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Can You Print Faster With a Bigger Nozzle?

Discover how a larger nozzle can help you print faster without sacrificing print quality. Perfect for indoor hobbyists.

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3D printing is fun but can be painstakingly long and tedious if your printer is slow. While slow printers typically churn out better-quality prints, you can improve your printing speeds by changing the nozzle.

You can print faster using a bigger nozzle, but the print quality may be better, depending on how big the nozzle is. A bigger nozzle has a larger diameter, which can churn out more material per unit of time, cutting down on printing time.

In this article, I’ll discuss how nozzle size affects printing speed and quality. I’ll also provide tips on increasing printing speeds without compromising quality and selecting the right nozzle. Let’s dive right in! 

How Nozzle Size Affects Printing Speed and Print Quality

Most 3D printers come standard with 0.4mm nozzles, but most people prefer to use secondary nozzles for various reasons. Bigger nozzles give you faster printing speeds since the material is churned out in larger volumes per unit of time. However, this decreases the quality and results in a lower resolution than smaller nozzles. 

Smaller nozzle diameter equals better resolution, while larger diameter equals faster printing speed. However, you can find a sweet spot where the print quality is usable, and the printing speed is tolerable. Smaller nozzles are more susceptible to clogging since they have smaller outlets.

Nozzle diameter can range from 0.1mm at the low end and up to 2mm at the high end. A 0.8mm nozzle size offers relatively faster speeds while still keeping the quality quite usable, and anything beyond a 1mm nozzle size poses significant challenges. 

Other Factors That Affect the Quality of a 3D Print

Aside from nozzle size, other factors also affect the print quality and speed of printing:

Layer Height

The layer height is the measure of one layer’s thickness of material laid by the printer nozzle at a time. This is mainly affected by the nozzle’s diameter size because the amount of material will determine how high the layer is. 

When you adjust the layer height, it will impact the printing time and print quality. Generally speaking, a thinner layer will have superior quality, but a thicker layer will take less time to print. 

With your printer’s software, you can change the layer height, but the minimum and maximum height depend largely on the nozzle size. 


The temperature of the printer’s extruder and print bed can affect the filament’s viscosity, which in turn can affect the flow and adhesion of the material during the print. The filament may not flow properly if the temperature is too low, leading to poor adhesion and a possible failed print. 

The filament may become too liquid if the temperature is too high, resulting in poor layer adhesion and a weak or brittle print.

In addition, different nozzles can withstand various temperature conditions based on their parent materials. For instance, copper is suitable for high-temperature printing, while brass is ideal for lower temperatures. To ensure you’re working with the correct nozzle, check your printer’s manual for the optimal working temperatures for the nozzle to avoid any problems. 

Flow Rate

The flow rate refers to the volume of material released by the nozzle per unit of time. Increasing the flow rate will reduce the quality of the print, and reducing the flow rate will improve the print quality while reducing printing speed.  

The Ambient Humidity

High humidity can cause the filament to absorb moisture, affecting its flow and adhesion during the print. If the filament absorbs too much moisture, it can become brittle, resulting in a weak or failed print. On the other hand, low humidity can cause the filament to become too dry and brittle, resulting in a weak or failed print.

How To Increase Printing Speeds Without Compromising Print Quality

Using a bigger nozzle gives you quicker printing times but negatively affects quality. Below are some ways to speed up printing without sacrificing too much quality:

Adjust the Speed in the Splicer Settings

Your printer’s software has settings you can change to increase the print head’s acceleration and deceleration, and it’s worth exploring this. And increasing the acceleration results in better printing speeds. 

This YouTube video explains how to go about this process: 

Choose a Faster Infill Pattern

You can modify the software’s configuration to choose an infill pattern that prints faster and more efficiently, such as the line pattern. Choosing this infill pattern is a tradeoff with strength since the infill patterns that take less time to print are the weakest.

Higher infill density will also slow the printing speeds, and if you don’t need extra strength, using low-density infill patterns will save you a lot of time.

Use More Layer Height and a Larger Nozzle

Using taller layers means the printer makes fewer trips. For example, if the layer height is set to 0.25mm, the printer will use 20 layers to cover a distance of 5cm (1.9 inches), whereas a layer height of 0.5mm will require only 10 layers to cover the same distance. Bigger layers mean you sacrifice quality, but it saves you a lot of time.

Tips for Choosing the Correct Nozzle Size for Your Printer

If you need help determining which nozzle size to use, here are some factors to consider:

  • The level of detail you want in your print. As mentioned above, different nozzle sizes have advantages and disadvantages. While bigger nozzles give you better printing speeds, they compromise the final product’s resolution and level of detail. On the other hand, smaller nozzles give you better quality levels but are slower. You just need to go with what you prioritize more.
  • Your desired printing speeds. The nozzle size will directly determine the printing speeds you get. Bigger nozzles equal faster speeds, and smaller nozzles equal slower printing speeds.


Bigger nozzles print faster than smaller ones, but they also sacrifice quality. A larger nozzle will be fine if you prioritize faster printing speeds over print quality. However, if you want to retain quality and still have good speeds, try adjusting the toggles in the settings until you reach a sweet spot for speed and quality. 

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About Ben

I started 3D printing since 2013 and have learned a lot since then. Because of this I want to share my knowledge of what I have learned in the past years with the community. Currently I own 2 Bambulab X1 Carbon, Prusa SL1S and a Prusa MK3S+. Hope you learn something from my blog after my years of experience in 3D printing.