3D printing technology has come a long way, and one of the key components that has evolved over time is the nozzle. These little guys are responsible for extruding melted filament onto your print bed, layering it up to create your finished 3D object.
Did you know each printer can have a different type of nozzle? This is because there are many different types of hotends with different sizes of heat blocks. Sadly, not every printer manual will clue you in to what nozzle you need when it eventually wears out.
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with this breakdown of the various kinds of nozzles used for the most common 3D printers.
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The nozzles that come with your new 3D printer are typically brass. These are extremely cheap and wear out quickly, especially if you use abrasive filament like glitter, glow in the dark or carbon fiber. Most printers will come with a spare nozzle, but it’s a good idea to identify the nozzle and figure out where you can get replacements before it’s too late.
Many 3D printer manufacturers are happy to sell you a replacement nozzle — Creality has a fairly complete catalog of replacement parts for all their printers. Anycubic sells entire hotends — with nozzles attached — but no nozzles. If you want to upgrade your baby Kobra to hardened steel, you’ll need to visit Amazon.
Why do you NEED the Right Nozzle Type?
I want to help you find the right TYPE of nozzle that fits your printer. This is critical because nozzles are designed to fit perfectly inside the heat block where the filament is melted. Too short of a nozzle and you’ll leave a gap where filament will ooze out. Too long and you’ll have to move your Z stop!
The trickiest two look alike nozzles are the V6 and MK8, both found on popular i3 style printers. Both are 12.5mm long with a 6mm thread diameter. They appear to be interchangeable and certainly screw into the heat block. But the MK8, used by your trusty Ender 3, has a 5mm thread. Anycubic Kobra (OG, Neo & Go) and Prusa take a V6 with a 7mm thread.
Put an MK8 in a Prusa and you’ll have a mess. Put a V6 in an Ender and you will destroy your bed surface. For once, size matters.
How to Choose the right Kind of 3D Printer Nozzle
Figuring out the right type of nozzle for your printer can get confusing because if you ask the internet what size you need you’re likely to spark a debate on whether a .6mm nozzle is the new .4mm.
Ender 3’s & Neptune’s need an MK8, small Kobra’s need a V6, Kobra Plus & Max need a Volcano.
Here’s how to identify your nozzle type:
- Look at your printer’s hot end. Does it have an E3D sticker? If yes, you’ve got a Genuine E3D Hotend. If the nozzle is short, you need a V6. If it’s long, go Volcano.
- Is your printer a from the Ender 2 or 3 line? MK8 is what you need.
- Is your printer a Cr10 of any sort? MK8.
- Is your printer an Ender 5 or Ender 5 pro? MK8. Ender 5 S1?? You need a Spider.
- Is your printer an Ender 7? (Have you taken an angle grinder to it yet?) Get a Spider. Or maybe a new printer.
- Neptune? MK8.
- Kobra? Is it an original, a Go or a Neo? V6. Kobra Plus or Max? Volcano.
- It is a Toybox?? V6.
These are some of the most popular hobby level printers, but there are SO MANY MORE 3D printers in the world. If I didn’t mention yours, grab a ruler and let’s get to measuring!
MK8 Nozzle: 5mm thread
A very popular nozzle used by (most of) Creality’s Ender line of printers and many of its clones. Fits the classic “Creality” hotend, which was originally developed by Makerbot as an Open Source design. The most important measurement is the length of the threaded shank, which is 5mm.
A number etched onto the side is usually the nozzle (orifice) diameter, such as .4 or .6. Steel nozzles may also have M2 or A2 which indicated the type of steel used.
Used by Creality, Elegoo, Magician, Snapmaker, Tevo Tornado, Monoprice Mini, MakerBot Replicator, CraftBot.
V6 Nozzle: 7mm thread
Another OG nozzle, the V6 was developed and made Open Source by E3D to fit their V6 hotend. The most important measurement is the length of the threaded shank, which is 7mm. E3D uses dots on the side of the nozzle to indicate the diameter of the orifice.
Used by the following E3D hotends: V6, Lite6, Chimera, Titan Aero, Titan Aqua, Hemera, Prusa. These hotends or their clones can be found in Anycubic Kobra (original, Go, & Neo), all Prusa, Toybox, Hurakan, Lulzbot Taz 6, Lulzbot Taz Sidekick, Lulzbot Mini, Ultimaker 2+, Pulse, Robo 3d R1 & R1 Plus, MakerBot Replicator 2.
Volcano Nozzle: 16mm thread
Originally developed by E3D and made Open Source, the Volcano is a high flow nozzle with a longer heated zone — 16mm. This melts plastic faster and is excellent for larger layer heights. You’ll find these nozzles on printers meant for speed or huge prints.
Note: there’s also a Super Volcano, but it doesn’t come stock on any printers I’ve seen. If you have one, you put it there.
Used in Anycubic Kobra Plus and Max, FLSun V400 & Super Racer, Sidewinder X1 and TEVO.
Spider Nozzle: 9mm thread
Creality decided to make their own hotends for a change and recently came out with the Spider high flow hotend. It takes a 9mm nozzle, putting it somewhere between their standard equipment and the Volcano. The Spider can be added as an easy upgrade to your Ender or CR10.
Here’s where it gets tricky: Creality doesn’t use the Spider as a stock hotend for any of its printers, but parts of it has turned up in the Ender 7 and Ender 5 S1 Pro.
Used in Creality Ender 7 and Ender 5 S1.
Some companies have gone off the board and designed exclusive hotends. Most of the time these involve a cartridge style hotend where the nozzle, heat block and heat break are one sealed unit. These are found in printers by Bambu Lab, Voxel, Flashforge and some higher end machines targeted at schools.
Then you have the AnkerMake M5. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing this printer for Tom’s Hardware, I love it to death, but the high flow nozzle is a weird size you can only buy directly from AnkerMake.