Design of the Week: 1:100 Scale International Space Station

By on March 1st, 2021 in Design

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Design of the Week: 1:100 Scale International Space Station
3D printed ISS [Source: gnome_skillet / Reddit]

This week’s selection is the incredible 1:100 Scale International Space Station print by Redditor gnome_skillet.

“Skillet” is apparently a science teacher, who decided to add this massive model to the classroom, which appears to be already equipped with a number of rocket 3D prints.

The 3D model, available on Thingiverse and Prusa Printers, was designed by Czech designer Josef Vladik, a.k.a. “mochr”. The 3D model, as you might suspect, is composed of a large number of separate parts. Vladik says “about 200”, meaning there are so many that the original designer can’t know exactly how many. In other words, a lot.

3D printed ISS and other rocket models [Source: gnome_skillet / Reddit]

To 3D print this 1.1m model you’ll spend a great deal of time. Skillet said:

“I’ve spent basically every moment of free time for the last 2 months working on this.”

3D printed ISS detail [Source: gnome_skillet / Reddit]

I have no doubt that’s the case. Skillet explained in the Reddit thread that the printer used was a Tevo Tarantula, a capable machine but not one known for the highest-quality prints.

However, for such a massive 3D print that level of quality is more than sufficient: you always are looking at it from afar due to the massive size. From the image above, it looks quite good.

One item that isn’t 3D printed on the model are the solar cells. Apparently Skillet used “gold mirror duck tape”, and it looks quite realistic.

Suspending a 3D printed ISS [Source: gnome_skillet / Reddit]

Several commenters were concerned about the strength of the huge model. Its spindly geometry and suspended arrangement could lead to a collapse, so it is recommended extra wire be used to support it as much as possible. Of course, the real ISS in space doesn’t have to worry about such things in microgravity.

While we usually talk about the design in these posts, this is a case where the actual 3D printing of the design is featured. It’s no small matter to complete a project of this type with so many parts that must be produced and carefully assembled. Skillet has shown that it is possible to get the project done, and hopefully others will now try it as well.

But be sure to bring plenty of filament.

Via Reddit, Prusa Printers and Thingiverse

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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