The Best Ender 3 Fan Upgrades (All Types Explained)

The Creality Ender 3 is one among the budget 3D printers which has gained its popularity over the years. It also has many variants such as V2, S1 & Pro. The Creality Ender 3 is an open source 3D printer enabling a lot of improvements & modifications to it. Due to this fact, the machine can be made more effective with several upgrades rendered by 3D experts. In this article we will learn about the Ender 3 Fan upgrades and how it can help in reducing the overall noise of the printer. 

Everyone wants to experience silent and efficient 3d printing. In fact, no one wants to see their 3D printer producing a generator-like sound. As it applies to Creality Ender 3, many enthusiasts upgrade their fans for multiple reasons. One of those reasons is to predominantly reduce the printing noise and others are to boost the airflow to the heating parts. Upgrading the fan can also help in dissipating the nozzle heat and make it work efficiently. 

Here, we are going to discuss the breakup of different fan types that you can find on your Ender 3 and some of the best replacements. These recommendations remain the same for the Ender 3 Pro & V2 but not for S1 as it has different dimensions. 

Why Should You Upgrade Ender 3 Fan?

To Reduce Printing Noise:

The main reason behind replacing the fans on Ender 3 printer is to reduce the noise produced while printing. 

The stock fans that come in Ender 3 are louder enough to cause distraction if you are running it at home and a small flat. 

The noise is produced by the mainboard and also the stock fans that are in the printer. Opting for an Ender 3 fan upgrade can significantly bring down decibel sound produced and makes your life easy. 

Improved Overhangs, Layer Adhesion, Bridging & Print Quality

The part cooling fans can lead to a better thermal performance when the airflow is steady and targeted. It can enhance the print quality and success rate by improving the adhesion between the layers. 

An Ender 3 Fan upgrade can also bring down the necessity for support structures which can consume a lot of filament. This is especially helpful while printing the sharp overhangs and bridges on Ender 3 printer.

Less Reliable Ender 3 Stock Fans 

An another reason for Ender 3 fan upgrade is due to less reliable stock fans that wont last long. Thus Ender 3 Fan replacement becomes a necessity for Ender 3 for many users. 

In summary, Ender 3 fan upgrade can significantly bring down printing sound, enhance cooling effect and print complex strructures with less supports. 

Ender 3 Fans 

The Ender 3 contains 4 main fans:

  • Fan Inside the Power supply unit (PSU)
  • Mother board / main board fan 
  • Nozzle/hotend fan 
  • Part cooling fan 

Changing the fan inside the power supply unit (PSU) is not easy and risky. This is becuase, the power supply should be opened which has high power present. Even when you disconnect the PSU from mains, the capacitors will still store a huge power spikes in them. This is hazardous. 

Out of 4 fans on your Ender 3, the motherboard and part cooling fan and somewhat silent and doesn’t produce much sound. It is not mandatory to replace them. They won’t bother you much as they are quieter. If you want more silence, then you can look for an upgradation of these 2 fans too. 

The hotend of Ender 3 has another fan that runs all the time at full swing to keep it cool. This fan produces very high noise in an effort to maintain the optimal hotend temperature without destruction. 

Also, the fan inside the power supply unit is another culprit in producing the noise. You could consider a replacement for this too. 

Fan Ducts For Ender 3

Fan ducts is an effective way to enhance the cooling system on your Ender 3. Fan Ducts help in directing the airflow towards the part being printed (Pp) and enhance cooling which leads in superior print quality. 

Fan ducts are of different designs and you can choose the one that fits to your printer and also helps to achieve your printing goals. Be conscious of the fan duct size, shape, the fan type and the material you are using to print. 

It is recommended to consult a 3D expert while choosing the fan ducts and see the amazements that it can make to the quality of your prints. 

Petsfang Duct: Petsfang is a go-to design for many 3D experts while looking for an Ender 3 fan upgrade due to its features. It has duo of ducts and both sides delivering superior cooling effect using 40*10 mm fan. 

Petsfang is available in many types based on the Ender 3 upgrades like different extruders, nozzles and ABL probes. 

The two-part design also aids in upgrading the hotend fans simultaneously. 

The Petsfang duct is also available in the versions that suits Ender 3 Pro and Ender 3 V2 other than original Ender 3. 

40×20 Fang: If you’ve been looking for a fan upgrade for your Ender 3 or Ender 3 Pro that borrows the same dual-duct design as the Petsfang, the 40×20 Fang is a great option. Created by Thingiverse maker mr-cal, it’s compatible with all 40×10/20 mm fans and was originally designed to work best with Noctua parts. 

Regardless of which brand of fan you choose to use, the 40×20 Fang is a great way to upgrade your 3D printer’s cooling system. Not only does it improve airflow, but it also helps to reduce noise levels with an added insulation. 

Hydra: Hydra fan duct system comes with an adjustable height configuration. 

It can incorporate two 50x15mm or two 40x10mm fans on two ducts towards both sides of the nozzle. It delivers exceptional cooling performance that can work for many filament types, objects and temperatures. 

It also has access mount needed for a hotend fan upgrade.  

The basic version of the hydra is compatible with Ender 3 pro and Ender e basic while its remixed versions also support other Ender 3 models. 

Hero Me: is another popular choice for an Ender 3 part cooling duct mod. The design uses dual 50 x 15 mm fans to deliver exceptional cooling while maintaining the noise level low. The fans are controlled by a microcontroller that runs the fan at 50% rather than the usual 100%. This makes the Hero Me a great choice for those who want excellent cooling performance without a lot of noise. The Hero Me also features an LED light that illuminates the build area, making it easier to see what you are doing. 

It is a complete hardware setup that can accommodate every component with it. The latest Gen6 iteration is further developed to deliver more better performance, it’s easy to assemble and compatible with various types of extruders and hot ends. 

Power Supply Unit (PSU) & Motherboard Fans:

The second most noise producing fan on the Ender 3 printer is the power supply fan. One needs to be careful during this fan replacement. This is because the power supply carries high power that are dangerous. 

Do the replacement only if you are familiar with replacing the PSU fan. Make sure to switch off the device before touching it. You can also wait for 30 mins after disconnecting the power source. This drains out the stored energy of the stored capacitors and makes it more safe.  

The power supply units are different for varying Ender 3 models. THe Ender 3 PSU fan is not temperature controlled while it is for ENder 3 Pro. An Ender 3 Pro contains the Meanwell power supply and is replaceable easily. 

Noctua NF-A4X10 FLX Fan

Noctua is a company known for producing silent, powerful fans for PCs, and the Noctua NF-A4X10 FLX is a great example of that. This 4010 fan has a 3-pin connector and comes with a low noise adapter cable that allows it to operate at a very quiet 12.9 dB. However, the tradeoff for this quietness is reduced airflow, with a peak of only 3.8 CFM. If you’re willing to sacrifice some airflow for the sake of silence, then the Noctua NF-A4X10 FLX is the fan for you.

  • Rated voltage: 12 V
  • Dimensions: 40 x 40 x 10mm
  • Rated noise level: 17.9 dB at full speed
  • Rated airflow: 4.8 CFM at full speed

Sunon MagLev 4010

The Sunon MagLev 4010 is a powerful and efficient axial fan that utilizes magnet technology to create a levitating effect. This provides a number of benefits over traditional fans, including reduced friction and increased airflow.

The MagLev 4010 is able to reach an impressive 9.9 CFM at 8500 RPM, making it ideal for use in electronic enclosures and other applications where airflow is critical.

The Maglev 4010 is significantly quieter than traditional fans, making it an excellent choice for applications where noise levels are a concern. ns where high airflow and low noise levels are required.

  • Rated voltage: 24 V
  • Dimensions: 40 x 40 x 10 mm
  • Rated noise level: 34 dB at full speed
  • Rated airflow: 9.9 CFM at full speed

40mm Vapo/omniCool Bearing

The way of using the bearings inside the fan determines how silently the fan can function and its life. 

Sunon’s Vapo-Bearing & Omni Cool technology reduces wobbles and thereby reduce noise. This is achieved by placing the shaft of a fan in the magnetic field that works as a levitation device. This results in the silent operation of the shaft and eventually the whole fan. 

  • Rated voltage: 12 V
  • Dimensions: 40 x 40 x 10 mm
  • Rated noise level: 30 dB at full speed
  • Rated airflow: 5.4 CFM at full speed

SUNON HA60151V4-000C-999 6015 12V

The SUNON HA60151V4-000C-999 6015 12V* ranks among the cheap fans and its dimensions are about 60 x 60 x 15 mm. However, it can withstand voltages uptop 12V.  But Creality Ender 3 power supply will generate up to 24V without a load. If you connect the SUNON HA60151V4-000C-999 6015 12V* directly to the power supply of the Creality Ender 3, the life expectancy of the SUNON HA60151V4-000C-999 6015 12V* will decrease significantly due to the increased voltage. 

To extend the life of SUNON HA60151V4-000C-999 6015 12V* and to have a long service life, a so-called buck converter must be used to convert high voltage of 24 V to 12V*. If you use such a buck converter, you can even operate the SUNON HA60151V4-000C-999 6015 12V* with an input voltage of up to 35 V.

NoiseBlocker BlackSilent XC1

The stock 60 mm fan that comes with the printer is quite loud, and it can be a bit frustrating for anyone trying to work in a quiet environment. The NoiseBlocker BlackSilent XC1 is a great alternative for the 60 mm fan. This 80 mm fan runs at 1700 rpm and delivers good cooling performance while only generating 18 dB(A) of noise. As a result, it’s much quieter than the stock fan, and it won’t be as distracting when you’re trying to focus on your work.

Ender 3 Hotend Fan Upgrade

The Ender 3 hotend fan is responsible for cooling the filament as it’s extruded, and it’s one of the noisiest parts of the printer. Many people upgrade to a quieter hotend fan to reduce the overall noise level of their printer. 

Replacing the Ender 3 hotend fan is another big upgrade that can reduce the noise significantly. 

How to find a sweet spot between noise and air flow?

You can use 40x20mm fans which are quite and powerful enough as compared to the stock Ender 3 fan. 

Many experts have also seen great results with Noctua’s 40x10mm fan, while some of them reporting issues such as heat creep resulting in nozzle clogging.  

Another problem in using Noctua fan’s as Ender 3 fan upgrade is they operate at 12V and a buck converter is needed to bring down the voltage. This turns the upgrade complicated.

The issue can be easily solved by using 24V Ender 3 fan upgrade on the spot. 

Below are the suitable replacements for 40x10mm and 40x20mm Ender 3 hotend fans:

  • The Sunon MF40202V2-1000U-A99 is a 40mm x 20mm case fan that delivers powerful airflow while generating reasonably low noise levels.
  • Noctua NF-A4x10 – premium quality 40x10mm fan, excellent air flow and low noise levels. Needs buck converter to function. 
  • Noiseblocker Black Silent 40x10mm – high-quality, reliable fan that provides excellent airflow with no noise. Requires buck converter

Ender 3 Mainboard Fan Upgrade

The Ender 3 mainboard fan is always-on part to be replaced by a quiter fan in order to bring down the noise levels. 

This fan is placed in the casing of the mainboard and can accommodate different sized fans such as 40x10mm and 40x20mm. You can also use 3d printed mainboard extension covers to fit a larger fan.

Below are some fan options that produce lower decibel noise output as compared to the stock mainboard fan given by the Ender 3 manufacturer:

  • Around $13.00, the Orion OD4020-24MB is a 40 x 20 mm fan that operates at 24V. It has strong airflow but produces more noise than some other fans (around 33dBA). However, it is still much better than the stock fan that comes with many devices. The extra noise is worth the miles better performance that this fan provides.
  • The Noctua NF-A4x10 and Noctua NF-A4x20 are two of the best choices for quiet, efficient cooling. They’re both 12 V, ultra-silent, and come with a buck converter to make them work. The NF-A4x10 is the smaller of the two, measuring just 10 cm across. It’s also the more affordable option, costing just $13.00. The NF-A4x20 is 20 cm across and costs $15.00. Both fans are highly rated and deliver excellent performance. 
  • The TH3D 40mm Sealed Bearing Fan is a great drop-in replacement for your 3D printer. It’s made of solid ABS plastic and has sealed ball bearings for long life and low noise operation. This 24V fan is perfect for cooling your hotend or other 3D printer components. 

Part Cooling Fan

The part cooling fans on the stock Ender 3 are usually enough for most purposes. However, some people choose to upgrade the fans in order to increase airflow and improve performance for overhangs and bridging. 

The Ender 3 is a popular model that uses a 4010 blower fan, but some users have upgraded to a 5015 or 6020 fan in order to achieve faster print speeds. Keep in mind that blower fans tend to have a lower flow rating than axial dimensioned fans, but they make up for it in terms of compactness. 

Many 3D users also choose fan ducts along with part cooling fan to improve the effectiveness. We have depicted some of the fans along with compatible fan ducts below:

Evercool’s EC-4010

Evercool’s EC-4010 is one of the most popular cooler fan on the market. It offers excellent airflow and low noise levels, making it a great choice for Ender 3. The EC4010TH12X is the highest performer in the series, delivering 6.64 CFM at less than 25 dB. If noise levels are your main concern, you can go as low as 16 dB and 2.96 CFM. 

  • Dimensions: 40 x 40 x 10 mm
  • Rated noise level: 25 dB at full speed
  • Rated airflow: 6.64 CFM at full speed
  • Rated voltage: 12 V

Fractal Design’s Silent 40 mm

The Fractal Designs Silent 40 mm is a high-quality fan that delivers good airflow while remaining relatively quiet. It features a black cable that is aesthetically pleasing, and it is important to make sure that the pinout is correct when plugging it in. The fan is capable of delivering a good amount of airflow, and it does so without being too noisy. It is a good choice for those who are looking for a quality fan that will not break the bank.

  • Rated voltage: 12 V
  • Dimensions: 40 x 40 x 10 mm
  • Rated noise level: 20 dB at full speed
  • Rated airflow: 3.6 CFM at full speed

Final Words

If you work in the same room as your printer, you know how important it is to keep the noise level down. One way to do this is to upgrade the fans that can make a world of difference in the noise level.

The fan replacement may take upto $80 or more and this may be a significant money when considering the cost of the printer. But its worth investing this money as it will also help to extend the life of your printer by preventing overheating.

Bheema Shankar
Author | Website

I am Bheema Shankar. I have worked on SLS, CJP, DLP, SLA and FDM technologies at Think3D. Currently working as Process and application engineer at VEER-O-METALS PRIVATE LIMITED. I am always fascinated by the process of creating things layer by layer. This fascination led me to pursue a career in 3D printing technology. I am passionate about how 3D works and enjoy exploring new ways to improve the 3D printing process.

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