I'm new to the 3D printing world but I've been using some of the 3D printers at my local library, and am now interested in purchasing my own! One thing that's important for my projects is being able to use variable layer thickness (for example, the first 50 layers are 0.3 mm, the next 50 are 0.1 mm, and the last 50 layers are 0.3 mm).

I know the Prusa printers can do this, but I've been trying to understand whether the Creality Ender 3 allows you to use variable layer thickness. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find this information online so I would like to ask here!


Variable layer height is a setting of the slicer, not an ability of the printer itself.

However, the printer must be able to print at such layer heights. Any FDM (Fused deposition modeling ) or FFF (fused filament fabrication) printer, which is the type you describe in the question, is able to print at 0.1 to 0.3 mm with at least a 0.4 mm nozzle diameter.

There is also notion of optimal layer heights. Optimal hight depend on full steps of Z motor correlated with a leadscrew type. It is especially important when microstepping for Z is disabled or when printer disconnects a Z motor during long printing of single layer, otherwise positioning may get imprecise. Prusa calculator helps to determine these values. For 8 mm/revolution lead of screw (standard T8 in Ender 3) the step for optimal heights would be 0.04 mm.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank for the reply 0scar (+1). So I can just incorporate the variable thickness feature from Prusa slicer onto my file, and use it on the Ender 3? $\endgroup$
    – F16Falcon
    Mar 11 '21 at 23:20
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You can use PrusaSlicer for other printers than Prusa models/brands. $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Mar 12 '21 at 5:51
  • $\begingroup$ I added information of optimal layer height to the answer. It depends on stepper motor and leadscrew type. For my old printer I disabled Z microstepping, I use standard M8 thread there, so Z resolution is still more then satisfying. The holding torque is improved in this setup, and my two Z motors remain cold all the time. One day I will probably do the same for Ender. $\endgroup$
    – octopus8
    Mar 13 '21 at 12:11

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