA Vases 3D Printed with .8mm Nozzle

3D Printing in Flexible TPU Filament with a 0.8mm Nozzle in Vase Mode

Another interesting use of the large .8mm nozzle is 3D printing flexible filament at larger layer heights to increase the amount of optical clarity in the part. An ideal flexible filament for printing with a large diameter nozzle is TPU (an acronym from ThermoPlastic polyUrethane). When printing with larger layers, the overall amount of light diffusion is lower and the part can have a more transparent and clear surface finish. This lends itself to applications where the desired outcome is a large part that can transmit light, and it needs to print quickly. An additional side benefit of these thick layers is that the overall porosity of the part is reduced, as there are fewer potential voids where fluid can leak through. A slower print speed, higher temperature, and larger layer height all combine to create layers that are tightly fused together, preventing fluid from seeping through. The amber-colored vase pictured above was able to hold water for several hours; before eventually leaking through.

3D Printing in Flexible TPU Filament with a .8mm Nozzle in Vase Mode

Read More: 3D Printer Tools & Accessories

When we bought our first printer we didn’t realize that there is a number of essential 3D printer tools and accessories to come with it. There are tools for the printing process and also for safety. Day by day we kept filling our toolbox with more essentials and now we have a neat workshop in a spare bedroom. It is important to know what’s needed in order not to overspend money. We have put together a list to give an idea of what’s required and to help find the right items.

Amazon affiliate links:

3D Printer Nozzle Set For e3d v6 Heat Block:
Compatible with the following 3D Printers: Select Mini, Prusa i3 MK3S, Anycubic Chiron,


3D Printer Nozzle Set For MK8 Heat Block:
Compatible with the following 3D Printers: Creality CR10, Ender 3 v2, Ender 5 PRO, Ultimaker 2, Anet ET, Tevo Tornado, Anycubic i3 Mega


Sours: https://3dwithus.com/3d-printer-nozzle-sizes-02mm-08mm-settings

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If you’re just getting started with 3D printing, you might not be entirely sure what layer height it is that you should print your models at.

In this article, I’ll go over what layer height is, the relationship between layer height and nozzle diameter and how they differ, since there seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding that specific topic, and I’ll cover what the best layer heights are in general, depending on the application (Print quality, strength, speed, etc.).

So, without any further ado, let’s get straight into it!

What is Layer height in 3D printing?

Layer height, also known as resolution or detail, is the height of each individual layer of extruded plastic on a 3D print. The lower the layer height, the more detailed the print will come out because more layers will need to be printed to complete the model. For example; printing a 20x20x20mm cube with a layer height of o.12mm will have 166 layers, but only 71 layers with a 0.28mm layer height.

What’s the tradeoff? Well, printing at a higher resolution, or lower layer height, increases the time it takes to print an object drastically since the printer will need to lay down twice as many layers or even more, whereas increasing the layer height will result in faster prints that have less overall detail.

Essentially, you’re trading print time for detail.

Take these two Benchy prints, for example: The left one was printed at a 0.12mm layer height and the right one at 0.32mm.

The 0.12mm benchy printed in 3:24 hours and has a total of 400 layers, the 0.32mm benchy took 1:26 hours to print and has 150 layers. That’s a pretty big drop in print time and the only difference is the layer height.

As you can see, the right benchy has a lot more visible lines. This is especially noticeable on the roof and the top of the side walls/rails as a very visible staircase effect.

Nozzle Diameters and how they affect layer height

The default nozzle diameter for most printers is 0.4 mm, but they usually range from 0.2mm all the way up to 1mm. Increasing the nozzle diameter will allow you to print at an increased layer height as well as lower the number of perimeters needed to print a wall, for example, since the perimeter itself will be wider. It’s worth noting that the layer height should never exceed 80% of the nozzle’s diameter (there’s no minimum value).

Here’s a table with the recommended maximum and minimum layer heights for each nozzle diameter. It’s worth noting that the minimum values don’t depend on the nozzle but rather on the stepper motors of your printer, which is why generally you shouldn’t go below 0.04mm (more on this in a second), but the reason there’s a minimum value is because printing with a high vertical resolution (low layer height) but with a large minimum line width (nozzle diameter) generally makes little sense.

By printing with a nozzle that has a larger diameter and increasing the layer height you are able to shave off a lot of printing time for the model, sometimes being able to print even three or four times faster.

Now, nozzle diameter and layer thickness are not the same and don’t affect the end result in the same way: Layer height affects print quality mostly on vertical or slanted parts of the print, while nozzle diameter affects the level of detail mostly on the horizontal plane, and this is because a larger diameter nozzle will print wider layers, which shouldn’t be visible vertically.

Essentially, a larger diameter nozzle lays down wider perimeters and also allows you to increase the layer height (up to 80% of the nozzle’s diameter), which results in much faster prints. The catch here is that the printing quality will be much lower than if you printed with a 0.4mm nozzle at a 0.12mm layer height, or even with smaller diameter nozzles and using an even lower layer height, but it will print much faster.

It’s worth noting that using a larger nozzle won’t affect print time when printing in “vase” mode, since it will still have to go through the exact same sequence of moves.

What’s the best Layer height for 3D printing?

For most 3D prints the ideal layer height is 0.2mm because it’s a good middle point between quality and printing speed, both for large prints as well as small and detailed ones, and the layer lines will not be too visible. Lowering the layer height will result in more detail (good for small prints) but will increase the time it takes to print an object, and vice versa.

Of course, this will depend on the needs of your print, since it’s very different to print a miniature, which requires intricate details to be printed with as high of a resolution as possible, and printing a larger, rather functional object that doesn’t need to look all that great but still work.

Best layer height for detail

The lower the layer height, the more detailed the 3D print will come out. However, this is only the case until you reach a layer height of 0.1mm, since going below this, 0.05mm for example, won’t yield any visible increase in quality. For most everyday prints that need a really high resolution, going with 0.12mm seems to be the sweet spot.

It’s worth keeping in mind that printing at 0.12mm instead of the standard 0.2mm will increase the print time by quite a lot as well, which is why you’ll need to ask yourself if that increase in detail is really worth the extra time.

I generally print at 0.12mm when I want to achieve a nice smooth- and detailed finish, and at that point the layers are barely visible.

Best layer height for strength

Generally, a layer height of 0.1mm up to 0.15mm yields the strongest results and going below or above these values will drastically reduce a print’s strength. It’s worth noting that nozzle diameter also plays an important role, since one with a large diameter printed at a low layer height will provide the widest contact surface area, resulting in an overall stronger layer adhesion.

A study was conducted to determine how different layer heights and nozzle diameters would affect print strength. They tested 0.4mm, 0.6mm, and 0.8mm nozzles and varying layer heights and got to the conclusion that the more you increase the layer height the weaker the part becomes, in fact, from minimum to maximum layer height there was a strength difference of about 3.5 times.

As you can see in this image, nozzle diameter plays a major role since printing with a larger-diameter nozzle but at a low layer height will provide a wider contact surface area for each layer to adhere to the previous one, resulting in an overall stronger bond and therefore, a stronger 3D print.

Consider Layer orientation

An object that needs to withstand a force, like a hook for instance, where there’s consistent traction in the same direction, should be printed in such a way that the layer lines are in-line with the force that’s going to be applied on it.

If you print it vertically, then the layer lines will be horizontal, which means that the hook will only be able to withstand as much force as the layer adhesion allows.

On the other hand, printing it on its side means that the layer lines are in-line with the force that the hook will be subjected to and this increases its strength two times, or even more.

Here’s a video by CNC Kitchen that goes into extreme detail and I highly recommend you watch it if you want to see the difference in strength between different layer heights and layer orientation.

Additionally, the infill pattern also has some major implications on a part’s strength, and depending on what it’s going to be used for, you should use a different pattern.

Best layer height for speed

Print speed and layer height are inversely proportional; The thicker the layer height the faster the print time, and the thinner the layer height the slower the print speed. For example, using the standard 0.4mm nozzle, printing at both 0.32mm and 0.1mm layer heights is possible and printing a 20x20x20mm cube will take 18min and 59min respectively.

If you want to print as fast as possible, then you should use the largest nozzle with the thickest layer height possible. This will cut down the time it takes to print a part dramatically at the cost of lower detail.

For most people using the standard 0.4mm nozzle, printing at 0.28mm or 0.32mm should be the maximum layer height to print an object with. From there on out, the only way of increasing the speed, aside from adjusting some settings in the slicer, is swapping your current nozzle with a larger-diameter one.

Best Layer height for prototyping

Prototyping needs to be fast considering that the printed parts won’t be the final product. Layer height is not the only important factor; so is the nozzle diameter, infill percentage and the print speed settings in the slicer.

In general, you’ll want to use as large of a nozzle as you can, use as little infill as possible (use cubic infill if possible since it’s a 3D infill that’s strong in every direction), the thickest layer height and the fastest printing settings.

It’s worth noting that when you increase the print speed, you may run into a couple issues; The previous layers might not have solidified properly, you may get a lot of ringing and ghosting, bad dimensional accuracy, and more.

The speed settings will vary for you depending on what printer you have, but setting the perimeter speed to 100mm/s and infill to about 200-250mm/s should be a good start and reduce the print time drastically.

How much does Layer Height matter?

Increasing the layer height results in a faster print because the printer doesn’t need to lay down as many layers to achieve the same height, but the resolution and quality will be decreased due to the thicker layers. To achieve a smooth-looking and detailed print, a lower layer height is recommended.

If you go back to the two benchy prints I linked earlier, you can clearly see the infill lines on the one printed at 0.32mm, while on the 0.12mm benchy those lines are barely visible. Where it’s most apparent, however, is on the roof and the Rails/side walls of the benchy, since there’s a clear staircase effect.

The more you lower the layer height, the less obvious those layer lines will be and any staircasing effect will be much less apparent, however, increasing the resolution will result in longer print times, and there comes a point when lowering the layer height even further won’t yield any significant improvements in quality, but the print time will be increased by a lot.

In general, 0.12mm or 0.1mm are enough to produce extremely detailed results. Any lower than this and you’re just trading time for marginal quality improvements, if any.

3D Printing Layer Height Calculator

Prusa developed an Optimal Layer height calculator that lets you select a layer height where your Z axis moves only in full step increments. Z axis isn’t usually enabled during inactivity. If the axis is disabled during micro-step, the axis jumps to the closest full step and introduces an error.

This is most useful to machines with imperial leadscrews but also for unusual layer heights with metric leadscrews.

Just introduce some parameters and it will give you the ideal layer height.

Ender 3 stepper motor magic numbers

Layer height can be broken down into “magic numbers”. These magic numbers are essentially the layer heights that work best on a particular printer.

For the Ender 3 models, the magic numbers are in increments of 0.04 mm because the threaded rod lifts 8mm per one revolution, and it does this in 200 steps (per revolution).

Divide those 8mm by 200 and we get to the magic number of 0.04mm per step.

You want to stay on that magic number because then the printer is at the same position relative to each step when moving up, and this will increase the quality of your prints because the printer will be consistent in how it’s moving up.

Once you know the magic number you can do variations of it, such as:

  • 0.24 mm
  • 0.20 mm
  • 0.16 mm
  • 0.12 mm
  • 0.08 mm

Previously, you had to set these up manually on your Slicer since the standard settings would set the layer heights to 0.1mm, 0.15mm, etc. and none of those are multiples or 0.04mm.

Now most slicers, such as Cura in its newer version, have different layer heights that are consistent with this “magic number”, such as 0.12mm for fine detail or 0.28mm for coarse detail, and all of these work perfectly well with any Ender 3 machine (as well as any printer that moves at 0.04mm per step).

Issues associated with different Layer Heights

Like I previously mentioned, printing with a large nozzle and thick layers will result in an increase in printing speed, but the model will look pretty bad and might not be as strong since the layers of plastic don’t have as much contact surface to adhere to each other.

On the other hand, going with extremely thin layers, such as 0.05mm, may result in a loss of quality and various imperfections on your print, as well as an incredibly long print time for even the tiniest of objects.

If you decide to print at a really high resolution (low layer height), unless you get the bed leveled to perfection, you might find that your prints won’t really stick to it.

In this case, I’d recommend printing a larger first layer to get the print to stick to the bed strongly, and then set the following layers to print at the desired layer height.

Conclusion

There is no “one size fits all” layer height since you want to adjust it depending on what you are printing.

If you’re designing something yourself, prototyping, etc., and you need to print various iterations before the final product is ready, print at 0.28mm (if you have a 0.4mm nozzle). This will ensure that the print comes out fast and is still functional while still looking pretty good.

Once you’re ready to print the final design, you may lower the layer height.

In general, I’d recommend sticking to 0.2mm since this seems to be where the sweet spot is for most 3D prints, both in terms of quality and speed.

I hope this information was useful!

Have a great day!

Frequently Asked Questions

best layer height for .4 nozzle

0.2mm is the ideal layer height for a 0.4mm nozzle since it allows for a relatively fast print time while still remaining a high printing quality. It’s worth noting that, technically, there is no minimum layer height since nozzle size only affects the maximum allowed layer height.

best layer height for .6 nozzle

0.3mm is the ideal layer height for a 0.6mm nozzle since it provides the best balance between quality and print time. It’s worth noting that, technically, there is no minimum layer height since nozzle size only affects the maximum allowed layer height.

best layer height for .8 nozzle

0.4mm is the ideal layer height for a 0.8mm nozzle since it provides the best balance between quality and print time. If faster print times are required, then 0.5mm will yield a much faster print while still having a fairly similar quality as 0.4mm.

best layer height for Ender 3

The Ender 3 layer height should be set in multiples of 0.04mm since that’s how much the motor moves the nozzle with each step, and this means that it should be set at any of the multiples of 0.04mm, such as 0.08mm, 0.12mm, 0.16mm, 0.2mm, etc.

Sours: https://3dsolved.com/best-layer-height-for-3d-printing/


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