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Speed Benchy: Settings and Rules

You’ve probably heard 3D printer manufacturers bragging on how fast their new machine can print a Benchy. And you’ve probably heard other people complain that it didn’t follow the “speed boat” rules.

Say what?

#SpeedBoatRace is an ongoing competition to see who can print the fastest 3D Benchy. There’s no prize, just bragging rights. (The leader board, along with Youtube links of entrants is here.)

red 3d printed tug boat called a Benchy

The 3D Benchy is a model designed by Creative Tools specifically for testing the performance of 3D printers. It looks like a little cartoon tugboat with plenty of small details, challenging geometries, and overhangs that push the limits of a printer’s capabilities. I’ve talked about printing your own Benchy here.

Benchy only takes about 10 to 13 grams of filament to print, depending on your settings.

And settings are very important when it comes to a Speed Benchy.

The Benchy was designed to tune your printer’s quality, not speed. If you look up stl files for the 3D Benchy there’s no recommended setting for printing it.

Annex Engineering stepped in to make the speed challenge official and set some official rules. This way no one is cheating by using thicker layers or less infill.

Here are the Speed Benchy Settings

  • Material: PLA, PLA+, PETG, ASA, ABS, ABS+, PC/ABS blends, and PC/ASA blends.
    No filled, metallic, or silk filaments.
  • Max Line width: .5mm
  • Max Layer height: .25mm
  • 2 Walls
  • 3 Top/Bottom Layers
  • 10% Infill (You may combine infill every other layer)

Other rules if you wish to compete are recording the printing with a clock in the frame, posting to YouTube and having a dimensionally accurate boat when you’re done.

What Speed Should I Print a Benchy?

That depends on your printer! When testing a new 3D printer, I like to use the manufacturer’s default settings for a first run. This will help me get a feel for what the printer is capable of doing. The hull looks good, that means you have enough cooling and can start tweaking your printer for faster runs.

A typical Ender 3 running at 50mm/s (using Speed Boat settings) can print a Benchy in One Hour and 4 minutes. Nudge that up to 65mm/s and you’re down to 58 minutes. Or add Klipper, boost the speed to 150 and you’re down to 52 minutes.

I’ve got a couple high speed printers here, and running stock out of the box I’m easily printing 23 minute Benchys on both the Bambu Lab P1P and Creality K1.

For seriously crazy speeds you’ll have to start modding the printer. As of this writing, the fastest Speed Boat on the Leader Board is a 2 minute and 40 second Benchy on a heavily modified Voron V0.1. It looks more like the Wreck of the Benchy, but the SpeedBoat race isn’t about the prettiest boat!