While you can purchase a 3D printer and use it as is without any problems, there is no denying that modding is a vital part of 3D printing with the many benefits and the flexibility it offers, making it possible to replace particular parts of your 3D printer for improvements without having to purchase a whole new device.
In such a scenario, it’s worth mentioning that a vital point to remember is that making the necessary software adjustments to your 3D printer is essential for the new hardware to perform correctly, as your 3D printer’s firmware won’t automatically be able to know that you have made modifications to the hardware.
In today’s article, we will talk about configuring the print settings in Cura explicitly for a 1 mm nozzle as optimally as possible with the purpose of achieving the best results attainable, which can be challenging due to the sharp differences that using such a large nozzle brings to the table.
So, what are the optimal Cura settings for a 1 mm nozzle?
Below, we have listed the Cura parameters that will require or see change as a result of switching to a 1 mm nozzle from a different nozzle size and the optimal values that we recommend using for each parameter:
- Line Width – 1 mm
- Layer Height – 0.46 mm
- Wall Thickness & Line Count – Auto-adjusted based on Line Width
- Top/Bottom Layer Thickness & Count – Auto-adjusted based on Layer Height
- Coasting – Volume: 1 mm^3 | Minimum Volume: 2 mm^3 | Speed: 90%
Next up, we will discuss each setting and how you should configure it for a 1 mm nozzle in greater detail, find out how to perform configuration explicitly for a 1 mm nozzle in Cura, and finally, go through the advantages that 3D printing with a 1 mm nozzle bring.
What Are the Optimal Cura Settings for a 1 mm Nozzle?
Since the amount of filament that the extruder needs to push to supply a 1 mm nozzle is much higher than what a standard 0.4 mm nozzle requires, which is what we assume you’re switching from, it’s essential to re-configure the print settings specifically to accommodate the difference.
Here are the Cura parameters that will require configuration (or be auto-configured) upon switching to a 1 mm nozzle, along with explanations and the values that we recommend:
- Line Width – The rule of thumb for configuring line width is for the value to be between 100% and 120% of the nozzle size. We recommend using an equal line width value to the nozzle size, which is 1 millimeter.
- Layer Height – The formula for finding the optimal layer height value is: nozzle size * 0.75 > layer height > nozzle size * 0.25, meaning that the value should fall between 0.25 and 0.75. As larger values mean reduced print time, and lower values mean increased quality, we recommend going for a 0.46 mm layer height value to strike a balance.
- Wall Thickness & Line Count – Since Cura will automatically adjust the wall thickness value based on the line width value (multiplying line width by wall line count always equals wall thickness), you can keep the standard wall line count (2-4) here.
- Top/Bottom Layer Thickness & Count – Since Cura will automatically adjust the top/bottom layer thickness value based on the layer height value (multiplying layer height by top/bottom layer count equals top/bottom layer thickness), you can keep the standard top/bottom layer thickness (4-5) here.
- Coasting – For coasting, we will be following Cura’s recommendations, which is to set the Coasting Volume to the nozzle diameter cubed (1 mm^3), and the Minimum Volume Before coasting to be larger than the Coasting Volume (2 mm^3 will do). For speed, using Cura’s default 90% will do the job.
Since increasing the nozzle size will increase the amount of filament that flows at any given time by a drastic amount, re-configuring values such as the nozzle temperature (higher) and the print speed (lower) will also become necessary, but as such parameters are also filament-dependent, we have excluded them from the list.
How to Configure Cura Settings Specifically for a 1 mm Nozzle?
After you have all the correct values in their places, the next step is to permanently save the configuration in a separate profile that you can load whenever you plan on using the 1 mm nozzle, which will allow you to switch between sizes whenever necessary.
Below, you can find a step-by-step guide for configuring Cura settings specifically for a 1 mm nozzle:
- Click the Prepare tab.
- Click the middle pane to be able to modify the nozzle size.
- Click the Nozzle Size dropdown, and choose 1 mm nozzle size.
- Click the pane on the right for print settings.
- Click the Custom button if visible. Else, skip this step.
- Configure the print settings with the values you would like to use for 1 mm nozzle size.
- Click the Profile dropdown menu, and select “Create profile from the current settings/overrides.”
- Save the new profile with a custom name.
Now that the configuration is saved and ready to go, you will be able to find it with the name you have specified in the Profile dropdown when you activate the 1 mm nozzle size in Cura and switch to it whenever necessary.
What Are the Advantages of Using a 1 mm Nozzle for 3D Printing?
While using a larger nozzle size, such as 1 mm, is definitely far from the standard size of 0.4 mm, it does bring some vital advantages to the table in particular cases that can specifically benefit from it.
The most glaring advantage that comes with using a larger nozzle size, such as a 1-millimeter nozzle, is a drastic decrease in the time required for your 3D model to be printed, as the amount of filament that flows through the nozzle at any given time will be so much more compared to a more standard nozzle size, such as 0.4 mm.
That being said, using a 1 mm nozzle is not without disadvantages either, as the quality and the details of the 3D printed models you print will take a severe hit from such a change, and supports that are printed with such a large nozzle will be much harder to remove.
As 1 mm is one of the least used nozzle sizes that you can encounter in 3D printing, finding the correct settings that will present the best results can be slightly more challenging due to the lack of information available and require you to carry out a more extensive testing procedure for fine-tuning.
To quickly recap, there are Cura parameters that are directly related to the size of the nozzle that will require changing (or be automatically adjusted), such as layer height, line width, wall thickness & count, top/bottom layer thickness & count, and if enabled, coasting before you can print with a 1-millimeter nozzle.
While the values we have provided should act as a balanced baseline, fine-tuning the parameters can come down to many factors, such as the purpose of the 3D model you are printing and the filament you’re using, which is why we highly recommend experimenting before committing to a full print.