Featured image of 3D Printed Spacecraft: 10 Out-of-This-World Models
All3DP is an editorially independent publication. Editorial content, on principle, can not be bought or influenced. To keep All3DP free and independent, we finance ourselves through advertising and affiliate revenues. When you purchase using a shopping link on our site we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
One Small Print for a Maker...

3D Printed Spacecraft: 10 Out-of-This-World Models

Picture of Tobias Hullette
by Tobias Hullette
Mar 3, 2020
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

As of yet, space exploration is only accessible to a select few. Let's take a look at 10 models of real 3D printed spacecraft!

3D Printed Spacecraft Models

Scaling Is Saving

A space shuttle in orbit
A space shuttle in orbit (Source: Kennedy Space Center)

When you were a kid, did you dream of becoming an astronaut and racing to the stars? Join the club!

Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to fly a space ship. Granted, Virgin Galactic is working on providing trips into outer space. However, with a ticket price of $250,000, most are going to need a few extra savings accounts. The good news is, with 3D printing, you can bring the wonder of space exploration a bit closer to home.

If, while you’re looking through this list of 3D printables, you see something you like, but you don’t have the equipment to print it yourself or you’d rather a professional take care of it instead, we suggest you take a look at Craftcloud, the 3D printing and price comparison service from All3DP. It’s a convenient alternative where you can source local manufacturers and compare prices.

Now, without further ado! Let’s take a look at 10 spacecraft models that will rock your world!

Back to Contents

Advertisement
3D Printed Spacecraft Models

Saturn V Rocket

Only one section of this magnificent model
Only one section of this magnificent model (Source: farscape1 via Thingiverse)

To get a better understanding of just how impressive the Saturn V was, here’s a statement from NASA:

“The Saturn V rocket was 111 meters (363 feet) tall, about the height of a 36-story-tall building, and 18 meters (60 feet) taller than the Statue of Liberty. Fully fueled for liftoff, the Saturn V weighed 2.8 million kilograms (6.2 million pounds), the weight of about 400 elephants. The rocket generated 34.5 million newtons (7.6 million pounds) of thrust at launch, creating more power than 85 Hoover Dams.”

No one can deny the magnificence of this rocket. Consequently, a model of this machine is an apt display for any science fan’s house. Thanks to Paul Fischer, you can 3D print your own scale representation of the Saturn V rocket with incredible details that are absolutely jaw-dropping.

Who designed it? farscape1

Who printed it? This design includes a lot of pieces, so you may be reluctant to undertake this ambitious project. That said, 43 Thingiverse users plus the designer have posted makes of this model, and they all look fantastic. If you plan to print this design at the current scale (1/60 of the real thing), just be prepared to spend around 2,000 hours printing approximately 21 kg of material.

Where to find it? Thingiverse

Back to Contents

Advertisement
3D Printed Spacecraft Models

NASA Space Shuttle

The orbiter with its fuel tank and boosters
The orbiter with its fuel tank and boosters (Source: ModelStation via Thingiverse)

NASA’s space shuttle was one of the first instances of a partially-reusable spacecraft, making it one of the most innovative inventions in the world of space exploration. Space shuttles have undertaken 135 missions for NASA, carried a total of 833 crew members, and ferried 52 satellites and other space station components to and from low-Earth orbit. Needless to say, this is an iconic spacecraft.

Of course, it would be impossible to print a full-scale, 122.2-foot long, 165,000-pound model. Not to worry – 3D printing makes it possible for you to create a scale representation of this awesome vehicle, which stands at 12″ tall when completed!

Who designed it? ModelStation

Who printed it? This design has found quite a bit of popularity on Thingiverse. Over 50 makers have printed it, and many of those further performed stunning paint jobs. If you’d rather not paint your shuttle, consider printing the parts in white, black, and orange.

Where to find it? Thingiverse

Back to Contents

Advertisement
3D Printed Spacecraft Models

NASA Curiosity Rover

This curious model is ready to rove
This curious model is ready to rove (Source: 3dhappiness_b2n via MyMiniFactory)

The Curiosity Rover landed on Mars on August 5, 2012. Its mission was part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, whose goal was to explore Mars with the aid of robotic instruments. The Curiosity’s specific task was to determine whether the Red Planet was habitable. The rover conducted several tests with small lifeforms called microbes to gather results.

Though a Mars Rover isn’t technically a spacecraft, it is very much so a vehicle that bears great significance in the world of space exploration. It also makes for a wonderful 3D printed display model. NASA has a repository of 3D designs available for download, and they also have a page specifically for models and their STLs, which can be 3D printed straight-away. You can also find many of NASA’s models on MyMiniFactory.

Who designed it? NASA

Who printed it? Four makers plus the designers at NASA have 3D printed this Mars rover. The parts of this model are printed separately, so you don’t need a multi-material machine to create a multi-colored model. The grey, white, and black color combo looks fantastic, but funky colors may also be great choices.

Where to find it? NASA or MyMiniFactory

Back to Contents

Advertisement
3D Printed Spacecraft Models

Space Launch System

An exploded view of this 3D printed Space Launch System
An exploded view of this 3D printed Space Launch System (Source: joesinstructables via Instructables)

Once completed, NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS), will be the world’s most powerful rocket. It will break new space exploration ground by sending large payloads and even humans outside of Earth’s orbit. This rocket has been under development since 2011, and each of its launches will cost approximately $900 million. However, time and money will be worth the opportunity to accomplish missions that the first astronauts could only dream of.

With this handy Instructable, you print a small-scale SLS model. Simply download the appropriate files and print away! The designer suggests printing the parts in yellow, white, and black. But don’t worry – you don’t need a multi-material machine. All you have to do is print the individual parts and snap-fit them together.

Who designed it? JON-A-TRON

Who printed it? Only one maker has posted his print of this model so far. His result is similarly impressive as that of JON-A-TRON. Since this design includes several small parts, consider using a higher infill percentage to avoid broken pieces. Using high resolution is also key to achieving appropriate detail.

Where to find it? Instructables

Back to Contents

Advertisement
3D Printed Spacecraft Models

SpaceX Falcon Heavy

A 1/400 print of the Falcon Heavy
A 1/400 print of the Falcon Heavy (Source: rmadams via Thingiverse)

If you’re a space enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of SpaceX and their partially-reusable launch vehicle, the Falcon Heavy. In fact, you might even scoff if anyone asked if you had. SpaceX has received extreme popularity for its innovations in reusable space vehicles, precise landings, and reduced flight costs.

The real Falcon Heavy stands at a staggeringly tall height of 230 feet! Most living room ceilings wouldn’t accommodate such a machine. However, with 3D printing, you can print your very own 1/200 scale representation of this mighty rocket to show off to friends, family, and fellow space enthusiasts.

Who designed it? trehn

Who printed it? 12 Thingiverse users have posted Makes of this model. The best results are achieved with careful sanding, meticulous painting, and aptly-applied stickers.

Where to find it? Thingiverse

Back to Contents

Advertisement
3D Printed Spacecraft Models

SpaceX Crew Dragon 2

The Crew Dragon in its simplistic glory
The Crew Dragon in its simplistic glory (Source: 3D Print Tech Design via Pinshape)

The SpaceX Crew Dragon 2 is a spacecraft that launches from the top of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. This cargo capsule is a reusable spacecraft that returns to earth and lands in the ocean. With a height of 8.1 meters (approximately 27 feet), this spacecraft is not nearly as large as many others in this list, however, it would still be quite inconvenient to display a full-size Crew Dragon in your living room. With 3D printing, you can easily fabricate a scale model of this iconic capsule.

All you need is some white and black filament and you’re ready to print! Of course, with a bit of sanding and painting, you can use any colors and still create a realistic model. This design will put you back around $6, but if spacecraft models are your thing, it might be worth the price.

Who designed it? 3D Print Tech Design

Who printed it? One Pinshape user other than the designer has printed this model. Meanwhile, the designer has printed the model several times and suggests printing at 100% scale. If you want to save filament by scaling the design down, be sure not to go lower than 90%, as you may have issues with the hinges.

Where to find it? Pinshape

Back to Contents

Advertisement
3D Printed Spacecraft Models

Apollo 11 Lunar Module

Two astronauts exploring around the lunar module
Two astronauts exploring around the lunar module (Source: Res Firma via MyMiniFactory)

Here’s what NASA has to say about the Apollo 11 Lunar Module:

“The Apollo 11 Lunar Module (LM) ‘Eagle’ was the first crewed vehicle to land on the Moon. It carried two astronauts, Commander Neil A. Armstrong and LM pilot Edwin E. ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, Jr., the first men to walk on the Moon. Also included on the LM was the Early Apollo Scientific Experiment Package (EASEP), which consisted of several self-contained experiments to be deployed and left on the lunar surface and other scientific and sample collection apparatus.”

Needless to say, this is an iconic spacecraft that helped the US win the race to the moon and radically advance space exploration.

You may be intimidated by the complex appearance of the 3D printed lunar module in the picture. Don’t be. The designer has created various easy-to-print parts that can be simply assembled after printing. To add another level of realism to your print, you can also print these astronauts from Thingiverse.

Who designed it? Res Firma

Who printed it? Although only one MyMiniFactory user has posted a picture of their print, nearly 1,300 others have downloaded the design. In other words, the actual number of prints is potentially much higher.

Where to find it? MyMiniFactory

Back to Contents

Advertisement
3D Printed Spacecraft Models

Voyager Space Probe

This desktop model is a wonderful representation of the real thing!
This desktop model is a wonderful representation of the real thing! (Source: noahlileger via Thingiverse)

If Buzz Lightyear had a favorite spacecraft, it would probably be one of the twin spacecraft Voyager 1 and Voyager 2. These space probes are going to the ends of the sun’s sphere of influence… and beyond! In 2012, they made a historic entry into interstellar regions. If solar system escape velocity capability is your thing, this may be the perfect model to print.

After printing 16 simple parts and assembling them with just a few dollops of glue, you’ll have a fantastic, scale representation of a Voyager space probe.

Who designed it? noahlileger

Who printed it? If you decide to download and print this design, you’ll join the ranks of the nearly 9,000 Thingiverse users who have downloaded this design as well as the 54 makers who printed it.

Where to find it? Thingiverse

Back to Contents

Advertisement
3D Printed Spacecraft Models

Dream Chaser

Even with a quick paint job, this Dream Chaser is looking good
Even with a quick paint job, this Dream Chaser is looking good (Source: Zach_In_Space via Thingiverse)

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SND) is working on developing their Dream Chaser, “a multi-mission space utility vehicle designed for transporting crew and cargo to low-Earth orbit (LEO) destinations such as the International Space Station.” In some ways, this is a cross between SpaceX’s Crew Dragon and Nasa’s Space Shuttle.

SND is tackling the task of creating a useful, reusable, human-grade cargo vehicle that embraces both form and function. Love the futuristic design? Perhaps you should print your own scale model!

Who designed it? xxhansonmaxx

Who printed it? Over 10,000 people have downloaded this design. If you want to check the printability of this model, check out the seven fantastic prints!

Where to find it? Thingiverse

Back to Contents

Advertisement
3D Printed Spacecraft Models

SpaceX Starship

This print would be an impressive desktop decoration
This print would be an impressive desktop decoration (Source: AliShug via Thingiverse)

The dreams of science fiction writers are slowly coming true. Soon enough, men will be walking on the moon! Spacecraft are beginning to look more and more futuristic, and even their names are beginning to sound as if they belong in a novel. SpaceX’s new cargo transport, which is still in development, has an exceptionally futuristic name: The Starship.

The Starship is designed as a reusable, second-stage spacecraft capable of carrying cargo and passengers long distances. This is sure to revolutionize space exploration as we know it.

If you want a scale model of this enormous, 50-meter tall vehicle and have a 3D printer, you’re in luck. If you have a multi-material machine, you’re in even more luck. The designer has included a dual-color file for an even more impressive print.

Who designed it? AliShug

Who printed it? Seven makers have posted pictures of their prints. Moreover, almost 6,000 have downloaded the files.

Where to find it? MyMiniFactory

(Lead source image: gCreate via Thingiverse)

Back to Contents

License: The text of "3D Printed Spacecraft: 10 Out-of-This-World Models" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Stay informed with notifications from All3DP.

You get a notification when a new article is published.

You can’t subscribe to updates from All3DP. Learn more… Subscribe to updates

You can’t subscribe to updates from All3DP. Learn more…

Advertisement
Topics
Recommended for you
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement