#3DBenchy - the Tool to Calibrate and Test Your 3D Printer




Introduction: #3DBenchy - the Tool to Calibrate and Test Your 3D Printer

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#3DBenchy is a 3D model specifically designed for testing and benchmarking 3D printers. It is a small recognizable object that you can download for free, make and share.

By 3D-printing this STL file you will be able to benchmark your 3D printer and materials and compare the result to other users' prints and machines.

The 3D model is designed to print at 1:1 scale without support materials. It is challenging for most 3D printers but the small volume (15.55 cm3) typically prints in well under two hours and does not require much material.
The different surfaces of the #3DBenchy model reveal typical issues regarding surface finish, model accuracy, warping, etc.

Step 1: Shape Features

  • The Hull - The hull is a large, smooth overhanging curved surface that is challenging to 3D-print and clearly reveals any surface deviations.
  • Symmetry - #3DBenchy is perfectly symmetrical which makes any skewness and warping easy to detect.
  • High-Resolution STL file - The STL file is triangulated at a very high resolution which yields smooth surfaces. The maximum deviation from the original CAD file is set to 0.001 mm.
  • Planar Horizontal Faces - The top surfaces of the deck, box and chimney are planar, horizontal and parallel to the bottom plane.
  • Tiny Surface Details - If you have a high-resolution 3D printer, this is where you can shine! The letters on the stern are less than 2 mm tall and the thickness of #3DBenchy’s nameplate is just 0.1 mm.
  • Cylindrical Shapes - The chimney is designed to define concentrical cylindrical shapes with inner and outer diameters. These clearly show deviations in roundness.
  • Overhang Surfaces - Overhang issues are the Achilles’ heel of 3D printing. #3DBenchy offers several challenging areas such as in the difficult-to-reach inside of the bridge.
  • Low-Slope-Surfaces - These clearly show the layered structure of 3D printing. If printed horizontally, #3DBenchy’s gunwale and roof of the bridge will reveal the layer-steps.
  • Large Horizontal Holes - The rear window offers a large circular horizontal hole and the boat’s wheel offers a round difficult-to-reach secluded feature.
  • Small Horizontal Holes - The hawsepipe represents a small short horizontal hole and has a very thin flange against the hull.
  • Slanted Small Holes - The fishing-rod-holder provides a very small slightly-slanted blind hole.
  • First-Layer-Details - The shallow letters at the bottom of the boat clearly reveal typical first-layer-squashing.

Step 2: Measure and Calibrate

Use #3DBenchy to test and calibrate your 3D printer by adjusting hardware and software settings for optimal results.

The shape and size of this 3D model is designed to challenge 3D printers. Compare your #3DBenchy results with the dimensions illustrated below. These are easy to measure with a calliper. Print and check your 3D-printer’s result for dimensional accuracy, tolerances, warping and deviations related to changes in printing parameters and material types.

Regardless of how well #3DBenchy 3D-prints on a certain 3D printer, it is a valuable tool for comparing results between several different 3D printers, assuming that similar print settings where used.

  • Bridge roof length - The front and rear surfaces of the roof are parallel at a distance of 23.00 mm.

  • Chimney roundness - The cylindrical hole and outer top part of the chimney measure 3.00 and 7.00 mm in diameter. The depth of the blind hole measures 11.00 mm.

  • Horizontal overall-length - #3DBenchy’s horizontal overall-length from bow to stern measures 60.00 mm.

  • Horizontal overall-width - #3DBenchy’s horizontal overall-width from port to starboard measures 31.00 mm.

  • Vertical overall-height - #3DBenchy’s vertical overall-height from top to bottom measures 48.00 mm. The top of the box measures 15.50 mm above the bottom surface.

  • Cargo-box size - The box on #3DBenchy’s deck measures 12.00 x 10.81 mm on the outside and 8.00 x 7.00 mm on the inside. The depth measures 9.00 mm.

  • Hawsepipe diameter - The inner diameter of #3DBenchy’s hawsepipe measures 4.00 mm. The depth of the flange against the hull is 0.30 mm.

  • Bridge front window size - The rectangular front window measures 10.50 x 9.50 mm. Its parallel inner surfaces are horizontally cut into the bridge.

  • Bridge rear window size - The inner diameter of the cylindrical stern window meastures 9.00 mm. Its outer diameter measures 12.00 mm. The flange’s depth is 0.30 mm.

  • Bow overhang inclination - #3DBenchy’s high-cain spoon bow has a 40° overhang angle to the horizontal plane.

  • Bridge roof inclination - The roof of the bridge slopes at a 5.5° angle to the horizontal plane.

  • Small-detail stern nameplate - The sign and small letters at the stern are extruded at 0.10 mm.

Step 3: Printing #3DBenchy

As there are many types of technologies for 3D printing, it is difficult to recommend general settings that apply to all machines. Since the FFF (fused filament fabrication, a.k.a. FDM) is widely spread, we recommend the settings below for best results.

  • Scale: 1:1 (unmodified in size, from bow to stern #3DBenchy.stl measures 60.00 mm).
  • 3D-printbead: Heated bed at 55 °C for PLA plastic or 110 °C for ABS plastic filament First layer height: 0.3 mm
  • Default layer height: 0.1 to 0.2 mm (100 - 200 microns)
  • Infill: 10 - 25% Print speed (extrusion): 20 - 50 mm/s
  • Print speed (extrusion): upp to 50 mm/s
  • Print speed (travel): upp to 150 mm/s

Step 4: Download the #3DBenchy.stl File

You can download the #3DBenchy STL file below. It is saved in the binary STL file format and loads nicely into every 3D-printing slice software.


Step 5: Show and Tell!

Print your #3DBenchy and show it to the world. Just press the button "I made it" here on Instructables and don't forget to tag your image with #3DBenchy on social media.

It does not matter how "well" your print is! Remember that #3DBenchy is designed to be a very challenging model to print. By showing your result to others you will be able get good advice and improve your 3D-printing skills! :)

Follow #3DBenchy:

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Question 1 year ago on Step 2

What should be the wall line count, and how many too layers for the 3DBenchy? Thanks!


Question 2 years ago

Is the .step file available? There are so many .STL options here, it would be great to have the source to tweak.



4 years ago

;) the Show and Tell step. You must have a big box full of #3DBenchys!


4 years ago

LOL all the file previews pics are upside down


4 years ago


There's a typo (maybe it's intentional?) @Step 3:

3D-printbead instead of 3D-printBED

  • Print speed (extrusion): upp to 50 mm/s
  • Print speed (travel): upp to 150 mm/s

the upp should be up.


You may have seen the username skitcher before on Thingiverse, that's me!


5 years ago

For those who want to try #3DBenchy as a 3MF file in the slicing software, we have now created and uploaded the file 3DBenchy.3mf. It is a modern file format better suited for 3D printing. For more information visit http://www.3mf.io/

The original 3DBenchy.stl original file weighs 11,3 MB. The new 3DBenchy.3mf weighs just 3,1 MB but still contains the exact 3D surface information. Please note that not all 3D printing software packages today support the new .3mf file format.


6 years ago

I went to the 3dBenchy home page found a link for troubleshooting but the link doesn`t work,when My chimney is not 7 mm round or my storage compartment is not 12 mm square or i can read the name on the bottom of benchy but cannot read it on the stern where do i find where it explains to me what needs to be adjusted ? I downloaded the pdf file for 3dbenchy it has pictures for the " Measure and Calibrate " ok how and what needs to me calibrated ? What am I missing here aside from the knowledge to Calibrate ?


Reply 6 years ago

Our "quick-fix" for the issues you are experiencing, is to recommend you to check tension of the belts driving the X and Y axis of your 3D printer.

For a better analysis we would need to know much more about your machine, settings, material, 3D-printing environment, etc.


We have now finalised the #3DBenchy STL files for dual- and multi-part color 3D printing! The files are now added to this instructable so that everyone can download them and give it a try. :)

Read more about dual-print at http://3dbenchy.com/?p=709


7 years ago

I am buying my first 3D printer in a few weeks but im going with a less expensive kit to get my experience building the printer and components. I understand the print qual will be low but I want to get a good grasp of how everything works hardware and software wise before going to a higher model. this will be the 1st print I do for sure to see where I stand.


Reply 7 years ago

We are glad to hear jtalor115 that your first print will be the #3DBenchy benchmark model! :)

Building your own 3D printer from a kit does not necessarily mean lower-quality results, many times it is the opposite because you can control and adjust every part of the machine.

Just make sure you make the mechanics as sturdy as possible, tighten the belts and lubricate all the linear bearings.

We suggest you start printing with PLA plastic filament because it is easier and yields better results. Just make sure to have a fan that effectively blows cool air onto the 3D-printed part while it prints.

Good luck and welcome to the fascinating 3D-printing world!