Nasa pragmatism model spaceship progress

The project is going pretty well I am happy to report! In summary I am nearly done with the CAD’ing of all the modules, and I have even gotten a fair bit ahead on 3d printing. If we are going strictly by the schedule I setup a while ago I am behind on CAD modeling and starting too early on printing but as previously stated: the beauty if 3d printing is that I can literally do two things at once. Additionally, it has been very beneficial to print in steps as I learn and troubleshoot problems that will help to make sure I don’t see the same mistake everywhere on the model because I decided to print it all at once.

The large scale CAD modeling has lots of repetition, especially in figuring out some of the more tricky parts. For example, these modules are all large hollowed out cylinders that are too big too be printed as one piece. It took me a while to figure out how to properly split the model in half and make exactly corresponding holes on each piece, but once I did I can now repeat that exact same process on other modules without coming up with a new novel way of doing it. (I am inserting quarter inch steel rods to connect the pieces as a sort of skeleton, if you were wondering). Building on that, figuring out to make a removable ceiling for the modules took some trickery, but with enough time and some funky geometry trickery, I can now easily add those onto the next upcoming modules.

Another big breakthrough for me in this project has been utilizing existing CAD models from NASA on pieces like the real life Orion crew module. While this project is indeed science-fiction, I am sticking to reality as close as possible and creating it as if it is a near future mission (while 20ish years doesn’t sound very near that is when NASA does plan on going to Mars). I am definitely going to credit NASA and it’s contributors of course, but sadly it isn’t as easy as downloading the file, printing it, and calling it a day. These CAD files are HUGE, both in resolution and in physical scale (because these are life size scale), so in order to make it viable for my model I am having to do a fair bit of detail erasing (just so I can load and modify these files) and that I can make the size fit my scale model.

Next on my agenda after finishing all the modules is to create all of the little ‘doll house’ furniture that will go inside of the modules, and I am anticipating that to be a breeze. 1) I the detail resolution on my printer is only so fine with objects this small so even if I make the objects super detailed it won’t show in the real 3D print 2) most everything on the ISS and other spacecraft is super blocky and basic looking anyway 3) all this furniture will be put inside the module where the viewer can only get a partial view from the top and not up close.

Fingers crossed my 3D printer keeps performing like a champ as it has been and that it doesn’t suddenly give out.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Hi Barret,
    This project is looking really good. How many total parts will it be in end? Im exited to see the final product.

  • Hi Barrett, I’m excited to see the progress you are making. A couple questions I’ve had: how do you plan to display this once it’s finished? I’m trying to picture what kind of stand or where it would sit. Additionally, you mentioned the internal doll house furniture, how do you plan to display it within the capsuls?


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