Theoretically, 3D printing technology can be used to make just about anything. Even a basic desktop FDM 3D printer should be capable of creating diverse, complex and unnatural shapes, just about anything you can imagine. The reality is that most users only 3D print basic geometric shapes. So really how do we know what our 3D printers are capable of? Can they truly do what it says on the tin?
While we really should tackle a complex and educational project every now and then, there’s an easier option: a hard-to-print test file. While a few can be found on the web, this one by Thingiverse user ctrlV is quite good. It features just about any shape and size you can think of in a single object, and should have enough challenging parts for your 3D printer. The following tests are included:
It's a great way of finding out what 3D printing and slicing areas are problematic and which are easy, which will hopefully increase your future success rate. Just download the files from Thingiverse here, and you’re good to go. The entire test can be 3D printed at an infill of 33% (or something in that area), with an optimal layering height of 0.1 mm or less. Depending on your printer, it will only take an hour or so to complete. Let’s you see what you can do.