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Discussion Starter #1
We'll see how this turns out, but the first part looked good enough to start sharing.

I've had this 3D model of the TOS shuttle for years but while it's a good 3D model it's terrible for printing, it has zero thickness walls in some areas that make the hull disappear if you try and cut the model into sections for printing.

I've tried using meshlab and blender but could never get a top and bottom half that was printable.

This is the model:

Since I got my new printer I figured I'd give it another try. This time tried rotating it on end and cutting it, this worked, printed the back of it overnight, the front is printing now with about 18 hours to go. There are some fine details on the landing gear that got lost but it's much better than I thought it would look, and I was able to remove the supports without breaking it and I didn't think that was going to happen.





Printing the front, at 19 hours to go:
 

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Very cool!

I have a few questions,


You have printed the back, and are printing the front. How many parts will this have?

How big will it be? It looks like maybe 10-11 inches?

Is it PLA?

What is your plan for the resolution lines?

Please keep posting about this! Very interesting,
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Very cool!

I have a few questions,


You have printed the back, and are printing the front. How many parts will this have?

How big will it be? It looks like maybe 10-11 inches?

Is it PLA?

What is your plan for the resolution lines?

Please keep posting about this! Very interesting,

It will be 2 parts, I split the model between the nacelle supports.

Since I scaled it by hand to fit the build plate and not take a week to print I'll find out when it's together exactly how long it is going to be.
It is not going to be any kind of "standard" scale that's for sure.

Yes, PLA, if I had enough white PETG I would have used that. I could have used clear PETG but I have these spools of PLA that I don't use much anymore so with the uncertainty of this working out well I went with that. PLA is kind of terrible for sanding, so I am not sure what I'm going to do about the seam and the surface lines. I'm printing this at 0.1mm layers so the lines are very small.

Once I have the 2 halves I'll see how they line up, if the seam is going to be noticeable I will probably chamfer the edges of the 2 halves, glue them together, and then fill the seam caused by the chamfers with putty. I've tried joining PLA parts that had slight elephants foot on them and I was never able to get the seam to go away, so dealing with the edges first is probably the way to go. But this new Prusa printer is dialed in so nicely the bottoms of objects don't show any elephants foot, so I'm hoping the 2 halves will simply line up perfectly.🤞

11 hours and counting:


The 3D model also has these internal boxes and stuff I was never able to get rid of, so those are probably adding an hour to the print time. They also caused issues when trying to split up the model along other planes.

Found some of Shaw's old study drawings online, so I'll be using those when it comes time to print the decals.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, this is looking like something I will want to spend some time on.

Decided to treat the PLA like wood, start with 80 grit sand paper and work up from there, something you would never do with a polystyrene kit but seems to be a good way of thinking about PLA.

Seams are very managable after clamping the front and back together with some JB kwik in between.

On the printer this morning:


Front and back after removing supports:


Clamped:


Testing decal print sizes:


After first round of putty and sanding:


Thinking of printing a little insert to fill in the step in the nacelle, since the doors are closed it shouldn't be visible?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That looks really cool!

And it has 2 parts so its a kit!
Thanks, after a 2nd round of putty and sanding it's looking pretty nice, I'm not going to try too hard to smooth out the print lines, when ever the Round2 kit comes out that can be my pristine model.

3 parts actually, I wanted to clean up the strut for the rear landing pad, and the pad was hanging on by a thread anyway so popped it off. So it was 2 parts, then glued into one part, now 2 parts again...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Got the darker grey areas painted, and the nacelles fully painted, and the bottom decals on, once all this is fully dry I'll gloss coat the nacelles and bottom of the hull. Then mask those off for painting the nearly white grey that goes everywhere else.

Still not sure how to paint the engine area, follow the full size restoration or the small scale model, leaning towards the full size restoration because that is what I have the clearest pictures of....


 

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That looks VERY nice!
Well done.

I have a 3D printer, but I'm not very tech savy and have had limited success printing.
Your Galileo makes me want to try again!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That looks VERY nice!
Well done.

I have a 3D printer, but I'm not very tech savy and have had limited success printing.
Your Galileo makes me want to try again!
Thanks, I did go back and touch up the red paint in the box on the back side and put a layer of micro gloss over and around the decals. Maybe eventually I'll try painting the inside of the impulse engine holes grey.

Next month I will have been 3D printing 6 years and I'm still learning.... Started with the original laser cut wood kit Printrbot made, then a metal Printrbot, then tore apart the wood one and used the parts to build a big printer, rebuilt that printer several times to improve it, but none of those had the resolution needed for stuff like this. So getting the Prusa MK3S that can print for days reliably and has great print quality was what made me even consider trying this. I recently got some ninjaflex and that is like starting over from scratch learning how to print, it's like pushing a rubber band down a straw, so you have to print really slow, retraction doesn't really work, but it is cool to design a rubber part for something and be able to print it.
 

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Thanks, I did go back and touch up the red paint in the box on the back side and put a layer of micro gloss over and around the decals. Maybe eventually I'll try painting the inside of the impulse engine holes grey.

Next month I will have been 3D printing 6 years and I'm still learning.... Started with the original laser cut wood kit Printrbot made, then a metal Printrbot, then tore apart the wood one and used the parts to build a big printer, rebuilt that printer several times to improve it, but none of those had the resolution needed for stuff like this. So getting the Prusa MK3S that can print for days reliably and has great print quality was what made me even consider trying this. I recently got some ninjaflex and that is like starting over from scratch learning how to print, it's like pushing a rubber band down a straw, so you have to print really slow, retraction doesn't really work, but it is cool to design a rubber part for something and be able to print it.
I would love to learn 3D printing (I’ve also been looking at a Prusa) but I don’t think I’ll dive in till a consumer machine can produce a part that is really smooth (I.e. doesn’t need so much sanding)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I would love to learn 3D printing (I’ve also been looking at a Prusa) but I don’t think I’ll dive in till a consumer machine can produce a part that is really smooth (I.e. doesn’t need so much sanding)
If you want smooth out of the printer you need very thin layers, if I had gone with 0.05mm instead of 0.1mm the prints would have taken 22 and 38 hours. FDM printers reached their resolution limits several years ago, so FDM home printers are about as good as they will ever be.

This frog is what 0.05mm looks like straight out of the printer, the benchy was printed at 0.15mm, frog took almost 4 hours, bency took 2 hours :



If we use home laser cutters as a guide someday the type of printers that places like Shapeways use could become somewhat affordable in the home, but they would still be at least 5 to 10 times more expensive than a printer like the Prusa MK3S. Those are the type that use powder and lasers. I would think the bottom on those would be in the 5 to 10 thousand dollar range.

If you want high detail on small parts there are cheap LCD resin printers now that do a good job, I've seen prints from the budget ones that are pretty amazing. I've been tempted by them but don't want to deal with the toxic waste and all the precautions that you need to go through using the things. You wash the uncured resin off the parts and are left with buckets of alcohol contaminated with resin. And the resin is known to cause allergic reactions, even if you are not allergic to it at first some people get sensitized to it after only a few exposures. Other thing about the cheap home resin printers is the relatively short life of the parts, they use a phone screen that sometimes needs replacing every few hundred hours (not sure why, I guess the heat and UV light kill them faster than normal usage). If you are willing to deal with all that you can get $300 printers that will make very high detail parts a few inches in size.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
In case anyone is wondering about the decals, I used clear water slide laser printer sheets made by Sunnyscopa. I bought them last year and did some tests but this was the first time using them for real on a model and they worked great. The film is slightly thicker than commercial decals so they don't blend into the surface as easily but the up side is they are very robust, the side markings are one big decal and I had no problem repositioning it without damaging the film.

On a side note, it's been so much nicer to use a color laser printer than inkjets, I don't even blink about printing full size color test sheets, I'm still on the small toner cartriges that came with the printer over a year ago. In that time I would normally have had 2 sets of ink cartridges dry out on me.... One more year and the initial cost difference between a new inkjet and the laser printer will be made up with dried/wasted ink savings.
 

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Forgot to mention the scale. It's just under 9.5 inches long, so that would put it at about 1:28 scale.
So you're using the true size of the full-scale mock-up -- 22 feet. The size quoted in the episode is 24 feet, which would make it 1/30.3 scale. Cool. Close enough to 1/32 as makes no nevermind.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So you're using the true size of the full-scale mock-up -- 22 feet. The size quoted in the episode is 24 feet, which would make it 1/30.3 scale. Cool. Close enough to 1/32 as makes no nevermind.
Yeah, 22 feet is the size I was comparing to. To replicate exterior shots 1:25th scale figures wouldn't look too big next to it, 1:32 figures might look a little small. Scale is a mess for this thing no matter what you go with, the full scale prop is still way too small to match the scenes that are supposed to take place inside it, it would need several more feet of head room.
 
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