What is the Best Nozzle for 3D Printing? Ender 3, PLA & More
Choosing the best nozzle for your 3D printer is something that people want to get perfect, but what does it mean to get the best nozzle for 3D printing?
The best nozzle for 3D printing is a 0.4mm brass nozzle due to the balance of printing speed and print quality. Brass is great for thermal conductivity, so it transfers heat more efficiently. Smaller nozzles are great for print quality, while larger nozzles are great for speeding up prints.
There are more details that you’ll want to know when it comes to choosing the best nozzle for 3D printing, so stick around to find out more on this topic.
What is the Best Nozzle Size/Diameter for 3D Printing?
Generally speaking, we have 5 different nozzles sizes that you’ll find in the 3D printing industry:
There are sizes in between there like 0.25mm and whatnot, but you don’t see those very often so let’s talk about the more popular ones.
With each nozzle size, there are distinct advantages and disadvantages to gain. These really do depend on what your goals and projects are with the objects you are printing.
For example, when it came to responding to the pandemic with mask accessories, clips and other things, speed was of the essence. People designed their objects with speed in mind, and this meant using nozzles of a larger size.
Although you may think people would go straight with a 1.0mm nozzle, they also had to balance the quality of the objects since we want them to follow certain standards and procedures for safety.
Some of the most popular designs called for nozzles that used nozzles with 0.4-0.8mm diameters. This meant you could produce some sturdy, good quality models, still with good timing.
When it comes to printing that miniature or the full bust of a character or famous figure, you’ll ideally want to use a nozzle diameter on the lower end, like a 0.1-0.4mm nozzle.
Generally speaking, you want a small nozzle diameter when details and overall quality is important, and printing time isn’t of the essence.
You want a larger nozzle when speed is the most important factor, and you don’t require a high level of quality in your prints.
There are other factors such as durability, strength, and gaps in the print, but these can be addressed in other ways.
Supports are a lot easier to remove when you use a smaller nozzle diameter since it creates thinner lines of extruded filament, but this also leads to lower strength in your prints for the most part.
Are 3D Printer Nozzles Universal or Interchangeable
3D printer nozzles are not universal or interchangeable because there are different thread sizes that will fit one 3D printer, but not on another. The most popular thread is the M6 thread, which you’ll see in Creality 3D printers, Prusa, Anet and others. You can use the E3D V6 since it is an M6 thread, but not M7.
I wrote an article about the differences on MK6 Vs MK8 Vs MK10 Vs E3D V6 – Differences & Compatibility which goes into some nice depth regarding this topic.
You can use many 3D printer nozzles with different printers as long as they have the same threading, tending to either be an M6 or M7 threading.
MK6, MK8, and E3D V6 nozzles all have M6 threading, so these are interchangeable, but M7 threading goes with MK10 nozzles which are separate.
Best Nozzle for PLA, ABS, PETG, TPU & Carbon Fiber Filament
Best Nozzle for PLA Filament
For PLA, most people stick with a 0.4mm brass nozzle for the best thermal conductivity, as well as a balance for speed and quality. You can still reduce your layer height right down to around 0.1mm which produces amazing quality 3D prints
Best Nozzle for ABS Filament
A 0.4mm brass nozzle works amazing for ABS since it heats up adequately, and can handle the low-abrasiveness of the material.
Best Nozzle for PETG Filament
PETG prints similarly to PLA and ABS, so it also prints best with a 0.4mm brass nozzle. When it comes to 3D printing with items that come into contact with food, you’ll want to opt-in for a stainless steel nozzle, along with food-safe PETG.
Not all PETG is made the same, so make sure it has some good certification behind it.
Best Nozzle for TPU Filament
Generally speaking, the larger the nozzle size or diameter, the easier TPU will be to 3D print. The main factor that determines success with printing TPU though is the extruder, and how tightly it feed filament through the system.
A brass 0.4mm nozzle will do just fine for TPU filament.
The shorter the distance that the flexible filament has to travel, the better, which is why Direct Drive extruders are seen as the ideal setups for TPU.
Best Nozzle for Carbon Fiber Filament
You want to use a wide enough nozzle diameter to ensure your nozzle doesn’t get clogged, because carbon fiber is a more abrasive material.
On top of this, you ideally want to use a hardened steel nozzle since it can withstand the same abrasiveness compared to a brass nozzle. Many people who 3D print Carbon Fiber filament will use a 0.6-0.8mm hardened or stainless steel nozzle for idea results.
The Creality Hardened Tungsten Steel MK8 Nozzle Set from Amazon, which comes with 5 nozzles (0.2mm, 0.3mm, 0.4mm, 0.5mm, 0.6mm).
Best Nozzle for Ender 3, Prusa, Anet – Replacement/Upgrade
Whether you are looking at your Ender 3 Pro, Ender 3 V2, Anet, or Prusa 3D printer, you might be wondering which nozzle is the best.
Brass nozzles are the best overall nozzles for 3D printers because they transfer heat so well compared to stainless steel, hardened steel, tungsten or even copper plated nozzles out there.
The difference is where you get the nozzle from in terms of the brand, since not all nozzles are made equal.
From doing some research, a great set of nozzles you’ll be happy with is the LUTER 24-Piece MK8 Extruder Nozzle Set from Amazon, perfect for Ender and Prusa I3 3D printers.
You get a set of:
- x2 0.2mm
- x2 0.3mm
- x12 0.4mm
- x2 0.5mm
- x2 0.6mm
- x2 0.8mm
- x2 1.0mm
- A plastic storage box for your nozzles