How Many Fans are on a 3D Printer?

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Updated February 15, 2023

When searching for the best printers, it’s best to understand the options available. Knowing how many fans are on a 3D printer will help you decide which is the best 3D printer for your needs. Fans are included to provide temperature regulation and ventilation to critical systems and components inside your printer. You can generally find them next to heatsinks. Their placement and numbers vary from printer to printer, but you can expect them to be located near the extruder, power supply, and control board.


  • The number of fans in any given printer will depend on how it was manufactured and by which company. Some include more fans than others.
  • A printer fan is crucial for a couple of reasons. The first is that they provide relief for components prone to overheating. The second reason is ventilation.
  • You’ll be able to find fans scattered everywhere throughout your printer. While some models include more than others, there are a few places they’re always found.

How Many Fans Do 3D Printers Have?

When it comes to the inner workings of your model, fans provide a few essential functions. However, they always provide ventilation and a cooling effect to keep your 3D printer functioning with a regulated internal temperature.

Insider Tip

Keeping your 3D printer extruder fan clean will ensure better results when printing.

The total number of fans can vary from printer to printer, and the purpose will change a little based on their placement. The Ender 3, for example, has four fans altogether. But generally speaking, your printer should have at least two fans — one for cooling the hot end diffuser and another for cooling the extruded material.

Of course, before wondering what the coolest things you can 3D print are, you should learn a little about the technology you’re about to utilize. It’s easy to get caught up comparing different tools, like 3D Solutech vs. Hatchbox, but the basics are crucial.

The Purpose of Fans in a 3D Printer

There are a few purposes that fans serve in a 3D printer. You’ll find them in different locations inside your printer, providing temperature regulation and ventilation to the nearby parts. They do this by moving air over the heatsinks, helping heat dissipate more quickly. Without fans, your printer will begin overheating. This can cause damage to both your prints and printer. If you’re still in the market for your printer, try looking into the best 3D printer for nylon.

Explaining General Fan Location

Knowledge of the internal components of your 3D printer is crucial. For example, if you have to ask, “Why isn’t my 3d printer extruding?” you’ll have a better understanding of where parts are placed and how to access them for troubleshooting purposes. 3D printer fans are such an integral part of the functionality of printers that it’s pivotal to understand their different locations. Otherwise, any malfunction due to neglect or wear and tear could spell disaster for your prints. Below, we’ll explain these locations and the purposes of the fans they feature.


In 3D printing, the motor drives everything. This is a less common location for fans. However, you might find one meant to maintain optimal temperature for the stepper motors specifically. This fan provides relief to the heatsink for improved temperature regulation.


Lower-end models, like those printer hobbyists may invest in, may be prone to overheating.

Hot End

A “hotend” is the place where the printer melts and extrudes each strand of filament onto your print bed. These are all sources of heat that can be problematic for other nearby parts. While it does vary from printer to printer, you’ll usually find two fans in this location.

3D Prints

Once your 3D print is underway, fans located next to the nozzle provide direct airflow to the molten plastic. This improves 3D print quality and keeps things cooling down efficiently and evenly. Otherwise, you might end up with warping issues.

Power Supply

The last thing you want to run into is a power supply failure. This can wreck a 3D print, especially if your model doesn’t have power-less protection. Fans allow the resistors, transistors, and other high-energy components from heat overload.

STAT: As per the latest data looking at the global distribution of online 3D printing demand by industry/application, in 2018, the industrial segment accounted for 31 percent of the global online 3D printing demand. (source)

Control Board

Your control board is what controls processes such as temperature regulation, motion, and even parsing G-code files. The fan in this location helps these sensitive parts stay heat-free since high temperatures can cause irreversible damage.

How Many Fans are on a 3D Printer FAQs

Do fan settings make a difference for 3D printing filaments?

Yes, and you should keep a close eye on those fan settings. This is because the fans located at the nozzle provide solidification to every single print you make through a steady print environment.

Is getting a fan upgrade worth it?

That depends on the type of fan you’re talking about and its purpose. If you purchased a lower-end model, upgrading a couple of fans may help improve poor-quality 3D prints.

How do I ensure the success of each individual print?

You can ensure success for your prints in a few different ways, including using optimized fan settings, using high-quality filaments, and using an enclosure.
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