Master 3D Print Cooling: Unlock Perfect Fan Settings Secrets!

Hey, tech enthusiasts! Dive right into the core of your 3D printing machine! Ever tinkered with the settings on your slicer and stumbled upon those intriguing cooling or fan configurations? Oh boy, those can be game-changers for the final outcomes of your 3D models. If you’re scratching your head over the optimal fan velocity, hold tight, as I’ll whisk you away on a tour of perfect fan settings, be it for PLA, ABS, PETG, or more. Buckle up, because here’s where you’ll find some top-notch advice on fan settings!


So, let’s debunk a myth: the video by CH3P unveils that 3D printing without a cooling fan isn’t impossible! Yep, it’s true. But before you jump the gun, remember this: devoid of cooling, you might miss out on the pinnacles of printing excellence, especially for specific designs. So, which 3D Printing materials scream for a cooling fan? Here’s a comprehensive list:

– PLA and Cooling Fans? Absolutely! Cooling fans elevate the quality of PLA prints. Those snazzy fan ducts or shrouds, directing air to your PLA bits, can be magic wands for achieving precise overhangs, better bridging, and enhanced detailing. My hot tip? Crank up high-grade cooling fans to 100% for those mesmerizing PLA outcomes. But remember, your slicer might keep that fan on standby during the initial layers for stronger attachment to the printing bed. Cooling and PLA are like cookies and milk; one helps the other settle to achieve perfection. Cooling ensures the molten filament sets well, providing a sturdy base for subsequent layers.

With the right cooling, your intricate 3D prints will come alive, showcasing magnificent overhangs and bridges. The 3D printing community on Thingiverse is brimming with cool FanDuct Designs tailored for your 3D printers. These connectors, though seemingly simple, can revolutionize your print results. Looking for consistency and avoiding warps in your PLA pieces? A 100% fan speed in Cura is your trusty sidekick. But be wary, PLA sans cooling could end in disappointment. Slower fan speeds might beef up the strength of your PLA outputs.

– ABS and Cooling Fans? Not really. Switching on cooling fans with ABS might just lead to printing mishaps, thanks to the unforeseen warps from swift temperature alterations. Keep those fans restrained at 20-30% for ABS prints. Unless, of course, you’ve cocooned your printer in an enclosure with a balmy ambient temperature. A printer like Zortrax M200, specially crafted for ABS filament, indeed has cooling fans. But mastering it requires a bit of strategy. With a tailored setup, fans can be wizards for overhangs or layers with limited cooling time. Distributing your ABS prints across the printing bed can grant them additional cooling time. Another ace up your sleeve? Tweak the printing speed or set a ‘Minimum Layer Time’ in your slicer, like Cura, which by default gives a 10-second breather and prompts the printer to relax a bit.

Fan speeds for ABS? Try the minimalist approach – either 0% or a humble 30% for overhangs. This tactic minimizes the dreaded warping, a frequent ABS issue.

– PETG and Cooling Fans? Nah! PETG is pretty independent and thrives with fans off or, at most, at 50%. PETG is like that delicate porcelain – it needs gentle handling, not squishing on the plate. Cooling it down hastily during extrusion might compromise layer cohesion. A fan speed between 10-30% is typically ideal. But remember, the fan speed that works wonders for me might be different for you. So, a bit of experimentation is the key!

– TPU and Cooling Fans? TPU’s relationship with fans is conditional. Without a fan, TPU prints shine. But if you’re dealing with soaring temperatures or breakneck speeds, a 40% fan speed can be your ally, particularly with bridges. A cool fan aids in solidifying the TPU filament, preparing a sturdy foundation for subsequent layers. But with TPU, it’s essential to strike a balance. Sometimes, excessive air pressure from fans can distort TPU prints, especially at higher velocities.

So, what’s the ultimate fan speed for 3D printing? It’s a dynamic combo of the material in use, temperature configurations, environment temperature, the design’s orientation, and tricky parts like overhangs and bridges. While most stick to either 100% or 0%, sometimes you might have to tread the middle path.

Here’s a snapshot: The ATOM 80 Degrees Overhang Test. The only variable? Fan speeds (0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, 80%, 100%). The verdict? As the fan speed revs up, overhang quality soars. Powerful fans can be game-changers, as this 12V 0.15A blower fan with a 4.21 CFM air flow proves.

Ender 3 (V2) Fan Makeover/Replacement? Seeking to switch out a dysfunctional fan, elevate your overhangs, or boost airflow? Upgrading your fan could be the answer. Noctua NF-A4x10 FLX Premium Quiet Fan is a crowd-favorite from Amazon, known for its hushed cooling prowess. It operates at a whispering 17.9 dB level and is often hailed as the ultimate replacement for those grating, broken fans. Designed with precision and equipped with anti-vibration mounts, fan screws, a low-noise adaptor, and extension cables, it’s a dream! But ensure you use a buck converter since it’s a 12V fan, while the Ender 3 typically uses 24V.

For the Tevo Tornado or other Creality printers, the SUNON 24V 40mm Fan is your best bet. This 24V fan is the go-to if you wish to bypass the extra buck converter efforts. It’s an upgrade from the 28-30dB stock fans, offering quieter operation. Petsfang Duct Fan Bullseye upgrade from Thingiverse, the Hero Me Gen5 fan duct (utilizing a 5015 blower fan), and WINSINN 50mm 24V 5015 Blower Fan (compatible with HeroMe ducts) are other noteworthy mentions.

3D Printer Fan Troubleshooting – Frustrated with a lazy fan? Or a fan that sounds like a freight train? Delve deep into the troubleshooting section. Your extruder fan should be in perpetual motion, ensuring the heat sink stays cool.

Common culprits are a snapped wire or a misplaced jack on the motherboard. A simple test is to ramp up your fan settings without heating the printer. If your extruder fan isn’t whirling, you might’ve mixed up the hotend fan and parts fan. Always ensure there’s no debris or broken blades in the fan.