NASA releases 3D Printable Models of Asteroids, Moon Surfaces, Spacecraft & More

Share this Article

nasa-3d-2When it comes to 3D printing, NASA certainly doesn’t want to be left out in the cold. A couple months ago, we learned that NASA was teaming with MakerBot to launch a ‘Mars Base Challenge‘. Then, a few weeks ago we reported that NASA had created the first full 3D model of Eta Carinae Nebula. Now, they are taking things a step further, with the release of 21 3D printable models via their website.

Some of the interesting models that have been made available include the asteroid Eros, Mars’ Gale Crater, NASA’s space observator, Kepler, as well as both the near and far sides of the Earth’s Moon. They all make for great 3D printing projects for anyone interested in learning about our galaxy.

The Near and Far Sides of the Moon

The Near and Far Sides of the Moon

These models are all available in STL format, and can be downloaded for free.  To make the printing process easier, NASA has even cut some of the rounded objects in half, to aid in their printing, without the need for support material.  While these are intended for 3D printing, NASA admits that some of them may need to be modified prior to sending them off to your 3D printer. A few of them may also be virtually impossible to 3D print due to the fact that they include some very small detailed pieces. For exampled, the LRO model probably wouldn’t be the best one to print out, unless you had a very accurate, high quality 3D printer. “This .stl file was produced by scaling the original model and converting it directly to .stl format,” explained NASA. “It may not yet be ideal for printing.”

LRO

LRO

Hopefully NASA will get their designers to modify these objects to make them too, compatible with most 3D printers.

The files have all been scaled to approximately 4 inches (100 mm) in the longest dimension.  Certainly more of NASA’s 3D models will eventually be converted over to STL files for printing, as this is just the beginning of what could become quite an amazing resource.

Being able to handle a tactile version of the Moon’s surface, or different asteroids, provides for a learning experience like none other. It should be interesting to see what objects are added to this repository of 3D printable files in the future.

Have you downloaded and printed any of these “space” objects yet? We’d love to see them. Post them and discuss in the 3D Printable NASA Models forum thread on 3DPB.com

Share this Article


Recent News

Beyond Chuck Hull’s Legacy: the Unsung Heroes Who Paved the Way for 3D Printing

Personalized Smart Mouth Guard Made with Glidewell Dental’s Advanced 3D Printing Workflow



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Poll of the Week: Best Dental 3D Printing Applications

We asked our LinkedIn followers, in our very first Poll of the Week, what kinds of stories they wanted to read more of on 3DPrint.com, and the final answer was...

Revo Foods to Rev up Mass Production of 3D Printed Alt-Salmon

One of the major challenges facing 3D printed food is its scalability in comparison to traditional food production. The 3D printing industry generally specializes in creating small items. It can...

Carbon Adds Three New 3D Printing Resins to Dental Materials Portfolio

Product development and manufacturing technology company Carbon has a very strong materials platform, including engineering-quality elastomers and photopolymers, for applications ranging from sportswear to medical and dental. This week, the...

Custom 3D Printed Eyewear, Now in Translucent Colors from Materialise

Way back in 2017, Fried Vancraen, CEO of Materialise, said he could foresee “a growing amount of meaningful applications” for 3D printing, which included customized eyewear. The Belgium-based 3D printing...