3DBenchy & Me

I have seen photographs of Benchys for years and I did not understand why so many people printed one. It was not until I found a benchmark tool created by Kickstarter and Autodesk last month that I bothered to find an answer. I did not realize that it is an actual bench-marking tool. After owning a 3D printer for four years, I downloaded a zip file from Thingiverse and printed my first Benchy.

The instructions for 3DBenchy are to: “Print and check your 3D-printer’s result for dimensional accuracy, tolerances, warping and deviations related to changes in printing parameters and material types.” Dimensions are provided for its various sections.

What’s Next?

After you print 3DBenchy, you are kind of left hanging. It was suggested that you post a photograph and get feedback from a community. I did that, but I did not receive any suggestions about how to improve my print. I did not ask for feedback. Maybe I should have. Anyway, it left me wondering how to determine what needed adjustment if 3DBenchy did not look okay.

I found a YouTube source offering explanations; Thomas Sanladerer, “Improve Your 3D Prints.” Sanladerer printed a Benchy in TPU and responds to tweets during the video. An index with starting times is below.

TimeNotes
2:08“Retracts need a bit more length with a flexible material. So, you can very easily get rid of strings by either lowering temperature or increasing retracts. ” Shows over temperature artifacts…
4:12Z banding – Filament not feeding consistently. Print slower. Likely cause is extruder tension.
9:31Z wobble…
20:46Over extrusion
37:45Tree ringing- Not enough resolution to produce a smooth wall; has micro-stepping artifacting.
40:09Partially clogged nozzles or extruder issues
Notes from Thomas Sanladerer’s Improve Your Prints video

What Else?

3D Benchy has been used to compare printing services and slicing software. All3DP did a comparison of printing services. Benchys ordered from i.Materialise, Meltwerk, Sculpteo, and Shapeways were compared based on sintering white plastic polyamide. Shapeways was my go to source for printing before I bought a printer.

Gary Purcell printed a standard 3DBenchy, using 6 popular 3D Print Slicing Programs, and compared the results. Slicers: Beta Kiss v1.6.1, Craftware v1.14, Cura v3.0.4, Ideamaker v2.6.0.925, Simplify3d v4.0, and Slic3r v1.29. Watch the video to see which one performed best.

Reflections

It took a long time for me to print 3D Benchy, but I am glad I did, finally. It led me to learning more about how to make better prints.

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