Google+ SpaceTravelFoundation: NASA publishes 3D-printable models of asteroids and satellites

July 29, 2014

NASA publishes 3D-printable models of asteroids and satellites

Dear readers and followers,

Do you have a favorite NASA satellite? There's a small chance that you can now make a tiny figurine out if it using a 3D printer, as NASA has transformed a number of spacecrafts, asteroids, and features of Mars and the Moon into 3D-printable models. NASA has actually provided free 3D models for years now, but it appears that just recently it updated its modeling site with 22 files designed for 3D printing. The printable models have all been scaled down to a size that can actually fit inside a printer, so each one should measure no more than  10 centimeters long at its widest point.

Gale crate: Credit image: NASA

The available models include the spacecrafts Cassini, Kepler, and Voyager, parts of Mars including the Gale Crater and Valles Marineris canyons, and parts of the Moon including scans of its near and far side. Even if you don't own a 3D printer, the models come from NASA, so you should be able to send a favorite off to a printing service to have it made. 

Cassini spacecraft: Credit image: NASA

That said, NASA doesn't make it sound as though these models are necessarily perfect for printing just yet, and it's looking for comments on whether any of its currently published models need to have adjustments made to them for a successful print.

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