CURA – Quality Printing Without a Cooling Fan!

CURA – Quality Printing Without a Cooling Fan!


Many people have asked me if I’ve tested
different cooling ducts on the filament cooling fan of my Ender three or of the
CR 10’s and I have. And I don’t see a major improvement. In fact I’m not sure
you need a cooling fan at all if you get the settings right in your slicer. I’ll
show you what I mean on today’s Filament Friday.This episode
of Filament Friday is brought to you by these patreon supporters. I’ve seen other
YouTube videos where they print a Marvin keychain with fan and then no fan and
compare the two and saw a big difference. So I’m going to use the same file.
Everything in red is underneath or overhang where it could be a problem so
I’m going to use my magic 0.2 profile in Cura 4.0. 3 outer layers 3 top and
bottom layers, 10% infill. I’m going to print at a 50 millimeters per second
which will automatically make the wall speed 25 millimeters per second.
The cooling section of my profiles where some of the magic happens. Cooling is
where you set the fan speed. 100 percent is what I typically use and you can turn
it on and off with that checkbox. Minimum layer time is a key parameter. I have it
set to 10 seconds and what this means is each layer has to take at least 10
seconds. That gives it time for the filament to cool if it projects it’s
gonna take less than that. Because it’s a small print or a small area, it’ll slow
down the print and when it slows down at what speed does a print? Well it depends
on how long it takes to get to that 10 seconds. I’m printing at 50 millimeters
per second, outer wall 25 millimeters per second but if it’s gonna take longer
than that it’ll slow down. But I set a minimum to never drop below 10 millimeters
per second. That’s what minimum speed does. If you check the lift head box
it’ll actually move to the side and wait but I don’t recommend that, that’ll just
give you some stringing. Now that we have those let’s slice this guy and see how
it looks. It says it’s only going to take 22 minutes to print and when I go into
the preview mode you can see a lot of this is blue or 10 millimeters per
second which is my minimum print time. Inside it’s green where it’s closer to
the 50 millimeters per second but this outer area and also the little hook is
going to hit that minimum time because is a very small print. I’ll print one
with the fan on and then I’ll uncheck the box and slice another one with the
fan turned off but you notice minimum a later time and minimum speed are both
still enabled. So they’re still used even when the fan is turned off. So I’ll print
one of each and see how they compare and if you’re not familiar with which fan
I’m talking about it’s the one here on the side. Notice the fan is not spinning
on this print. This is the one that’s turned off and here’s the results. The
one on the left is no fan the one on the right fan at 100%. And I’m telling you I
can’t tell these two apart. They look identical. Even underneath they’re the
same. Now those were very small prints so they hit that minimum layer time. Let’s
up size it to 300% so it’s much bigger and hopefully we don’t hit those minimum
layer times and we’ll see what it does. So I’m gonna slice it, obviously takes
longer to print now. When we look at preview mode you see it’s a lot of green
for the outer layer so that is our 25 millimeters per second outer wall. The
top here, the hook is still blue so that’s hitting the minimum time but
everywhere else is basically our inner wall speed. And inside we’re seeing
closer to the 50 millimeters per second. And now let’s compare these no fan on
the Left, fan on the right and once again I don’t see any difference between these
two. The slicer has taken care of it. At the bottom of it, sags about the same
amount. The fans not helping me that much. Bridging is another area where fan comes
into play more often so this is a hundred millimeter spread test print. I’m
gonna use my point two magic layer height. I’m gonna do six top and bottom
layers so a little bit thicker. 10% fill same speeds fifty millimeters per second
and twenty five millimeters per second outer wall. And I’ll use the same cooling
parameters and I’ll have one with a fan on and one with the fan off. And we’ll
see if there’s any difference. And here’s the first one. This is the one with no
fan and there’s definitely some sagging in this 100 millimetre bridge. It’s
really not that bad though. I’ve seen worse where it sags all the way down to
the bottom. So these settings are working pretty good but now let’s compare it to
the one with the fan. And here’s the one with the fan. I notice it’s a little bit
better but not a lot better. I’m still getting some sagging. It just seems to
start a little bit later but it’s still not acceptable to me. I would use
supports like what I’ve showed in a previous video ow I do supports and I’ll run through
it quickly here. I’m gonna go just from touching the build plate I’m gonna use a
zig-zag pattern. I’m gonna use a Z distance of point two or one layer
height between the top of the support and the bottom of the print and I’m also
going to use a roof and a bottom layer. So I’m gonna pinch the zig zag between
the two layers and then when I slice it you can see here’s my supports and you
can see there’s a zigzag. And then as I go up you’ll see it creates a nice roof
and then there’s a gap from here up to the actual bridge itself so it should
support it but still be easy to remove. So let’s print this and see how it looks.
And here’s the result and literally this is the way it came off the bed. They came
right apart I didn’t have to break anything off. That support structure is
strong it held itself and look at the bottom of this thing nice and smooth no
sagging at all. So why rely on a fan when I can do the same thing with supports. I
know the Creality fan isn’t the best. And I can get a better fan
with those dual ductwork and get more air blowing down on the filament but my
point is if you’re really relying on that to get better prints maybe check
out the slicer settings. And I share all my slicer settings, there’s a link in the
description below. And I also have a video of how I set up my supports that
may help you as well. If you like what I’m doing here maybe check out some of
the other videos that are popping up. If you want to help support the channel
patreon is one way or just buy through the affiliate links in the description
below, it all helps a lot. And if nothing else, click on that CHEP logo and
subscribe. That tells YouTube you like what I’m doing here and you want to see
more. And it’s free! Thanks for watching. I’ll see you next time right here
at Filament Friday.

100 thoughts on “CURA – Quality Printing Without a Cooling Fan!”

  • Is slow print speeds not just a huge and needless compromise? Would be interested in seeing the prints with a fan at100% that were not slowed down to 10mm/s and if you could still tell the difference?

  • Can't even begin to tell you how much I used all your videos to get started in 3d printing. What a resource. Thank you

  • I have been watching all your videos for a while now. They have been so helpful with getting my ender 3 printing amazingly. I was wondering if you could share your magic .20 profile I have not got mine wonting all that well yet and could use some help lol.

  • I seen in a couple of the fan duct upgrade videos that on the creality printers the fan that is cooling the hotend also escapes to the bottom essentially making it partially a parts cooling fan. Do you think this is a possibility?

  • What a great tutorial. I've been using the Magic2.0 profile on my CR10s Pro with really great results. I'd never considered before that the part cooling fan wasn't absolutely necessary. Coincidentally it's also the fan that I find most annoying even when running at lower speeds on this printer (although I've never tried turning down below 50%). I'm going give this same experiment a try and see how it goes. Looking forward to quieter prints. Thanks for the education on Cura cooling settings as well!

  • I am sold on to Cura now. Awesome. Thanks, Chuck, really appreciate your hard work in making such quality content for all of us 3d printing nerds 🙂

  • The filament friday toolkit listed in the description says “currently unavailable” on Amazon, just fyi.

  • Something to note: while the objects might look the same, printing without a fan typically produces stronger prints. Also, the temperature you're printing at makes a huge difference and some materials would not print okay unless you enable your fan or fine tune the other settings.

  • You might want to investigate the effect of fan, no-fan in vase mode. In vase mode the effects are more substantial in layer adherence and by varying the filament temp you can make the inside/outside walls almost perfectly flat and significantly stronger.

    Thank you for all of the great videos! I always look forward to them when I get back home on Fridays!!

  • Have you considered that printing with a hotter filament might help with layer adhesion and the fan is used so it can print at a higher temperature without warping. Printing at a lower temp might print as well aesthetically without a fan but the layers might be weaker.

  • Man am i glad your here to prove these "self proclaimed print nerds" wrong! So many people get sucked into modding the fan duct when like you say (and ive found it myself,even with TPU) The stock creality fan duct is just fine-and yea, why would you try doing huge bridges without supports???. Great video chuck👍

  • I can print PLA nearly effect but struggle with PETG, especially it strings a lot. Did you also make PETG profiles? (I did not download your profiles yet as im only on mobile now) Because I am using a Cr 10 mini this might help me.

  • That very much depends on the filament! I have a PLA that needs a high printing temperature to fuse together nicely but stays gooey down to a much lower temperature. This definitely needs cooling for strong and clean prints.

  • I feel you are a bit off the ball here. Try printing a 45 degree overhang without cooling at a decent speed. Or a model like a Benchy. Look at the bow after print…

  • Good video! While the results may depend on PLA flavor or even on printer, for sure this channel will skyrocket. Keep up the good work!

  • I'm printing almost exclusively in PETG today, and I'd like to see you try with that material.
    Why PETG? Because I mostly print for RC devices, and PLA is way too brittle for that.

    And let me tell you that I curse regularly on bridging with PETG, even tough I think my settings are pretty well dialed in.

  • The problem is the stock ender is not really able to print "without print cooling", as a ton of air blows over the print from the hotend cooling.
    When I experimented printing fanless with HeroMe duct which doesn't leak that air there nearly as much, it was practically unusable with PLA – overhangs were horrible, bridges would tear off at ends failing badly (even when supported) and even flat top layers over infill wouldn't work well, bulging unless made rather thick.
    Could do some stuff with PETG, but not much either, again flat top layers over infill were quite messy during the first and second top layer printing.

  • Thanks! Will do some testing!
    If I can print fine without the fan, I could remove it and have a lighter x carriage…..

  • Thanks! I didn't know about the "support roof" settings and will try them out – printing the bridge right now on my Wanhao. However, I have to disagree with regards to the fan – I have observed different results on my printer… But I agree that it is not the holy grail to fix a bad print.

  • The stock fan layer air flow is minimum in the ender3 and the hotend fan air flow to the print acting like a fan layer. I was printing abs with noticeable warping until I cover the airflow from hotend fan.

  • I don't think you're making the right comparison though, the default Minimum Layer Time in cura is 3 seconds, if you bump that up to 10 seconds it doesn't matter if you have a cooling fan or not as it will have longer time to cool because it's printing so much slower. You're removing the speed advantage of the fan by slowing down both tests. I would run those tests again comparing 3 second Minimum Layer Time with a fan on (which is what most people use by default) with the 10 second Minimum Layer Time with the fan off and compare the time and quality of those results. Right not you're essentially essentially comparing driving a car vs riding a bike except the car is limited to the top speed of the bike.

  • You gave me some hope that my sinis (ezt-t1) delta 3d printer, that doesn't have a cooling fan for the part, would print correctly without having to recourse to an external fan (which helps tremendously)… I configured cura to have at least 15 seconds per layer, and tried to print a benchy. It was a disaster. Some here seem to indicate the hotend fan of the Ender 3 blows some air to the part, so it might be why it works for the Ender 3. Not a cure for my delta… I'll stick to the external fan for this (very cheap) printer.

  • Thank you for the great work done! Unexpected and interesting results. It is a pity that I did not look such video a bit earlier, otherwise I would not have printed "petsfang" )) But since I have already printed and bought 2 pieces of 5015, I will try to install it all the same. I hope that at least some improvement will be))

  • This video doesn't make any sense without disclosing the print head temperature.

    As I understand it, the cooling fan is for >200C PHT to remove the excess heat from the media to reduce part warping, because the entire part stays closer to a single temp.
    So the tiny marvin keychain print never really gets the system into the domain to test part fan ability, unless you print at temperatures near the surface of the sun.

  • Another good vid.

    Stock setup is fine for basic, cooling sucks on the ender for multiple reasons.

  • Superb comparison Chuck, A few days ago I would have been surprised by your results, but I have been getting the hang of a 0.8mm nozzle and discovered that a much higher nozzle temp is needed, in my case 235c for PLA to enable the filament to get melted quickly enough, I even tried it with minimal fan speed, to increase layer adhesion, and it worked with no drooping or sagging. I did still suffer from some layer de-lamination, perhaps due to needing no fan at all. I'll experiment further

  • There is more to consider on why using cooling ducts is important.

    The testing seen in the video only speaks to part of the reasons for using them.

    In addition, the object printed was bulky for a small print.

    Miniatures figures like those used in Dungeons and Dragons have thin arms and legs and the nozzle doesnt leave the print area for very long. The cooling duct can certainly help put more air on the part and lessen the likelihood of heat penetration to previously printed layers.

    I've found that ducts also provide further bridge distances with less supports. Again, this wasnt tested here.

    While I applaud the efforts in testing I would say they are inconclusive based on aspects.not tested.

  • any videos for printing with Green PETG? Having a difficult timing dialing the settings in.

  • Try printing something harder to print. I find I get warping on the perimeter of overhangs without good cooling. For example if I print a sphere after a few layers the edges curl up above the nozzle height. I can prevent it by using supports to hold the edges DOWN to a raft or brim but that's not always possible. Likewise any "pointy" structures curl up. For example a lattice cube tilted at 45 degrees involves printing a lot of diamond shapes. Even with good cooling these can curl up until the nozzle hits them when moving.

  • This type of fans don't focus at the tip of the nozzle but under the extruder. Just as a bowl with water under the nozzle and see how your fan is set. Good luck 😊👍

  • I love your content but why on the profiles do you have fan on? When you say you don't use fans? Aka profiles you shared to be downloaded

  • Thats because you use shitty fan shroud thats originally on ender. And its not going to be good because it cools nozzle, not under nozzle to cool filament. And you want it to blow under nozzle

  • ​ CHEP I think people have this tendency to jump on certain things like cooling as, "Oh! Yes! This is going to solve ALL of my problems! All I have to do is use this magical fan duct and everything will work out perfectly!" Which is what I really love about this video: The slicer is really where a lot of the 'magic' happens.

    Sure, for some things cooling the part is probably going to be important. But it's not going to be a magical one-stop cure-all for every problem.

  • Hi, I am looking for a replacement Hot end thermistor for my A10M, any suggestion for a substitute that will ship quick on amazon?

  • You didn't prove that you don't need a fan, you proved the stock fan is as good as not having one at all. 😉

  • Love your information! Clear and concise and very well done. New Subscriber here. Keep up the great work! I'm not a noob, but I have a lot to learn about printing in different settings.

  • So, since its filament friday, what filament (brand/specification) do you use? I would bet this is where the actual magic is happening. (10s min layer time/10 mm/s is the default setting in cura btw)

  • So you tweak your settings to make it work without a fan, then you turn the fan on and it didn't make a difference, got ya.
    How's this for test, how about you optimize for speed or quality (whatever you're into) with the fan on and then shut the fan off and see if it makes a difference?

  • I work in plastic process and just recently got a 3D Printer. Made me one of those Hero Me fan ducts, and installed it. I am now noticing a ton of shrink in my parts and edges are peeling, it didn't seem as pronounced before I done this "upgrade". I see some guys with dual 5015 fans and I am just thinking wow that is alot of cooling for this small scale hot end. I am going to do a test with the current Hero Me setup, printing the same duct over again to see the difference.

    In my line of work we use thermoformers, and third motion and the cooling of the molds and temperature of the plastic is very important. The scale of the project is much larger, and we use huge water cooled molds and top/bottom ovens from 700-1000* in oven to the 60* mold. Shrink is a big issue for us, and the amount of engineering it takes to compensate for that shrink is insane and I don't feel like that will be possible in 3D printing for a hobbyist. Obviously I know that PP is different from PLA, but it does seem both materials have quite high shrink factors.

    Anyway, thanks for the video about fans I have to learn some more about this Ender 3. I have been printing for about a month and I still haven't been able to get what I am comfortable with calling "great" quality. I have had some okay prints, but this thing just doesn't like me very well. It's always having to be re-leveled and I have tried tuning a lot; big thanks to the calibration squares for bed leveling though; with those squares and the mesh bed leveling activated it does make it easier.

  • Chep, I've been using your CURA profiles on my new Ender 3 and have been getting fantastic results!! Thanks for sharing!

  • CHEP thank you for your videos. Have you ever had problems of nozzle knocking down your models? I have had a lot of trouble finding good cooling, speed, retraction parameters in order to not have the nozzle touching the model when it travels. I just cannot make the outside wall of the models to stay flat and not a little curled up in small areas of the models. And that causes the nozzle to hit the model and knock it down. That happens for example in human figures, in the arms or legs, where the area of the slice is not so big and there is a slight overhang, the nozzle just keeps hitting the model everytime it returns for example from on leg to the other of the model.
    Hope you can give me some recomendation. The unique solution right know is to use the feature "z hop when retracted" in Cura. That will rise the nozzle a bit when traveling.

  • The way I found out my parts fan was broken was because all my benchys since it broke come out with sagged front hull. It was perfect before that. This is with the "magic 0.20" profile.

  • Print so slow that the part cool by itself and you dont need fan. I wonder why no one thought of that before… Because no one want that. Seriously, every printer have a fan because every one want to print as fast a possible. Not sure where the magic is here…

  • You noticed that the fan, that is cooling the mainboard, is using the same signal as the part cooling fan?
    If the part colling fan is not running, the fan for the mainboard won´t be running either on the Ender3.

  • Chep,
    Thank you for another great video.
    I am learning lots about printing.
    Just curious as to how to get that speed indicator in preview mode.
    Is it an addin?

  • yes I have tried just about every fan , fang , hero me etc etc going. I am now in the process of dropping back to a simpler singe side fan setup not far from stock. In fact When I 1st got my printer I went mad with 'upgrades' now I am stripping them off almost completely.

  • Holy CHEP! I think you just solved my printing problems! Even the abbreviated discussion of your supports is more than I ever knew…thank you!

  • There is an better way to suport! Make by 3D programe a box or cilinder with same higt as the support you need! end loaded in cura en put it in de midle from where you want support, then clik richt in cura en make it as a support object done!

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