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NASA Just Released an Entire Library of 3D Printable Models
Posted by Adam Bizar
SPACE
EDUCATION
VEHICLES

BY SCOTT J GRUNEWALD | 3D Printing Industry

Hot on the heels of releasing a 3D printable model of the Homunculus Nebulaand announcing that they’re shooting a 3D printer into space NASA just released a whole library of 3D printable models including notable probes, satellites and various celestial bodies.

They released a total of 21 models ranging from iconic NASA probes likeVoyager, Cassini, and of course the Mars Odyssey. They also have several models of asteroids, Mars’ Gale Crater, Valles Marineris and an awesome comparison of the Moon’s vastly different near and far sides.

All the files are in STL format and NASA is offering them as free downloads. Several of the objects have been divided in half to allow them to print without the need for support structures, and each model is no longer than 4 inches in any direction so they will easily fit within the build space of most home/desktop 3D printers. However NASA has warned that many of the files are not ideal for 3D printing quite yet. This is because the models were simply scaled down from the original digital file and converted to STL so they will like have far too much detail for standard desktop 3D printers to handle in terms of quality. Still, if you’ve 3D printed before it shouldn’t be too hard to make the files printable with a bit of tweaking.

This is most likely only the beginning of NASA releasing 3D printable files, as they have a huge library of 3D models just waiting for conversion. The 3D model library includes just about every probe and vehicle that they’ve ever made, as well as several models of various tools, equipment and even a model of the Mission Control Room.

I love that NASA is all about 3D printing lately, and many of these models are wonderful educational aids that any enterprising teacher can work into their lesson plan. If you’d like to print some of the 3D models for yourself head on over to the NASA website for the full selection.

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