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Ender 3 Test Print: Best Models to Challenge Your Ender 3

Leo Gregurić
Jan 7, 2020

Looking to see how your Ender 3 really performs? Try one of these Ender 3 test prints today to tune and tweak your printer's settings!

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Ender 3 Test Prints

Get to Know Your Printer

A great first layer almost guarantees a good print!
A great first layer almost guarantees a good print! (Source: Reddit)

If you’ve ever bought a 3D printer, you know the feeling of excitement that comes upon the printer’s delivery. Naturally, the first thing you’d want to do is to assemble it and start printing!

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Nowadays, it’s become something of a tradition for manufacturers to include one or more test print STL files with a printer. Usually, this model is meant to print nicely and therefore impress the user with the machine’s capabilities. In the case of the Ender 3, the test print is a 3D model of a dog.

Here, too, the dog is a simple model that’s expected to print well. What does that mean? It means you shouldn’t use the quality of the resulting model to judge the capability of your Ender 3. In other words, this dog isn’t a good test print.

The truth is, the Creality Ender 3 (as well as the Ender 3 Pro) is a very capable 3D printer, so we suggest printing something more challenging to get a proper printer preview. This will also help to determine whether or not the machine has been calibrated well.

To this end, we’ve prepared a curated list of our top choices for Ender 3 test prints. All of the models shown are meant to help you tune your slicer settings and get the most out of the Ender 3.

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Ender 3 Test Prints

3DBenchy

3DBenchys printed on the Ender 3
3DBenchys printed on the Ender 3 (Source: FedorSosnin via Thingiverse)

What is it? It’s one of the most popular 3D printing models ever, thanks to its cute and clever design, which is meant to serve as an all-in-one torture test for your 3D printer.

3DBenchy is a boat featuring a variety of shapes and textures. The goal with 3D printing this model is to identify what your printer is good at and what’s not so good so that you can optimize your printing profile.

What does it test?

  • Surface quality: Can your Ender 3 print the smooth, curved hull?
  • Warping: 3DBenchy is a perfectly symmetrical model, making it easy to detect warping issues.
  • Planar surfaces: The upper surfaces of the chimney, the main deck, and the box are made to be horizontal and parallel to the model’s base. In this way, you can check if the printer is doing a good job of printing several horizontal surfaces.
  • Overhangs: There are a few overhangs in the 3DBenchy, which should reveal how your printer deals with printing them.
  • Cylindrical shapes: The chimney is a test for printing concentric cylindrical shapes. It also serves as a test for deviations in the roundness of such shapes.
  • Slanted holes: The small hole at the very end of the 3DBenchy tests your printer’s finesse with printing small, precise features.
  • First layer quality: The first layer is the most important one. Luckily, the 3DBenchy can also test that with the lettering at the bottom, which can reveal “elephant’s foot” (if there is any).

Who created it? Creative Tools

Where to download? 3DBenchy.com

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Ender 3 Test Prints

Bed Level Test

Leveling the print bed ensures your future prints stick well
Leveling the print bed ensures your future prints stick well (Source: Elproducts via Thingiverse)

What is it? A simple print that helps you to level the bed of your Ender 3. The idea is that while the printer is printing these squares, you can adjust the bed and try to get all corners properly stuck to the print bed.

How to use it? As the printer is printing the squares, check all four edges. If you notice poor adhesion, bring the bed closer to the nozzle by twisting the leveling wheel clockwise. On the other hand, if you see no filament is coming out of the nozzle, or the printed line is too squished, twist the wheel counter-clockwise to bring the bed away from the nozzle.

Who created it? Elproducts

Where to download? Thingiverse

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Ender 3 Test Prints

Printing Speed Test

Ender 3 speed test
It doesn't look like much, but it works! (Source: Lorddrake via Thingiverse)

What is it? This is a simple model for testing the quality of printing at different print speeds. Since the Ender 3 is capable of printing at higher speeds, like 100 mm/s, why not test it?

How to use it? The test starts at 50 mm/s and, for every 5 mm in height, the speed increases by 10 mm/s. In the end, the model measures 30 mm in height and is composed of layers built under different print speeds.

This clever design featuring indents as well as flat and rounded walls, which reveal any signs of poor performance. This way, you’ll know at which print speed your Ender performs at its best.

Who created it? TeachingTech

Where to download? Thingiverse (Keep in mind that you won’t see the model straightaway. You’ll need to download an entire folder of test files and then find the proper one for the speed test.)

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Ender 3 Test Prints

Stringing Test

That's a messy print bed, but looks alright
That's a messy print bed, but looks alright (Source: Ouroboro5 via Thingiverse)

What is it? Stringing occurs when the filament keeps coming out of the nozzle while the print head is traveling. This simple model prints quickly and features two towers that help you detect if your printer has problems with stringing.

How to use it? Simply print the model and look out for any signs of stringing between the towers. If stringing does occur, it’s a sign that your travel speed, retraction, and perhaps even temperature settings need adjustment.

Who created it? Ouroboro5

Where to download? Thingiverse.

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Ender 3 Test Prints

Lattice Cube

Now that's a complex model!
Now that's a complex model! (Source: Alaska 3D Printing LLC via Facebook)

What is it? Lattice cubes are a popular choice for a torture test, since they tend to be quite complex. This one double as an eye-catching model, meaning you can display it after challenging your Ender 3.

How to use it? The goal with this lattice cube is to achieve good results without using support material. If the lattice cube turns out fine, it’s a sign that your cooling, temperature, and retraction settings are on point!

Who created it? Lazerlord

Where to download? Thingiverse

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Ender 3 Test Prints

Overhang Test

Colors always make it more fun!
Colors always make it more fun! (Source: Walter via Thingiverse)

What is it? This Thingiverse file contains two overhang angle test prints. The bigger model has angles from 45 to 15 degrees with 5-degree increments. The smaller one tests angles measuring 12, 15, and 18 degrees.

How to use it? As a rule of thumb, angles smaller than 45 degrees (from horizontal) should be printed with support material. On the other hand, the theory doesn’t always match reality. To test it out, simply print these files and see how the printer performs when printing different overhangs. This can help you determine overhang thresholds for your support settings.

Who created it? walter

Where to download? Thingiverse

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Ender 3 Test Prints

Temperature Tower Test

Fast and effective
Fast and effective (Source: SynJa via Thingiverse)

What is it? This is a simple temperature tower model that tests 10 different printing temperatures. It’s designed with clever features to perform the best possible test while using comparatively little filament.

How to use it? Print the model using 10 different temperatures. In case you don’t know how to set different temperatures, we suggest you watch a tutorial. When you’ve printed the model, simply inspect how it looks. The bridges and pillars test bridging and stringing, and the rounded pillars also show surface quality and layer bonding.

Who created it? SynJa

Where to download? Thingiverse

(Lead image source: Mark Pickavance via Techradar)

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License: The text of "Ender 3 Test Print: Best Models to Challenge Your Ender 3" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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