Modular Snap-Fit Airship

by RealAbsurdity, published

Modular Snap-Fit Airship by RealAbsurdity Jan 29, 2013

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This is a fully modular snap-fit (no glue required) model of an Airship. It is the vanilla base for a series of absurd mashups that currently includes a Trireme and a Saturn V rocket. Designed for 3D print, it comes in two flavors: solid and shell.

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You are welcome : )

thanks you;
i always want to create a airships.

Thanks I am happy you enjoy the model.

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Both the shell and solid versions have been prototyped on a Replicator 2 with no supports (and no raft but that depends on your confidence with over/under-sticking). Sliced in skeinforge it works best at I had good results with the following settings in print-o-matic:

no support/no raft
layer thickness: .15mm (or less)
Number of shells: 1 or 2
feed speed: 80mm/s
travel speed: 150mm/s
fill rate: 0 (for shell version) or .1 (for solid version)

My actual slice profile is a little more complex but with print-o-matic those are the settings that will get you started.

The shell version was designed to keep the material use to a minimum and works quite well but I think the solid might actually print faster at low rates of infill because there is less shell and perimeter to print even though they have been minimized in the shell version.

The snap fit is pretty self-explanitory with the seperate H-clips intended to attach the two main halves together with the nose and tail cones snapping into the integrated snap prong features on the main body. The propellers just push into place. Print two and you can have a four engine Mega-Airship and a windowless drone ship! Or check out the Trireme and Saturn V upgrades to make a mega crazy super cool ultra futuristic ancient star ship. Coming soon: Riverboat and a Warp Nacell upgrades!

Trireme Hull: thingiverse.com/thing:45305
Saturn V: thingiverse.com/thing:45316

This is a work in progress for an art series I am working on so for the moment I licensed it as no-derivatives but I will open it up soon after I finish a few more parts.


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datld1411 on Nov 13, 2013 said:

thanks you;
i always want to create a airships.

Anonymous on Nov 14, 2013 said:

You are welcome : )

xinchuangwangluo on Aug 24, 2013 said:

Hope to be able to communicate with you

RealAbsurdity on Aug 24, 2013 said:

Thanks I am happy you enjoy the model.

xinchuangwangluo on Aug 24, 2013 said:

Thanks for sharing very beautiful model

yzorg on Mar 31, 2013 said:

nice model!

i love airships.

i always hoped that the -No derivatives CC- would never be used though.
i understand this as a form of censuring any future caricatures

RealAbsurdity on Mar 31, 2013 said:

Glad you like the model. I understand your point about the license but it is neither censor nor censure but rather a compromise to maintain some creative control over a series of related works as they are in development while sharing them at the same time. As noted in the instruction section: in due time the license will be opened up to derivatives.

RealAbsurdity on Feb 4, 2013 said:

Try turning off Comb in your slice profile. I had issues with comb coming back with this kind of error too and it is unnecessary for this model. There is also a fix for Comb, more info here: https://github.com/Phroon/Repl...

SteveCaplin on Feb 4, 2013 said:

Really ingenious - I like the way the snap-fit end pieces hold the body together. The rib design adds a lot of strength, too.

I've made it my Thing of the Week on http://3dgeni.us so do check it out and leave a comment!

Framingr on Feb 3, 2013 said:

Just finished this print and I would have to say great model - but print it hollow. ANY warping at all - and lets face it with a almost 6 hour+ print you are going to get some, results in the top and bottom halves having a gap and that makes snapping everything together difficult. In addition I feel the transparency you get with the hollow lends more of a sense of lightness to the airship.

RealAbsurdity on Feb 3, 2013 said:

Indeed, keeping temps low for the same reason can help counteract the warping but it is a bit of a problem.

kojote on Feb 3, 2013 said:

Amazing model - to bad my Ultimaker Pulley (Y Axis) got loose and i don't have a spare screw to fix it at the moment

dethcookie on Feb 2, 2013 said:

Really cool model, though not having a wonderful time trying to print it with ABS, moving on to PLA (:

RealAbsurdity on Feb 3, 2013 said:

I have not tried Irvine ABS since my only printer is a Replicator 2. What is going wrong with the abs?

Artanicus on Feb 2, 2013 said:

Awesome stuff. Any chances of separate pieces so we don't actually have to print it twice to get the pieces we need for awesome hybrids? :D

RealAbsurdity on Feb 2, 2013 said:

That is on the way. The Trireme is already there and so is the Saturn V, I just need to separate out the original Airship pieces. Stay tuned.

modelboxca on Feb 2, 2013 said:

Nice model!

I tried slicing the shell version using your settings in Skeinforge and it fails after the Jitter routine. I tried both Makerware (most recent version) and ReplicatorG 40.

RealAbsurdity on Feb 2, 2013 said:

There could be several reasons due to the thin walls of the part. I can't recall precisely what follows jitter at the moment, but it is likely in that module, maybe cool? Did it kick out an error code when it failed or any point prior? There were a few fatal errors while prototyping this one that were related to 'orbit' settings in the cool plungin. Switching to 'slow down' fixed them. I can upload my skeinforge slice profile as well if that would help. You might also try the MakerWare slicer (medium setting) with a .15 layer thickness. I tried it the other day with my Snap-Fit Saturn V and it was super fast and super accurate. You can even edit custom profiles for it now and they are way more straightforward than profile editing in skeinforge. The new version has come along way.

Meathead on Feb 1, 2013 said:

I got a question, How does the snap too fit work does it just clip in?

RealAbsurdity on Feb 1, 2013 said:

There are two types of snaps in the design each with their own male/female counterparts. The first is fully integrated in that both the external prong and internal lip features are attached to the main parts of the model. The nose section and tail sections connect with this type. The second is less integrated in that there is an H-shaped clip that is not attached to parts of the main body. Two of these connect the top and bottom halves of the middle section. The reason for the two types was to section the design so that there was no need for supports. I am going to post the snap features as separate components when I find time so keep an eye out.

GyroVolve on Jan 31, 2013 said:

AMAZING! I also have a replicator 2

themauxfaux on Jan 31, 2013 said:

This is awesome!

MakerBlock on Jan 29, 2013 said:


RealAbsurdity on Jan 30, 2013 said:

Thanks, post your results if you can. Mine have been good so far but I am curious how it works for others.

taylormcarr on Jan 29, 2013 said:

Hah, took the words right out of my mouth. Very nice model.