“How good is the 3D print quality?” is a common question that has been asked, so we wanted to address it. “Quality” can mean a lot of different things. Is it dimensional accuracy? Surface finish? Strength? 3D print quality can take on a lot of different meanings depending on the application the parts are intended for.
In the world of hobby-level 3D printers, typically all the question means is “how good do the parts look?”. Material choice, print settings and filament quality can drastically affect how a part looks visually. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t try to prove a 3D printer’s quality with only a visual inspection. There have been many 3D models designed to test exactly that. We printed a handful to show exactly what the Powerbelt3D Zero is capable of.
For those who are curious, all test prints were printed in PLA at 50mm/s with 3 shells and 10% infill. Let’s begin with an iconic 3D printing benchmark, the aptly named 3D Benchy.
3D Benchy on the Powerbelt3D Zero
The 3D Benchy is without a doubt the best-known 3D print quality test. It packs a series of challenging model features into a small boat model. It is often the first model that should be run on a new 3D printer after initial calibration in order to get an idea of how well it is printing.
3D Hubs’ Marvin
3D Hubs was one of the first 3D printing platforms that allowed at-home users to list their 3D printing services for hire. Initially, all that was needed to prove your 3D print quality was to print and take a photo of their mascot – Marvin. This model prints quickly, but has difficult print areas similar to the 3D Benchy. Since its inception, 3D Hubs has shifted away from at-home users listing services on their website, but Marvin is still a notable 3D print quality test.
X-Y-Z Calibration Cube
Perhaps the simplest test of dimensional accuracy is the humble calibration cube. The cube is usually 20mm in each dimension, and can be used to calibrate the steps-per-mm for each axis. 3D print quality can be seen by analyzing the straightness of each side and the clarity of the letters.