The web is slowly beginning to understand the proportion of the 3D revolution, so it is populating itself with virtual warehouses of printable models. You can find a good overview of these virtual repositories in this post. Going to rummage through the databases we will realize quite easily that the projects are divided into 2 main categories, the ignored and the famous. Among the most famous we find without any doubt the Benchy 3D model, one of the most printed models ever. But why all this success for this little boat? Yes, it’s nice… but the reasons are quite different!
This boat is a real stress test for 3D printers, practically a concentrate of Monday morning in the office after a Sunday night of alcohol… is a summary of all the situations, more or less challenging, with which your printer sooner or later will have to deal.
You haven’t printed a Benchy 3D yet? What are you waiting for!
The Benchy Printing
In order to obtain comparable results, as in any self-respecting experiment, you have to start with parameters, if not equal, at least similar, and therefore first consider the factors to be taken into account for this print!
You will undoubtedly need the STL model to be processed, you can find it at this address.
Let’s move on to the settings:
- The scale! Consider that to have comparable results you should use the scale 1:1 to be able to perceive the differences between your test with any other in the world.
- The temperature of the bed should be the minimum necessary to keep the boat anchored to the bed, then from 0° to 50° for the PLA and from 80° to 110° for the ABS (or plastic products).
- Layer height from 0.05 mm to a maximum of 0.2 mm.
- Extrusion speed between 40mm/s and 60mm/s (even 80-100mm for Delta and corexy) and movement speed from 120 to 150mm/s.
- Infill between 15%/20%.
Once the printing is finished, the difficult part begins, learning to read between the lines what our printer wants to communicate to us through the result obtained.
The different surfaces of the 3D Benchy model reveal typical problems regarding surface finish, model accuracy, deformation, and more…
Benchy: accurate print analysis
– Hull – The hull is a curved, very wide and smooth surface that is challenging for 3D printing and easily reveals mechanical problems, such as under/over extrusion, layer separation or wobble.
– Symmetry – Benchy is perfectly symmetrical, which makes it easy to detect any squaring defect that the machine may have, noting even the slightest defect, even dripping defects and growths.
– Horizontal faces – The upper surfaces of the bridge, box and chimney are flat, horizontal and parallel to the lower floor can show serious defects, such as real holes.
– Very small details – If you have a high resolution 3D printer, you will clearly read letters on the stern, think they are less than 2 mm high and the plate thickness is only 0.1 mm. If you have difficulty viewing the text you can refer to this easy guide
– Cylindrical Shapes – The chimney is designed to define concentric cylindrical shapes with internal and external diameters. These clearly show errors in roundness, this test, given the short time between layers can also signal lack of cooling or overheating
– Overlap surfaces – Overlap problems are the plug of the side of the 3D print, you can notice them inside the hull.
– Side door – through the side door and generally on large openings we can see if our printer produces stringing.
– Low slope surfaces – clearly show the layered structure of 3D printing. If printed horizontally, the Benchy Bridge and roof will reveal the stepped level.
– Large horizontal holes – The rear window offers a large circular horizontal hole and the boat’s helm in the same way makes the printer measure with vertically filled circles.
– Small horizontal holes – The two holes in the hull represent a further challenge, here it is easy for ringing and ghosting (literally ghost, but refers to the shadow given by the vibration, visible in the picture) if the printer has even a small vibration.
– Details and success of the first layer – The shallow letters below the boat clearly show any error in the first layer.
If now you are not fully satisfied with the test and want to deepen it further you can move on to the measurement of all known parts in the small boat.
Comparison is a valuable tool, and it is even more important to compare the results between different 3D printers, assuming that similar printing settings are used. Below are the measurements of the various parts to allow you to compare to the tenth of a millimeter!
– Roof length – The front and rear roof surfaces are parallel at a distance of 23.00 mm.
– Roundness of the chimney – The cylindrical hole and the upper outside of the chimney are 3.00 mm and 7.00 mm in diameter. The depth of the blind hole is 11.00 mm.
– Total horizontal length – Total horizontal length of the Benchy 3D from arch to stern 60.00 mm.
– Overall width horizontal – width of the boat 3DBenchy is 31.00 mm.
– Vertical vertical height – Benchy’s total vertical height from top to bottom is 48.00 mm.
– Magazine box size – The box has a surface area of 12.00 x 10.81 mm on the outside and 8.00 x 7.00 mm on the inside. The depth is 9.00 mm.
– Diameter of the hole in the hull – The inside diameter is 4.00 mm. The depth of the flange against the hull is 0.30 mm.
– Dimensions of the front window of the cabin – The rectangular front window measures 10.50 x 9.50 mm. Parallel inner surfaces are cut horizontally in the bridge.
– Rear cabin window dimensions – The inside diameter of the aft cylindrical window is 9.00 mm. Its outer diameter is 12.00 mm. The depth of the frame is 0.30 mm.
– Bow inclination – The bow inclination arc forms an angle of 40° with the plane on which it rests, so that it can be printed without the aid of any support.
– Inclination of the cabin roof – The roof winds at an angle of 5.5 ° to the horizontal plane.
– Small detail plate card – The sign and small letters at the stern are extruded to 0.10 mm.