0.6 mm Nozzle Settings for Cura – Detailed Guide

Using a 0.6 mm nozzle over the default 0.4 mm comes with a handful of benefits, with faster prints and higher impact resistance being the first things that come to mind, but only if you correctly configure the print parameters to account for this change.

In this guide, we will be going through the Cura parameters you will need to re-configure to make them compatible with a 0.6 mm nozzle and how you can create a separate profile for your 0.6 mm nozzle with these optimized settings for easy usage.

0.6 mm Nozzle Settings for Cura

When switching to a 0.6 mm nozzle from a 0.4 mm nozzle for the first time, the primary Cura parameters that will require your attention are nozzle size, layer height, line width, nozzle temperature (and cooling), print speed, wall count, and top/bottom layer count.

Nozzle Size

The first modification you will need to make when switching to a different nozzle size is to let Cura know the size of the nozzle by updating the Nozzle Size parameter.

For this step, you can go ahead and click the middle tab, click on the Nozzle Size dropdown, and choose 0.6mm Nozzle.

cura nozzle size menu


This process will tell Cura to load its default profiles configured explicitly for a 0.6 mm nozzle, automatically modifying parameters such as layer height and line width accordingly in the process.

Layer Height

Next up is layer height, which is the parameter that decides the thickness of each layer that your 3D printer produces.

cura layer height description


A general rule when setting the layer height is to ensure that it stays between 25% and 80% of the nozzle size, meaning that you can use layer height values between 0.15 mm and 0.48 mm (remember to round up/down to account for magic numbers) for a 0.6 mm nozzle.

When printing with larger layer heights, the two improvements you will notice are the reduction of the print time due to less movement required during printing and better strength due to the object having fewer weak points between layers.

0.48 mm layer height calibration cube


On the other hand, when opting for smaller layer heights, you will notice that the overall visual quality of your prints is considerably better, whether it’s the detail or the smoothness.

0.16 mm layer height calibration cube


For general-purpose prints, where you aren’t trying to optimize for maximum visual detail or for the quickest print time (which can come in handy when prototyping), keeping the layer height in Cura in the range of 0.2 mm to 0.3 mm is usually ideal.

Line Width

Another parameter that the size of the nozzle impacts directly is the line width, which as evident from the name, determines the horizontal width of each line your 3D printer produces.

cura line width description


In the case of configuring line width, the general rule is to stay between 60% and 150% of the nozzle size, which makes the range of 0.36 mm to 0.9 mm valid for usage with a 0.6 mm nozzle.

The primary (and perhaps only) advantage of using larger line width values is reducing print time, as producing thicker lines means more filament flows through the nozzle at any given time.

0.9 mm line width calibration cube


On the other hand, the usage of smaller line widths will have a positive impact on strength and top surface smoothness, but naturally, at the cost of increased print times.

0.48 mm line width calibration cube


For a standard print with no particular requirements for fast print times or extra strength, keeping the line width value in Cura equal to the nozzle size is ideal, which, in the case of a 0.6 mm nozzle, would be 0.6 mm.

Printing Temperature & Fan Speed

Next is printing temperature and cooling, which aren’t factors directly related to the nozzle size but require tweaking due to how a differently-sized nozzle affects filament flow.

cura nozzle temperature description


When printing with a 0.6 mm nozzle, you will naturally need to increase the nozzle temperature, as the hotend will require extra heat to compensate for the increased filament flow and not have issues melting it on time.

While it’s hard to provide an exact figure in this case due to different filament types requiring different nozzle temperatures, our recommendation would be to use a nozzle temperature value that is 5 to 10 degrees higher than what you usually utilize for a 0.4 mm nozzle as a starting point.

From there, you can keep pushing the temperature up if you’re experiencing issues such as under-extrusion and poor layer adhesion or pull it down if you’re experiencing over-extrusion and find the value that works best for you.

When increasing the nozzle temperature, increasing part cooling is also usually a good idea (unless it’s maxed out already), as this will allow the printer to compensate for the increase in the temperature when it comes to cooling the plastic down.

cura fan speed description


As a starting point, you can increase cooling by 10 percent to 20 percent and refine it further based on the results you’re getting.

Additionally, you can print a temperature tower with the Cura Calibration Shapes plugin to see how different printing temperature and fan speed values would affect your prints in a single test print, which should make it much easier to dial your settings in.

Print Speed

Another parameter that gets affected by the amount of filament that flows out due to increasing the nozzle size is print speed, which is a rather tricky one to configure compared to the rest.

cura print speed description


With a 0.6 mm nozzle that naturally uses higher line width and layer height values, you will need to reduce the print speed for a successful print.

While this may seem counter-intuitive at first glance, especially considering that the primary reason behind using a larger nozzle is to achieve lower print times, there is a reasonable explanation behind this requirement.

Volumetric flow, which is the volume of plastic that your 3D printer extrudes per second (mm^3/s), is determined by the formula below:

Volumetric Flow = Line Width * Layer Height * Print Speed

As a result, any time you increase the value of one of these three parameters, the amount of plastic that comes out of the nozzle at any given time increases, and while the dream would be to push the print speed all the way up for the print to finish in mere minutes, this, unfortunately, cannot be the case.

As every 3D printer has a maximum volumetric flow (MVS) that it can produce consistently (influenced by factors such as maximum hotend temperature, nozzle size, and nozzle material), exceeding this value will make it impossible for your printer to keep up with the demand, creating under-extrusion.

With this in mind, the best way to adjust print speed would be to find the MVS value that your printer can produce with a 0.6 mm nozzle (either by testing or finding data online), then plug the line width and layer height values into the MVS formula to find the optimal print speed.

On the other hand, as this method can be complicated, especially when you’re first starting, you can reduce your print speed by 40-50% as a starting point, then decrease further if you face under-extrusion or increase for maximum print time optimization if no under-extrusion is present.

If you found the relationship between line width, layer height, and print speed interesting, we highly recommend reading “The Illusion of Speed” by Bob George, which does a fantastic job of explaining these concepts.

Wall Line Count

While not an essential setting to modify for a successful print with a 0.6 mm nozzle, the line width value affecting (which is affected by the nozzle size) the wall thickness value makes it necessary to mention wall line count in this context.

cura wall count description


As the formula for finding wall thickness is (wall) line width * wall line count, and as you will naturally be using a bigger line width value with a 0.6 mm nozzle, the wall thickness value will get larger as long as the wall line count stays stable (although Cura auto-adjusts this accordingly under normal circumstances).

1.2 mm wall thickness calibration cube 1.8 mm wall thickness calibration cube

While thicker walls shouldn’t pose a problem for the success of your prints, you may want to reduce the wall line count (don’t go below 2) to compensate for the increase in line width and produce walls of the same thickness as your 0.4 mm nozzle.

Top/Bottom Layers

Similar to wall count, the top/bottom layers parameter is another factor indirectly affected by changes to the nozzle size, as the top/bottom thickness value is directly affected by layer height.

cura top layer count description cura bottom layer count description

The formula for finding top/bottom thickness is layer height * top/bottom layers, meaning that using a bigger line width (a natural result of using a larger nozzle) will increase the top/bottom thickness value, provided that the top/bottom layers value remains the same.

0.8 mm top layer thickness calibration cube 1.28 mm top layer thickness calibration cube

Once again, even though there is nothing inherently wrong with thicker top and bottom layers, you will want to reduce the values of the top layers and bottom layers (don’t go below 4) parameters if you would like to make the top/bottom thickness the same as when you used your 0.4 mm nozzle.

Creating a Separate Profile for Your 0.6 mm Nozzle Settings in Cura

Once you have your settings dialed in for a 0.6 mm nozzle, you will want to save them into a new profile that you can load up whenever necessary, which will make switching between nozzle sizes a breeze.

To create a new and separate profile with your 0.6 mm nozzle settings, you need to click the Profile dropdown in the Print Settings menu, click the “Create profile from current settings/overrides” button, and give your profile a name.

cura creating new profile from overrides


Once you save your new profile, you can find it in the list whenever you switch to the 0.6 mm Nozzle setting through the Nozzle Size dropdown and activate it when you wish.

Conclusion

Now that you have a better idea of configuring Cura settings for a 0.6 mm nozzle, you should be able to fully benefit from the advantages of using a larger nozzle size whenever necessary without any problems blocking the way.

While getting the settings dialed in precisely can take some trial and error, you should be able to find what works best for you and your 3D printer after a few test prints and get to enjoy your 0.6 mm nozzle fully in no time.