8 Models to Try with Your Dual Extruder Printer

Posted on
3D Insider is ad supported and earns money from clicks, commissions from sales, and other ways.

Printing with a dual extruder is likely about one of the most exciting things that someone who is into 3D printers can experience. Dual extrusion printing opens a breadth of new design possibilities for multicolor prints.

If you just got a new dual extruder printer, you’re probably looking for free downloadable models to take your printer for a spin. Here are some of our favorite models ranging from the very simple to the fairly complex. These models will allow you to explore the new discipline and skills needed for dual extrusion 3D printing.

1. Lighthouse, Buoy, and Ship Torture Test

Lighthouse, Buoy, and Ship Torture Test

What better way to try out your new dual extruder printer than with a good old torture test? This STL file contains three distinct objects – a buoy, a tall lighthouse, and a classic Benchy-style boat. You can print them together on a single build platform or just the one model you fancy.

This collection of torture test models is a great way to get a handle on printing with dual extruders. It will also allow you to pinpoint any possible issues with your extruder or filament. If you feel like your printer needs more work, take the time to print these models before moving on to bigger projects.

2. Traffic Cones

Traffic Cones

This is a somewhat simpler project that would be nice for testing different filament colors. Aside from the standard striped traffic cone, this set of cones includes checkered, spotted, and star-spangled versions. The model itself is not technically difficult to print and should pose no challenge to your 3D printer.

The best use case for these models is to test how well two different-colored 3D printing filaments look when printed together. This is great for when you’re deciding which filament colors to use for a big project. It’s also nice to have a couple of these lying around your workspace as a sort of color palette for your filaments.

3. Shrooms


These tiny video game-style mushrooms are incredibly cute and make great test models for your 3D printer. The highlight of the set is the dual-extruder model, although multi-part models for single extruder printers are also available.

As a test print, the mushroom cap of the model makes for a very good calibration model for printing smooth surfaces. You can also print a “reverse” copy of the model at the same time to see the performance of both extruders. Again, having several copies of this model is not a problem since they are really nice to have around the house or workshop.

4. 6-Sided Die

6-Sided Die

With so many situations in life where a die could come in handy, printing one more with your dual extruder setup does not seem like such a waste. If you play a lot of board games or tabletop role-playing games, then this is a great chance to create your very own personalized six-sided die.

As you would expect, there’s nothing terribly complicated about printing this model. Most people would probably prefer printing this as smooth as possible, or even sanding it in post-processing. This is a fun early test model for your dual extruder 3D printer.

5. 2-Color Tree Frog

2-Color Tree Frog

This tree frog has become a staple test model for dual extruder 3D printers. It’s small, visually interesting, and has fairly simple features. This model can also be a great test if you’re worried about warping – its small first layer cross-section can prove challenging.

This model is excellent for testing any bright-colored filament in your stock. It also makes a good test print if you’re tweaking your printer settings to create smooth outer surfaces. These make great lawn ornaments if you end up having to print too many of them.

6. Filigree Lamp Shade

Filigree Lamp Shade

Fancy lampshades are a staple of 3D printing but how about one that needs a dual extruder? The filigree-inspired design is only of the many complexities of this lampshade model. With lots of potential overhangs, this model will test the ability of your dual extruder printer to build support structures.

The internal half of this model is best printed with transparent or translucent filament. Even then, you will probably need to do some heavy post-processing to get any light to shine through brightly. In any case, this is one of the fancier lamp models we have seen online.

7. 2-Color Octopus

2-Color Octopus

This octopus probably looks familiar to anyone who has been into 3D printing for a while. Just like the tree frog, this octopus has become a standard test model for dual extruder printing. This is a bigger and more robust build which is ideal if you want to do a more heavy-duty test for your printer.

Aside from the curved surfaces of the model, the small contact area with the print bed might make it prone to warping. The textured surface of the octopus also makes it more interesting and can be used to test the resolution of your 3D printer. Although visually appealing, we don’t imagine having enough space to display several copies of this octopus.

8. Dual Extrusion Vase

Dual Extrusion Vase

3D printed vases are a dime a dozen – we know that. What makes this model unique is that it is designed to be printed with dual extruders. This is another interesting model for testing different color combinations.

The curvy lines and slightly flared profile of this vase give it a classy yet minimalist look. We dare say that this vase will look good in a fancy house. This can be a perfect test model for filament with muted colors or composite filaments that look like wood or metal. It’s also great for testing out overhang performance.

Final thoughts

Dual extruder 3D printers are incredibly fun! With a dual extruder setup, you can make much more colorful prints or use supports made with special filament materials. Of course, you will need 3D models specifically designed for dual extruders to make full use of their potential.

The models we have linked to here are some of the more basic ones you can try out on your dual extruder 3D printer. Just like any other 3D printer, getting to know a dual extruder system requires going through a lot of trial and error. If you’re unsure about your settings or you’re working with a new filament, then we suggest printing any of the small test models in this list.

Warning; 3D printers should never be left unattended. They can pose a firesafety hazard.