Ever since the first Star Wars film debuted back in the summer of 1977 the massive Star Destroyer space ships used by the evil Empire have stood as an imposing picture of their power. In the beginning of the film, the massive scale of the ship was used to dwarf what viewers had already assumed was a massive ship. It was an immediate sign that whoever the Empire was, they were almost overwhelmingly powerful and anyone in their way stood no chance against them. Using the Star Destroyer as a metaphor for a small rebellion taking on an all-powerful and oppressive government was a commonly recurring theme throughout the series of movies and comics that came after the first film.
On screen it is an impressive visual that is still copied by other filmmakers even to this day, but for collectors of toys and models it was a harder visual to recreate. The Star Destroyers were so massive in comparison to other ships that there was simply no way to mimic the scale differential at home. Granted, that’s a nerd problem, but it can still be a frustrating one for someone looking to display models or collectibles. And while the issue of scale has never really been solved, a maker and Star Wars fan on Reddit came one step closer by designing and 3D printing his own two foot long Star Destroyer replica.
Reddit user SovereignGFC posted a series of pictures of the Star Destroyer of his own design and while it isn’t perfect, it’s a really impressive build. He calls it a Curator-class Star Destroyer, which is a classification that he came up with on his own based on a series of Star Wars fanfiction stories that he wrote. I must say, while I knew that fanfiction was getting impressively intricate I’ve never heard of a fanfic writer creating their own merchandise.
SovereignGFC’s Star Destroyer model was 3D printed on his home-built PowerSpec 3D Pro printer using PLA filament. He says that he has no idea how many individual parts were used to build the model, and in fact is still stumbling on extra unused parts and components. He estimates that everything took him several weeks to build, with the bridge tower back blocks taking twenty hours alone. Likewise he isn’t exactly sure how much filament went into the build, but he estimates that it took about three 2.2LB rolls of filament, although some of that was spent on support material and misprints.
Once all of the parts were printed, he sanded each individual printed piece and assembled the with hot glue. He used a hot glue process because it would be easy to undo any parts that were placed incorrectly, whereas plastic welding was permanent. Then he spray painted the completed model with a gray primer coat and then sprayed it again with a thin layer of white paint. He was careful to leave some of the gray primer coat showing, however, because he wanted to give it some texture.
While I think the model looks great, SovereignGFC pointed out some areas that he thinks needs to be improved to make the model, and the assembly process, easier. When he designed the 3D model back in 2010 it wasn’t intended to be 3D printed, so if he did it over again he would make the parts slot together so they would fit together better. He would also leave some gaps on the parts so the glue wouldn’t blob out, and he would include more printable features so he didn’t have to draw on any of the smaller details.
You can check out the full gallery of images over on Imgur here. Make sure that you stop by SovereignGFC’s original threads on Reddit to see what the rest of the Star Wars and 3D Printing communities have to say about his project. What are your thoughts on this Giant 3D Print? Let us know in the 3D Printed Star Wars Destroyer forum on 3DPB.com.