Considering that the optimal slicer settings depend on many variables, including factors such as the specifications of the 3D printer you’re using, the purpose of the model you’re printing, the filament you’re using, and more, there is a lot of effort that goes into getting the configuration right, especially if you are setting up for the first time.
While ensuring that every single parameter is finely-tuned will always yield significant benefits for your prints, it’s also worth keeping in mind that some parameters impact the print way more than others, making it essential to get these parameters correctly as the first order of business.
In today’s article, we will be analyzing the process of calculating and configuring the wall thickness value, which is essentially one of the most significant parameters due to its direct impact on the strength and the looks of a model, as optimally as possible for an Ender 3 printer.
So, what is the optimal wall thickness value for the Ender 3?
While the optimal wall thickness value primarily depends on the model’s purpose, for a standard model with the stock 0.4 mm nozzle of the Ender 3, we can consider a wall thickness value of 1.2 or 1.6 millimeters to be suitable, which equals 3 to 4 walls with a standard line width value of 0.4 mm.
Moving forward, we will dive deeper into finding the optimal wall thickness value for the Ender 3, find out the minimum wall thickness value that the Ender 3 can handle, and go through how to configure the wall thickness value in Cura.
What Is the Optimal Wall Thickness Value for the Ender 3 (Pro/V2)?
Finding the wall thickness value that will be optimal for your prints is vital to ensure that your model will turn out strong enough and also look high-quality, making it one of the most significant parameters that you should configure before moving on to the printing process.
To find the optimal wall thickness value for the Ender 3, we will have to make some assumptions to start with, as this value dramatically varies depending on many factors, ranging from the nozzle size of your Ender 3 to the purpose of the model you will be printing.
Considering that you are printing a very standard model that won’t be under the circumstances such as heavy physical tension, we can consider 3 to 4 wall lines to be sufficient to make the model durable, which will be our first assumption.
Our following assumption is that your Ender 3 still has the stock nozzle attached, which has a diameter of 0.4 millimeters. With that information in mind, we can say the line width value you should use in such a case falls between 0.4 to 0.48 millimeters, which corresponds to 100% to 120% of the nozzle size.
Now that we have the figures at hand based on our assumptions, it’s a good time to mention the last piece of information we need, which is that the thickness of a single wall line always equals the wall line width value.
With a wall line width of 0.4 to 0.48 millimeters and a wall line count of 3 to 4, we can find out the optimal wall thickness for the Ender 3 to be somewhere in the range of 1.2 mm to 1.92 mm for a standard print that doesn’t require any extra durability.
Please note that this calculation is purely based on assumptions and averages and won’t apply to cases where you specifically require your model to have extra durability or no walls for various reasons, as wall thickness is a highly customizable parameter with no correct figure that applies to all cases.
What Is the Minimum Wall Thickness Value the Ender 3 (Pro/V2) Can Utilize?
The minimum wall thickness value a 3D printer can handle is something to keep in mind when determining the wall thickness you will be using, as going for a value that is lower than this won’t have an effect due to it being rounded up to the minimum value.
Considering that the thickness of each wall line is equal to the wall line width value (which equals the line width value unless you specifically modify it), the minimum wall thickness value you can use equals the wall line width you’re using.
On top of that, let’s also add that the line width (or wall line width) value should optimally be between 100% and 120%, and should never be below 60% of the nozzle size of the 3D printer, meaning that the minimum wall line width you can use with the stock 0.4 mm nozzle of the Ender 3 is 0.24 mm.
With these two pieces of information combined, we can say that the minimum wall thickness value you can utilize while printing with your Ender 3 is 0.24 millimeters, which would print a single wall line, provided that you haven’t changed the nozzle.
It’s also worth noting that you can technically use a wall thickness value of 0, resulting in your Ender 3 not printing any walls.
How to Configure the Wall Thickness Value of an Ender 3 (Pro/V2) with Cura?
Configuring the wall thickness parameter for your Ender 3 in Cura is a pretty straightforward process that won’t take more than a few seconds of your time once you are done with the process of determining the value you would like to use.
Below is a step-by-step guide you can use to configure the wall thickness value of your Ender 3 in Cura:
- Navigate to the Prepare tab of Cura.
- Click the pane on the right to bring up Print Settings.
- Click the Custom button if you see it; else, skip this step.
- Type “wall thickness” into the search input and press Enter.
- Fill the wall thickness input with the value of your choice.
Please note that the Wall Line Count parameter will automatically change due to changing the wall thickness, which is intended as the multiplication of Wall Line Count, and Wall Line Width should always equal the wall thickness value.
Correctly configuring the wall thickness parameter is, without a doubt, one of the pillars of obtaining high-quality models as a result of the 3D printing process, as it has a drastic impact on both the strength and the aesthetics of the model you’re printing.
To quickly recap, considering that 3 to 4 wall lines are suitable for a typical 3D printed model, the optimal wall thickness value would be 1.2 mm or 1.6 mm as long as you’re using the standard 0.4 mm nozzle of your Ender 3 with the corresponding line width value of 0.4 mm.
On the other hand, as wall thickness (or the number of wall lines) is a value that significantly impacts factors such as the water tightness and the durability of your 3D printed model, you should feel free to increase it for models with functional purposes that require higher levels of tolerance.
Mike started his 3D printing journey with the Anet A8 when it first came out back in 2017, and has been obsessed with 3D printers ever since. Nowadays, he primarily uses his Ender 3 to print functional parts that make his life more convenient whenever possible.