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3D models of Apollo CSM and LM


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I have been designing and selling spacecraft models on Shapeways for several years now starting with the 1/32 lunar module. The precision and finesse of current 3D printers make injection molded parts somehow obsolete if you want to build a highly precise model. I realized that when I built my 1/32 Monogram Command Module, I replaced about 80% of the parts with higly detailled printed parts.
Unfortunately Shapeways through multiple modifications of their pricing system has become extremely expensive and on the other hand personnal 3D printers are more and more reliable and less and less expensive.
I have then decided to sell my models as printable parts while keeping them as well on shapeways. The first model to be sold is the 1/48 CSM. It is probably one of the most detailled model available at that scale and it is designed for all missions including those with the SIM bay. I am glad that Max Grüter aggreed to design 2 astronauts to depict the trans-Earth EVA . Deatils for the Apollo 13 Servive Module (fuel cells and hydrogen and oxygen tanks will be available soon free of charge). The model is available right now on cult3D : https://cults3d.com/.../var.../apollo-command-service-module
 
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Very nice! That's more than a couple of hours CAD work there. Some very complex shapes, beautifully done.

 

Just ordered my Creality 3 V2 so when I get to the end of my own project list in about 250 years' time, I should try to find this post again!!

Incidentally, being completely new to this 3D printing lark, what's the recommended filament for printing something like this? I assume there are better things than PLA.

 

Kirk

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I'm about to buy some of your 1/32 CM pieces Vincent ... and I think I've built all the 1/48 CSM and LM's that I planned to.

 

But your words that the 3D pieces are every bit as good, from a quality standpoint, as ejection molded parts, has me very curious ... so there may be one more CM or LM in my future!

May I also assume that the parts on Shapeways as well as CULTS3D are of equal quality?

 

Felicitations on this new venture!

 

Merci beaucoup Vincent

Pete

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well this is great news indeed!  Good reason to now decide on a resin printer

 

I assume that the STL files can be rescaled in something like Fusion 360?

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On 12/17/2020 at 10:41 PM, CaptKirk said:

...what's the recommended filament for printing something like this? I assume there are better things than PLA.

 

Kirk

 

Resin (SLA & DLP) printers are much higher in resolution than PLA printers, and prices keep coming down and technology going in leaps.  They require more care and safety and clean up, but the results can be superb with practically no printing grain etc.

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12 hours ago, Peter Browne said:

 

Resin (SLA & DLP) printers are much higher in resolution than PLA printers, and prices keep coming down and technology going in leaps.  They require more care and safety and clean up, but the results can be superb with practically no printing grain etc.

I tend to agree with this assessment for most cases. I will say however that since a lot of the LM, especially the descent stage, is covered in foil and are rather large parts at 1/32 scale, I think printing a good many of these parts on a FDM is not a horrible way to go. I printed some of Vincent's 1/48 scale files when he offered them and most everything except for the main "face" front of the ascent stage and all of the detail parts print out well enough to be used for covering. I've been meaning to get back to actually assembling the kit, but I HIGHLY recommend getting his files. First rate top notch to be sure!

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Just now, niart17 said:

I tend to agree with this assessment for most cases. I will say however that since a lot of the LM, especially the descent stage, is covered in foil and are rather large parts at 1/32 scale, I think printing a good many of these parts on a FDM is not a horrible way to go. I printed some of Vincent's 1/48 scale files that I scaled up when he offered them and most everything except for the main "face" front of the ascent stage and all of the detail parts print out well enough to be used for covering. I've been meaning to get back to actually assembling the kit, but I HIGHLY recommend getting his files. First rate top notch to be sure!

 

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On 1/12/2021 at 3:46 AM, Peter Browne said:

 

Resin (SLA & DLP) printers are much higher in resolution than PLA printers

 

Thanks Peter. There's a lot to learn about these technologies - only just beginning to get to grips with my Creality Ender. Transforms the hobby of model making.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Work on the 1/48 J-mission Lunar Module is over. All parts for printing either a B, D, F, G or H mission were already available on Cult3D before X-mas. I just completed the supplementary parts for the J mission this week. This includes the Lunar Rover before or during deployment. All 3D projects including the 1/48 LM are available on Cult3D : https://cults3d.com/en/users/vincentmeens . Although the main LM parts are sold for a reasonnable price, the supplementary parts are free of charge so you can try before acquiring the full model.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Edited by Lunokhod 2
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That looks like a good project for my new Mars 2 Pro I got for Christmas.  The price for the files is quite reasonable.  I shall purchase these files and give it a go.

 

Thanks Vincent!

 

Randy

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On 1/11/2021 at 8:39 PM, Peter Browne said:

Well this is great news indeed!  Good reason to now decide on a resin printer

 

I assume that the STL files can be rescaled in something like Fusion 360?

 

You won't need Fusion to re-scale the files; you would do that through your slicer software (the software that convers the STL file into the actual file format for the printer).  This can be done with any STL file.  It doesn't have to be designed it.  However, you are directly scaling the part, so everything remains proportional - thicknesses, details, tolerances, everything - so what is a 1mm thick part in 1/48 would be a .3mm thick part in 1/144, and what is a .2mm wide panel line in 1/144 would be .9mm wide in 1/32.  Scaling up, the fit will become sloppier as the tolerances increase; scaling down, it'll be tighter and may need re-working if the tolerances get too small.

 

As for what printer...  decide on a size, decide on a budget, and apart from that, it kinda doesn't matter much since almost all of them use the same control board and screen, and most are even using the same LED arrays.  Anycubic, Creality, Elegoo, Epax or Phrozen...  they're all fairly interchangeable.

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