Apollo Mission

by emmett, published

Apollo Mission by emmett Dec 28, 2011

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Now you can play with the only manned vessels to have left Earth orbit. Reenact all your favorite docking maneuvers and Moon landings.

UPDATE: I have refreshed the design of this model to use my new pin library. I've also improved the design slightly and printed it out, so I know it works now.

These models are as close to 1:67 scale as I can manage, working from various drawings and dimensions. The Lunar Ascent Module is courtesy of NASA: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/3d_resources/models.html, which has a lot of free 3D models of spacecraft. I simplified it and made it manifold using Meshlab and Netfabb's cloud service.


Slip the serviceRing onto the end of the service module; this is meant to be a permanent attachment. All the other attachments use pinpegs and represent actual docking connections between the spacecraft. A little grease on the pegs makes them easier to remove.

Everything should be printable without support, though the ascent module may be pushing the limits. I added a thin wall to support the largest overhang, so just snap this off once printed.

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Great model! My 4yr old has been bugging me for a lunar lander. I glued in magnets instead of using the clips. Works great. I did have issues with the service ring and part of the booster for the lander.. Turns out Cura didn't slice those too well. I checked the slice with Slic3r and it looks like those would print fine. Thanks again.

Nice design...well done

question how many pin pegs needs to be printed? Thank you

Jul 27, 2016 - Modified Jul 27, 2016
michaelrowe01 - in reply to Bluesmurf

Actually 4, you see that in one of the picture above.. btw, Great work on these models..

Anyone have problems with the service ring? In Cura 15.04 it shows zero minutes to print and in layer view, no ring is visible. First time I've seen that happen. Any thoughts as to the cause?

Most likely this is because the ring is too thin for your extrusion width. If you insist on using cura, perhaps setting your nozzle to 0.3 will do the trick. I don't think it will greatly affect print quality and at any rate I'd give it a try, since it's a short print anyway.

I have the same problem. I'm using a Makerbot Replicator 2. I've tried both Makerbot Desktop software and Simplyfy3D software and neither can generate a printable service ring. I've printed all the other parts tho'. Great model! Too bad about the service ring.

Did you ever figure out how to print the serviceRing.stl file? I'm having the same problem. I'm using Simplfy3D. I tried to print it into Zbrush to see if I could fix it, but it seems just to be a flat outline of a circle.

In simplify3d horizontal side compensation of 0,1 will probably do the trick (in the "Other" tab)

Nice work.. Impressive

BRAVOOOO... Very Well...

Hmmm, this is great and all, but alas, the docking maneuver I most enjoy reenacting was during a Gemini mission.

Great model. I'll have to print one soon. Anyone willing to put this all on a single plate for a Replicator.... If not, I'll give it a try this weekend.

So, printed the descent module today. I edited the STL to make a thicker nizzle and that turned out okay. The legs were quite flimsy and two broke off, which then had to be glued :(

Just printed the ascent module, I removed the break-off support and the hole in the top. It's awesome! The nozzle came out funny, but that's fine, it's not in view that often. I think it was down to the resolution of my printer. Will post pics when I print the descent module :-D Thanks emmett!!!

Oh I see what happened, the printer put supports around the nozzle, which are almost impossible to remove :(

Sorry to leave so many comments. When I try to compile the SCAD file it crashes =(

Odd that the SCAD crashes; any messages? You could use automatic support, but it's a pain to clean away, so sometimes it's nicer to just add a strategic support into the file. As for thin walls, I've found single thread walls are perfectly strong (see my cookie cutters and stretchlet), though they might not hold up to children. If you can't manage to change the hole you want in the SCAD file, you could always just print a blind peg to fill that one hole.

Okay, managed to get it to work. It doesn't know the "pinhole" module, I had to grab "pins.scad" from http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:10541http://www.thingiverse.com/thi....

It is missing "lunarAscent.stl"m and substituting this for the "ascent.stl" that you have listed above results in something completely wrong :-P http://i.imgur.com/WooJP.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/WooJP.png

Pin Connectors V2
by tbuser

lunarAscent.stl is in the downloads list to the left with everything else (it's a separate file from ascent.stl).

Ah I see, lol.

Ah, it seems to crash under windows when it tries to run the "use
gt;" line.

And there were no error messages on Windows :(

Cool, thanks for the replies. I will try using the linux version of OpenSCAD (I had to use the win32 on a 64-bit) and see what it tells me =D

Also there shouldn't be a need for the support for the overhang, most 3D printing I've seen that does layering prints its own supports. Anyone else able to comment proving me wrong? I'm not 100% sure, but this seems to be the way things work.

I really want to print this, but looking at the thin walls for the top of the "servicetop" and the rocket nozzle for the "servicebot" parts, I am not sure they are thick enough to have any sort of strength.

Additionally, is it possible to have an alternative ascent module that has no peg hole in the top? This would be to create just the lander and ascent module with no command and service module.

Besides this, I love this model :)

I would love someone to create a 3D model of the hypothetical CO2 filter that could have been beamed to Apollo 13 when they had to fit a square peg in a round hole. Imagine if they had a 3D printer on board and could have just printed the part instead of having to jerry-rig an adapter at the last minute.

Very cool. Thanks!

Emmett, you are my hero. Printing this asap!