Kickstarter and Autodesk are arguably the two biggest companies heavily invested in the 3D printing industry. Autodesk is a pioneer in the 3D CAD modeling world, developing software that a majority of designers, architects, and engineers use to prototype and manufacture their products. Kickstarter, a community of creators, relies on 3D printing too as makers turn to rapid prototyping to manufacture quick samples of their products/concepts for testing. Kickstarter has also accelerated the 3D printing movement by providing a crowdfunding platform for a multitude of 3D Printer manufacturing startups.
The two companies have joined forces to develop a 3D file that tests the quality of FDM (fused deposition modeling, or 3D printers that extrude melted plastic) 3D printers. The open-source project helps you inspect the quality of your printer (and even your plastic reel) by putting it through rigorous testing. The 3D file lets you look at various aspects of the printing process, from its ability to build bridges, to print overhangs, to print dimensionally accurate models, or models that don’t warp, and even test extruder features like flow control. The all-inclusive model (available for download below) lets you measure the accuracy and finesse of your printer, which is heaven-sent for creators who would go on to print critical prototypes, and for 3D printer manufacturers, who can measure the quality of their printers before launching a campaign to retail them. The test even lets you sort the good printers from the bad, so you aren’t stuck with an expensive metal box that prints warped, disproportionate, or stringy 3D models!