7 Spruced Up Alternatives to the 3DBenchy
Anyone who has used a 3D printer is probably familiar with the 3DBenchy. This cute little tugboat has become the standard “torture test” for 3D printing. It’s even common for long-time 3D printing professionals to have a collection of Benchy prints in their workshops.
As time-tested as the 3DBenchy is, it can also get a bit boring. If you have already printed one too many copies of the normal Benchy model, then here are some fancier versions of the 3DBenchy. These models retain the fundamental function of the Benchy but offer a bit more flashiness.
What makes the Benchy so special?
Before we look for replacement for the Benchy, let’s discuss first why it has become the standard torture test. Despite a seemingly simple design, the Benchy has many feature designs that 3D printers may find challenging – bridges, holes, curved surfaces, gaps, and large flat surfaces. Printing a Benchy is often the best exercise when testing out new 3D printer settings.
Another benefit of the Benchy lies in how practical it is. In its standard size, you can print a Benchy in less than an hour while using up less than 20 grams of filament. This is a huge advantage if you end up having to print a Benchy multiple times.
Unlike other 3D printing torture tests, a Benchy looks nice enough that you can keep it and proudly display it in your workshop. It would be unlikely to meet a person who had 3D printed a temperature tower or bridging test and not immediately throw it away.
The Benchy is simply on a league of its own when it comes to being a torture test for 3D printing. In coming up for alternatives, we have to be careful to choose not only the models that look nice. They must also satisfy the fundamental standards that have been set by the classic Benchy.
Top 7 Benchy alternatives
1. Battle Benchy
If you’re a fan of battleships, you will surely get a kick out of this version of the Benchy. It retains many of the features of the standard Benchy that has made it the most reliable torture test. However, it has a much longer stern with embellishment like gun turrets.
The nice thing about this Benchy alternative is that adds even more overhang features and flat surfaces in the form of the gun turrets. This adds more challenges to the print, thus making the Battle Benchy a worthwhile alternative.
2. Megalodon Benchy
This is one of the more entertaining versions of the classic Benchy we have seen. This model combines the Benchy tugboat with a megalodon shark, creating a hybrid that is both eye-catching and slightly scary. If you want your Benchy to have a bit of attitude, then this should be perfect for you.
As far as “torture testing” goes, the Megalodon Benchy uses out on a few essential features. It swaps out the large, curved area at the bow of the boat for the head of the shark. However, it has finer details that can challenge the resolution and tolerance of your 3D printer.
From the ancient, we move to the futuristic. The BENCHY-209 is a Benchy with robot arms and legs. More specifically, the robot arms and legs were patterned after the ED-209 enforcement robot from the Robocop series.
This fancy Benchy will be right at home in a collection of action figures. It’s more of a display piece than a torture test, although it does retain most of the characteristic Benchy features. This could be a more appropriate test print if you’re working with a filament that is prone to warping.
4. Shiver Me Timbers Benchy
This is a Benchy that can sail the high seas! With additional sails and masts, this version of the Benchy is a great option for pirate aficionados.
The nice thing about this Benchy is that it’s a little more difficult to print that the standard Benchy. This is mainly because the sails have to be printed with support structures. If you want to test your hand at support removal and post-processing, you can try out this small but complex model.
5. Ghost Ship Benchy
Have you ever imagined how a Benchy ship would look if its voyage had been cursed? Imagine no more, as the Ghost Ship Benchy is that idea manifested into reality. This is one of the more intricately designed Benchy alternatives we have ever seen. We like the fine details such as the ghostly passengers and the wavy surface of the ship that gives it an ethereal appearance.
The Ghost Ship Benchy is an excellent test model for assessing the resolution limits of your 3D printer. If you’re working on a highly detailed model, take some time to print a Ghost Ship Benchy first – if it looks bad, then some tweaks may be in order.
6. Paddle-Wheel Steam Boat
From the otherworldly versions, let’s move back to something that is a bit more classic. This highly detailed Benchy takes the tugboat concept and enhances it with chimneys and a pair of paddle wheels. Like other complex Benchy versions, this will make a great test for your printer’s gap tolerance and detail resolution.
The visual flair of the paddle wheel steam boat makes it a eye-catching display piece. There is also a multicolor version of this model, as well as a “wave stand” to mount it on. This is the kind of model you can print if you just want to show off what your 3D printer can do.
7. Voxel Benchy
The Voxel Benchy is a very strange take on the classic. It does away with most of the smooth surfaces of the original and turns them into blocks of pixelated features. The result is certainly visually interesting, although it doesn’t work quite as well as a 3D printing torture test.
Since the Voxel Benchy has very sharp edges and features, it is not a good tool for assessing how well your 3D printer can handle curved surfaces. However, it has a wealth of flat surfaces and overhanging features. The Voxel Benchy makes a very good contrast to the classic 3DBenchy if you display them side by side.
Having a collection of Benchy prints is something that 3D printing professionals end up doing, whether they like it or not. Benchy’s are just extremely practical and useful. However, seeing your 3D printer churn out one Benchy after another can get boring after a while.
These Benchy alternatives still provide a good torture test for your 3D printer while offering the excitement of printing something new and special. We certainly would not mind diversifying our Benchy collection with pirate ship, robot, or battleship versions.