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This is Not the #3DBenchy You’re Looking For

 Would you consider using a different
Would you consider using a different “fun” 3D print benchmark? 

I read some posts proposing an alternate test print for 3D printing. 

The most popular 3D benchmark is the venerable #3DBenchy, proposed as a standard years ago by Swedish 3D print reseller Creative Tools. Their benchmark object caught on with many 3D printer operators due to the versatility of the design and its simplicity. And it’s a fun design, too. 

Since then you, like myself, have 3D printed dozens of #3DBenchys in efforts to tune or test desktop 3D printers. It works because of the ingenious design of the #3DBenchy, which includes a number of structural features that put any 3D printer to a reasonable and general test of its capabilities. 

However, there have been so many #3DBenchys produced that some folks might be tiring of the design. One post I read proposed using an alternate boat model as a benchmark. This one in particular. 

It’s a very detailed 3D model of a cartoonish river paddlewheel boat whose style is quite reminiscent of the #3DBenchy. The designer of the ”Old paddle-wheel steamboat”, Thingiverse contributor vandargon_de explains: 

I wanted to draw something after the bathtub boat which floats but still looks good on the desk. The idea of an old paddle-wheel steamer was buzzing in my head. You can see what came out of it. It took a few approaches but I am satisfied with the result so far. As a display stand I was inspired by the Benchy display stand, the idea was great.

And it’s a terrific 3D model that’s fun to 3D print. 

But is it a replacement for #3DBenchy? 

 An alternative to #3DBenchy?
An alternative to #3DBenchy?

I think not. There are a few challenges: 

  • It doesn’t involve very many slightly curving flat surfaces from which you can investigate surface quality
  • The bridging is good, but not varied in size; lots of repeat structures
  • There are some overhangs, but not gradual ones where you can see exactly where slump occurs
  • There’s no fine writing details (like on the backboard of the #3DBenchy) to resolve
  • No printing on the bottom is present to investigate bottom quality
  • It’s too big, and takes too long to print (my test took 4.5 hours with only 15% infill)

#3DBenchy is a beautifully simple 3D model that serves well as a benchmark. The Steamboat is a truly beautiful and detailed 3D model, but a fun boat does not make a benchmark. 

Via Thingiverse

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