0.8 mm Nozzle Settings for Cura – Detailed Guide

While a 0.8 mm nozzle can seem unnecessarily large if you have never printed with one before, there are numerous advantages that come with increasing the nozzle size as much as possible, whether it’s the reduced print times, nozzle clogging being less likely, or the prints becoming more resistant to impact.

In this guide, we will explain how you can optimally configure your Cura settings to make them compatible with a 0.8 mm nozzle and take you through the process of saving this configuration as a separate profile in Cura that you can load whenever necessary.

0.8 mm Nozzle Settings for Cura

When you switch to a 0.8 mm nozzle for the first time, whether it’s from a stock 0.4 mm nozzle or the larger alternative of 0.6 mm, you will need to re-configure the nozzle size, layer height, line width, nozzle temperature, print speed, wall count, and top/bottom layer count parameters accordingly, as all of them are related to the size of the nozzle you have attached to your 3D printer in some way.

Nozzle Size

Before we dive into any of the print settings, the first change you will need to make in Cura is to correct the Nozzle Size setting, as this will let Cura know that you have switched to a 0.8 mm nozzle.

To change the nozzle size setting in Cura, click the tab on the top-middle section of the screen while you’re in the Prepare tab, click the Nozzle Size dropdown menu, and choose 0.8mm Nozzle from the list.

cura nozzle size menu


Once you perform this change, Cura will automatically load one of its default profiles for a 0.8 mm nozzle, which we will build upon with the changes we will discuss in the rest of the guide.

Layer Height

Next, we will configure the layer height value, which will be the factor that determines the thickness of each layer that your 3D printer will be printing with the 0.8 mm nozzle.

cura layer height description


Following the standard rule for determining the optimal layer height range, which is to ensure that the value you’re using falls between 25% and 80% of the size of the nozzle, any value between 0.2 mm and 0.64 mm would make a suitable layer height for a 0.8 mm nozzle, provided that you round the value up or down to match the magic numbers (such as multiples of 0.04 for an Ender 3) of your 3D printer for the best results.

The closer you get to the upper end of this range when setting the layer height value, you will notice two benefits, which are the time it takes for your 3D printer to complete a print becoming lesser due to less movement being required to extrude the same amount of material, along with the part you have printed having increased strength due to there being fewer layers in total and hence, less weak points between layers.

0.64 mm layer height preview in cura


On the flip side, the closer you get to the lower end of this range instead, the advantages you will notice will be on the visual quality front instead, as printing smaller and more frequent layers will cause your print to have a smoother finish that looks more pleasing to the eye, while also making it easier for your 3D printer to produce detail on the top and the bottom.

0.2 mm layer height preview in cura


With these considerations in mind, opting for a layer height value that falls in the middle, such as one that’s within the range of 0.32 mm to 0.52 mm should be ideal for general-purpose prints where you aren’t explicitly aiming to adjust the layer height value specifically for strength, print time, or visual quality, as such a value will give you the best of both worlds while allowing you to slightly lean toward one end of the spectrum, if necessary.

Line Width

Line width is another value that requires re-configuration after switching to a 0.8 mm nozzle, which determines the width (horizontally) of each line your 3D printer puts down during printing.

cura line width description


When configuring the line width, the formula to apply to find the optimal range is 60% to 150% of the size of the nozzle, which, in the case of a 0.8 mm nozzle, would mean that you should be using a line width value between 0.48 mm and 1.2 mm for optimal results without experiencing problems.

As the line width value gets closer to the upper end of this range, you will notice that print times get shorter since extruding wider lines (provided that layer height and print time stays table) will allow your 3D printer to complete a greater portion of the print with each extrusion path, and as a result, cause less movement to be required.

1.20 mm line width preview in cura


On the other hand, using smaller line width values come with a large number of benefits at the expense of increasing the print time, whether it’s the ability to print thinner parts more reliably and accurately, producing smoother top surfaces, and increasing the strength of your print, which makes it a tool that you can leverage in scenarios where you require the maximum quality possible both in terms of robustness and visual quality.

0.48 mm line width calibration cube


With these effects in consideration, our recommendation for a standard print where you aren’t explicitly looking to reduce print times or to increase the strength and the visual quality of the part you’re printing to a higher level would be to use a line width value that’s equal to the nozzle size, which, in this case, would be 0.8 mm.

Nozzle Temperature (& Fan Speed)

While the nozzle temperature you should be using isn’t directly related to the nozzle size of your 3D printer, it’s a parameter that requires some adjustment due to how a larger nozzle impacts the filament flow rate.

cura nozzle temperature description


When switching to a 0.8 mm nozzle from a smaller one, a slight increase in the hotend temperature will become necessary, as the hotend will need to melt the filament in a quicker manner to keep up with the increased amount of flow that comes with using layer height and line width values, which is a natural product of printing with a larger nozzle.

Our recommendation to tune the nozzle temperature, in this case, would be to start out by increasing the nozzle temperature by 5 to 10 degrees (while refraining from exceeding the maximum printing temperature of the filament) at most; and to observe the flow of the filament with a test print utilizing the newly configured temperature value, as this will make it possible to find out whether your printer is under-extruding or over-extruding due to the temperature, and allow you to fine-tune it further based on the results (and more testing if necessary).

Alongside the nozzle temperature, it will also be a good idea to increase the cooling fan speed if it’s not already at maximum, which will allow your 3D printer to balance out the increase in the nozzle temperature by cooling the plastic down faster, as the plastic staying hot for too long can result in adverse effects such as dimensional inaccuracies and loss of visual quality.

cura fan speed description


When modifying the fan speed, you can start off with an increase between 10 to 20 percent for your first test print and refine it further based on the results of your test, together with the nozzle temperature, which should allow you to strike a balance where both the flow and the cooling of the plastic is sufficient for a successful print.

Print Speed

Another parameter that’s not directly related to the nozzle size but is affected by the amount of filament that flows through the nozzle is print speed, which is the third component of the volumetric flow equation, along with line width and line height.

cura print speed description


For those who aren’t familiar, volumetric flow refers to the amount of plastic that flows out of the nozzle at any given time (mm^3/s), calculated by multiplying line width, layer height, and print speed, with the maximum volumetric flow being the amount of material that a 3D printer can extrude at most, which practically determines the actual amount of time that a print would take with settings fully optimized for speed.

So, any time you raise the print speed, line width, or layer height value, you effectively increase the amount of plastic that flows out of the nozzle at any given time, and while maxing out the print speed sounds great to reduce print times as much as possible, there are some factors that prevent this from being possible.

In the case of volumetric flow, some examples of these factors are the extruder, the hotend, and the nozzle size, with each playing a vital role in supplying the necessary amount of plastic to keep up with the material demand, whether it’s moving the filament, or melting it, effectively limiting the amount of filament that can flow out of the nozzle regardless of how high the line width, layer height, and print speed values are.

Putting this into consideration, correctly configuring the print speed value comes down to us knowing the maximum volumetric flow that a 3D printer can produce with its hardware, as having the maximum volumetric flow value at hand, alongside line width and layer height, will allow us to complete the equation.

Our recommendation to find out the maximum volumetric flow rate of your own 3D printer would be to follow this guide (which also contains some external resources we highly recommend checking out), as it explains the entire process of obtaining this information quickly and easily.

Once you have the maximum volumetric flow rate, the line width value you’ll be using, and the layer height value you’ll be using at hand, all that’s left is to plug the values into the volumetric flow equation (volumetric flow = layer height * line width * print speed), which will allow you to find the highest print speed value you can use with your 0.8 mm nozzle without issues.

For instance, if your printer’s hardware is capable of a maximum volumetric flow of 24 mm^3/s, with a layer height value of 0.4 mm and a line width value of 0.8 mm, the highest print speed value you can use without experiencing under-extrusion issues would be 75 mm/s.

Once you have found the maximum print speed value with this method, you can then further fine-tune it by printing a speed tower that includes some of the lower speed values, which will allow you to see the effects of different speeds on the same 3D-printed model, and choose the one that has produced the best results according to your needs.

Wall Line Count

While the wall line count parameter isn’t one that requires an adjustment for printing with a 0.8 mm nozzle, unlike the others we have talked about so far, the fact that it’s affected by the line width value to an extent, which in turn is affected by the size of the nozzle, makes it worth a mention in this guide.

cura wall count description


To find the wall thickness value, Cura multiplies the wall line count value with the line width value, and as using a 0.8 mm nozzle will automatically increase the line width value you’re using, the wall thickness value will also become greater, provided that the wall line count value stays the same.

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


For instance, while you would need a wall line count value of 6 to produce a wall thickness of 2.4 mm with a 0.4 mm line width, a wall line count of 3 will be sufficient to print walls of equal thickness when using a 0.8 mm line width.

So, if you’ve been using a wall line count of 6 when printing with a 0.4 mm nozzle (set to 0.4 mm line width), using the same wall line count value will most likely end up with the walls of your model being way too thick (4.8 mm) when printing with a 0.8 mm nozzle (set to 0.8 mm line width), which will result in a waste of material and time, and with this in mind, it will most likely be a good idea to readjust the wall line count value according to your needs.

Top/Bottom Layers

Similar to the wall line count, top/bottom layers (top layers & bottom layers) are Cura parameters that don’t necessarily require a re-configuration for a 0.8 mm nozzle but do get affected by the layer height value instead, which, as we have been talking about, is related to the size of the nozzle.

cura top layer count description cura bottom layer count description


When calculating the top/bottom thickness value, Cura multiplies the layer height value with the top/bottom layers (layer count) value, and as using a 0.8 mm nozzle means that you will be using a larger layer height value by default, the thickness of the top/bottom layers of your 3D printed part will also grow as long as the top/bottom layers value remains the same.

As an example, when printing with a 0.4 mm layer height value, which is standard for a 0.4 mm nozzle, using a top/bottom layers value of 6 would result in the top/bottom thickness being 2.4 mm, whereas using a 0.8 mm layer height value, which is feasible for a 0.8 mm nozzle, would result in the top/bottom thickness being 4.8 mm with the same top/bottom layers value.

So, if you’ve been using a top/bottom layers value of 6 with a 0.4 mm nozzle (set to 0.4 mm layer height), using the same top/bottom layers value with a 0.8 mm nozzle (set to 0.8 mm layer height) will likely cause the top and bottom layers to become way too thick (0.48 mm), and while this does have benefits, such as increasing the strength and the smoothness of your part, it will also result in the usage of more material and time, which may be an unnecessary waste depending on the purpose of the part you’re printing.

Creating a New Profile for Your 0.8 mm Nozzle Settings in Cura

With your 0.8 mm nozzle settings now ready to go, it’s time to save them into a separate profile that you can load from whenever necessary, which will allow you to switch between different nozzle sizes without having to worry about re-configuring things again.

To create a new profile for your 0.8 mm nozzle in Cura, all you will need to do is to click the Profile dropdown, which you can find in the Print Settings window, choose the “Create profile from current settings/overrides” from the dropdown menu, and give your new profile a name, which will prompt Cura to save your current settings into that profile.

cura creating new profile from overrides


From now on, you can find this profile in the same dropdown menu whenever you switch to 0.8 mm from the Nozzle Size dropdown, and activate your 0.8 mm nozzle settings instantly.

Conclusion

With your Cura print settings configured correctly for a 0.8 mm nozzle and the profile saved, you can now start enjoying the benefits that a larger nozzle brings to the table and also go back to the previous nozzle you’ve been using in a convenient way whenever it becomes necessary.

While finding the configuration that will produce the most optimal results possible will most likely take some trial and error, even after following this guide, you should be off to a good start that you can build upon rather quickly and unlock the full potential of your 0.8 mm nozzle after a few test prints.