How to Get the Perfect Print Cooling & Fan Settings for Your 3D Printer

In 3D printing, every little setting makes a big difference. One of those settings that is often ignored, especially if you’re just starting out, is cooling. It is one of the most important settings in your printing process. When the cooling is just right,your prints come out looking sharp and clean. 

But, if you ignore the proper cooling, oh boy, you are in trouble! Your prints might come out warped, or they might not even stick properly. It’s like baking a cake but forgetting to grease the pan. You’ll end up with a mess! In this article, I’m going to be your guide and provide you in-depth knowledge of cooling and how you can improve it.

How to Get the Perfect Print Cooling & Fan Settings

Getting the right cooling is important for getting good-quality prints. For PLA, aim for 100% fan speed after the first few layers; ABS prefers minimal to no fan; PETG likes a gentle 40-50% fan speed; TPU and Nylon do well with 50% fan speed. And make sure there is a proper airflow from all directions around the nozzle.

Material-Specific Cooling Settings

PLA

When you’re printing with PLA, getting the temperature right is important. You’ll want to have your nozzle at a temperature of around 190-220°C, and it’s a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended temperature range for your specific filament​.

Now, let’s talk about cooling. PLA likes it cool. It tends to solidify quickly but also melts quickly, which can sometimes lead to uneven printing. So, having a cooling fan at 100% after 1 or 2 initial layers is a good idea to keep the temperature consistent and ensure even printing.

ABS

Now, ABS is a bit different from PLA. It’s like the hot chocolate of printing materials – it likes to stay warm. The ideal nozzle temperature is around 240°C, and the bed should be heated to about 80°C​. 

Cooling is tricky with ABS. It doesn’t like to be cooled down quickly; otherwise, it might warp. So, you might want to go easy on the cooling fan or even turn it off. ABS should be a cooldown slowly otherwise, layers might break if print is thin or it might wrap.

PETG

PETG is like the middle child. It needs a balance. Nozzle temperature should be about 230-250°C and a bed temperature of 70-80°C. When it comes to cooling, a gentle 40-50% fan speed should be enough for PETG as its much like PLA in terms printing convenience and have toughness of ABS

TPU

TPU is a flexible filament. The nozzle temperature should be around 220-250°C with a bed temperature of 60-80°C. Cooling is important to help it hold its shape as it prints, so a 50% fan speed is usually a good starting point. Or I would recommend doing a little bit of testing at different fan speeds to check what speed suits your TPU.

Nylon

Nylon likes to stay warm, so a nozzle temperature of around 250-270°C and a bed temperature of 70-100°C is ideal. Cooling needs to be controlled, not too harsh. A good fan speed of around 30-50% should do the job without any problem.

Each of these materials has its own properties when it comes to cooling. Understanding what they like and adjusting your settings accordingly is important to get perfect prints.

Cooling Settings in Slicer Softwares

When it comes to slicing software for 3D printing, both PrusaSlicer and Cura are popular  among hobbyists and professionals due to the user -friendly interface and they offer a wide range of settings to tweak and give you full control over the gcode and make sures that your print comes out just the way you want it. 

When it comes to slicing software for 3D printing, both PrusaSlicer and Cura are popular among hobbyists and professionals due to their user-friendly interface. They offer a wide range of settings to tweak and give you full control over the gcode. This ensures that your print comes out just the way you want it. 

Cooling settings in PrusaSlicer

In PrusaSlicer, the cooling settings are quite simple and easy to access. It lets you adjust the cooling settings for each filament type. There’s a nifty option called “Keep fan always on” which will make sure the print fan maintains at least a minimum speed throughout the print. 

This setting is typically turned on for most materials except for a few like ABS, PC, and some flexibles where cooling needs to be controlled​​.

Under the Filament Settings tab, you can set the specific settings for the filament like temperatures and cooling, making it a breeze to set up your cooling settings for different materials​.

Cooling settings in Cura

Cura is known for its super user-friendly and easy to use interface that comes with. extensive. customization options. Just like in PrusaSlicer, you would find settings to adjust the fan speed according to the material you are printing with. 

You can set a different fan speed for the initial layer to get good bed adhesion, and then ramp it up for the rest of the print to cool the material properly as it lays down.

Both slicers provide complete control of your cooling settings, making sure that each layer of your print gets the cooling it needs to solidify properly before the next layer comes in.

Fan Upgrades for efficient cooling(For Ender 3/3V2)

Upgrading the fans on your Ender 3 or 3 V2 can make a world of difference in the performance and the noise level of your printer as the stock cooling system comes with a weak part cooling fan and blower. & blower only blows air from oneside which leads to inadequate cooling of the filament.

Upgrading the fan on your Ender 3 or 3 V2 can make a huge difference in the performance and the noise level of your printer, as the preinstalled cooling system comes with a low-quality cooling fan and blower. Also, the blower only blows air from one side which leads to inadequate cooling of the filament.

Here are some top picks for fan upgrades:

SoundOriginal 5015: This fan is a stellar choice if you’re looking to beef up the cooling on your Ender 3. It’s a blower fan, which means it can push a good amount of air to keep your prints cool as your printer prints.

Noctua Fans (NF-A4x10 FLX & NF-A4x20 FLX): Noctua fans are the silent fans of the 3D printing world. They operate quietly, make sure that your printer stays cool without adding to the noise pollution in your space​​​ and they’re much more powerful than a stock fan.

Cooling Mods

Sometimes, a fan upgrade might not be enough, and you’d need to modify the cooling system a bit to get the desired results. Satsana Ender 3 Fan Duct is a neat and compact fan duct for ender 3 that directs the airflow exactly where it’s needed. 

By upgrading the Ender 3 part cooling fan with a new fan and a 3D printed cooling duct. You can have the airflow optimized for better cooling​​.

Upgrading the fans and printing fan ducts not only gives you good printing quality but the silence that comes with a good fan upgrade is more than anything, and the improved cooling performance is just the cherry on top.

Cooling Problems and Solutions

Some of the issues with cooling and fan settings are listed below:

Rapid Cooling

Rapid cooling is like giving your print a cold shower. Some materials, like ABS, don’t appreciate it and might warp or crack. The solution? Slowing down the cooling speed or even turning off the fan for materials like ABS​ would be the best option.

Slow Cooling

On the flip side, slow cooling for materials like PLA could lead to sagging or drooping, especially overhangs and bridges. It’s like waiting for ice cream to melt on a hot day. Speeding up the fan speed to make sure a quicker cooling that helps retain the shape of your print​.

Inconsistent Cooling:

Imagine this, one side of your print is cooling faster than the other. It’s a good path for warping or curling. Make sure your fan is positioned to provide even cooling all around, or consider upgrading to a fan and fan duct with better airflow.

First Layer Cooling:

The first layer is the foundation of your print. Too much cooling, and it might not stick well to the bed. Too little, and it could end up into a mess or a failed print. You will need to find a good balance. Try reducing the fan speed or even turning it off for the first layer, then slowly increasing it as the print progresses​.

Cooling on Ender 3:

If you’re a Ender 3/3V2 user, you might notice that the stock cooling fan doesn’t cool properly, especially for overhangs and bridges. Consider upgrading to a more powerful fan or even a dual fan setup for better cooling performance. 

Satsana Ender 3 Fan Duct could be good fan duct upgrade for your ender /3V2 as it cools the filament from both sides and you can use more powerful fan like SoundOriginal 5015 as blower fan and  Evercool EC4010 blower fans as a part cooling fan.

Conclusion

I hope you got the ins and outs of cooling in 3D printing. It’s pretty clear now, right? Cooling isn’t just about fans blowing air; it’s about getting that sweet spot where your prints come out just perfect.  

We’ve looked at how different materials are like different cooling properties as each needs its own specific fan speed when it comes to cooling. And hey, if you’re using Ender 3, now you know how to upgrade it up for better cooling. & at the edIt’s all about tweaking a few settings here and you’re on your way to getting good quality prints.

We saw how different materials require different cooling properties, as each needs its own specific fan speed when it comes to cooling.  In the end, it’s all about tweaking a few settings here and there that set up your printer for good-quality prints. And if you’re using Ender 3, now you know how to upgrade it for better cooling.

FAQ

What is the best cooling setting for PLA?

  • For PLA, it’s good to have your fan on, especially after the first few layers. A fan speed of around 50% to 100% usually works well. But it’s always good to test different settings on your printer as each printer may behave slightly differently.

How can I improve my 3D printer cooling?

  • You can improve your 3D printer cooling by upgrading your fan, using a cooling duct to direct airflow, or tweaking the fan speed settings in your slicer software. For Ender 3 users, various modifications like dual fan setups or voltage adaptations for quieter fans can also be beneficial.

Should the fan be on when 3D printing?

  • Yes, having the fan on can help in cooling the material as it’s being laid down, especially for PLA. But for materials like ABS, you might want to turn the fan off or keep it at a low speed to prevent warping.

Should I enable print cooling for PLA?

  • Yes absolutely! Enabling print cooling for PLA helps in achieving better print quality by preventing warping and helping with overhangs and bridges.

What is the best fan speed for 3D printing?

  • The best fan speed varies depending on the material and the printer. For PLA, a fan speed between 50% to 100% is often recommended, while for ABS, a lower fan speed or even turning the fan off might be better. Experiment with different speeds to find what works best for your setup.

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