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To check my leveling etc. is correct I was going to print a wide and thin cube. My theory being that I should be able to spot any obvious separation of the layers.

Does anyone have any better shape that they print as a dry run?

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Your calibration shape depends on what you want to calibrate on. Among the most popular:

  • Benchy as a general "overall" test.
  • Lattice Cubes for retraction/stringing and overall quality.
  • Two pillars to test for stringing and temperature/cooling control.
  • Spikes for retraction, stringing and temperature/cooling control.
  • Bridges for cooling control.
  • Cubes for sizing. They also allow seeing if the printer is skewed in X or Y.
  • Circles, crosshairs, and squares of just a couple layers high to determine the correct center of the print area and measure sizing.
  • Cylinders in each other to check the achievable resolution and clearance.
  • Overhang tests to test just overhangs.
  • Temperature towers for temperature and overhang.
  • Impact1 & Bend & Tension test pieces for filament properties - if you have the setups needed.

1 - I couldn't find a proper model for an ISO 148-1 Charpy pendulum impact test in thingieverse

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    $\begingroup$ Great list, although one not mentioned is a calibration square to measure diagonals in order to test the skewness. This is typically a large square only a few layers tall. $\endgroup$ Dec 20, 2018 at 17:29
  • $\begingroup$ Lots of useful stuff there. How doe the bridge to test cooling control work though? $\endgroup$
    – BanksySan
    Dec 20, 2018 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ @BanksySan If the bridge fails or sags too much, you need more cooling. $\endgroup$
    – Trish
    Dec 20, 2018 at 20:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Trish and print slower. $\endgroup$
    – 0scar
    Mar 7, 2019 at 14:29

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