This week’s selection is the Crew Dragon – M3 by MoreThan3D.
MoreThan3D is a small 3D design shop based in the UK. They’ve provided several interesting 3D models on their website, but can also take on custom projects if requested.
It seems fitting to choose this particular model as Design of the Week, given the incredible flight of Inspiration4 that just concluded.
This 3D model is a realistic version of SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft that was used in the Demo-2 mission earlier this year, which took two astronauts to the International Space Station.
This is not just a simple 3D model of the Dragon; instead it’s a rather detailed version that includes detachable components and moving elements.
As you might suspect, there are many parts to 3D print in order to assemble the Crew Dragon – M3. I count 29 different parts, plus one more: “Spacex Astronaut”, which is a figurine representing the scale of a human against the ship.
On the download page you’ll find a rather lengthy set of instructions for how to print and put the parts together to form the realistic Dragon spacecraft.
I should point out that this is a rather hefty 3D model when you put all the part together. Note the hand in this image for scale.
Why create this detailed 3D model? MoreThan3D Founder An Duong said:
“Inspired by the successful launch of the new SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, I decided to make this 3D printed model, which can be used not only to inspire more children to become astronauts in the future, but also to pursue STEM careers when they grow up.”
MoreThan3D recommends printing the parts at 0.2mm layer size for the larger components and 0.1mm for the smaller, more detailed parts. There are detailed instructions for how to 3D print several tricky parts.
Assembly is accomplished by following the incredibly detailed (and illustrated) instructions provided by MoreThan3D. These instructions seem to be at just the right level: just enough, but not too much.
But there’s more!
While the Crew Dragon – M3 is provided as a free download, there is a superior paid download. MoreThan3D explains:
“There are two paid versions of this model – the paid versions have a lot more details and you can purchase the physical 3D printed models from us.”
Pricing for the most detailed Dragon model is £40 (US$55), and to obtain a pre-printed version they charge £260 (US$360). This is the Dragon-MS, slightly different from the Crew Dragon-M3.
Finally, an important question is posed in MoreThan3D’s FAQ: Does it fly?
The answer: No, it doesn’t.
But it certainly looks like it might.