Bathtub U-Boat

by Skimbal, published

Bathtub U-Boat by Skimbal Feb 15, 2011

Featured Thing!


The Bathtub U-Boat,
An Experiment in Large Scale Makerbot Printing.

Along with Westerns, Submarine movies are clinically proven to be universally enjoyed by the male population. Admit it, at some point you have walked around wanting to shout 'FIRE TORPEDOES' at the top of you lungs.

Well now you can, and look marginally less crazy while doing it.

**Update November 2013:**
A repaired version of these files for use with Makerware and Sli3r are available here:

Recent Comments

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Repaired U-boat is available here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Hello Skimbal
I have been printing the Bath tub U Boat , all is well except file or section "5" which indicates a crash/failure . I cleared file 5 from the comp, and re-downloaded to the same summary. Right now it could sit on the bottom of my bath tub in 2 pieces. hoping for a resolve. THX!

I often say "con sonar contact torpedo in the water"

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If you print this Thing and display it in public proudly give attribution by printing and displaying this tag. Print Thing Tag


Attach Part 1a to Part 1 by pressing short segments of 3mm filament into the holes provided.

Assemble Parts in numerical order. They should just clip together, but you may need to use and Xacto knife smooth the inner edges for a good fit.


-Parts 1 and 7 at over 14 cm tall. To print at full size on a cupcake, you may need the Lowrider xy carriage modification. thingiverse.com/thing:4213

-To control cracking from temperature changes, cover the three open sides of the makebot with cardboard. I can't stress enough the improvement in quality this brings to very large builds.

-Parts 5,6,7 and 8 are FIVE HOUR BUILDS! So its got that going for it too.

This thing was heavily influenced by:


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sodonne on Nov 11, 2013 said:

Hello Skimbal
I have been printing the Bath tub U Boat , all is well except file or section "5" which indicates a crash/failure . I cleared file 5 from the comp, and re-downloaded to the same summary. Right now it could sit on the bottom of my bath tub in 2 pieces. hoping for a resolve. THX!

Skimbal on Nov 17, 2013 said:

Repaired U-boat is available here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

poetryinmotion on Jul 28, 2013 said:

I often say "con sonar contact torpedo in the water"

polargeist on Jun 4, 2013 said:

Having issues with Slic3r and at least parts 1 and 2 right now. after slicer is done cutting it, the only path that appears is a straight line and then a raise. Other things I attempt to slice work fine. Is there an issue with these models?

Im using repetier 0.85b on a win 8 netbook

Tecdiver on Jun 30, 2013 said:

Polargeist i am printing the submarine and i have made the slices whit Slic3r. I first have put the stl file's in a programm called netfabb and used its repair option afthere that a exporterd the repaird stl and used Slic3r whit out problems.

Tecdiver on Jun 29, 2013 said:

I have the same problem.

c172cpt on Sep 13, 2012 said:

Ok, after 40+ hours of printing i now have one of my own :) now for a week of filling and sanding and then paint. Has anyone taken this model the extra mile and designed the missing parts? ie. the dive planes, the screws and the drive shafts with their supports, the rudder, aa guns etc

ABS-Chris on May 10, 2013 said:

I made the missing accessorys, see http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

Anonymous on Mar 24, 2012 said:

Is there any chance you could upload a version with parts 1 and 7 cut in half? These parts are too tall to print on my TOM. Although scaling would solve the issue, I would love to print this thing full scale. If that isn't possible, does anyone know of a way to get these to print on a unmodified TOM in full scale?

gpvillamil on May 1, 2012 said:

You could slice them in half using Netfabb Studio Basic, that would work.

techknight on Jul 26, 2011 said:

I printed mine full scale on my Cupcake thanks to Zydac's Z-Extender Kit ( http://www.thingiverse.com/thi... ).

Since the U-Boat doesn't sit upright on its own, I made a printable stand for it here: http://www.thingiverse.com/thi...

jimcook on Jul 17, 2011 said:

I choose to scale this print to .7. It looks good. I did have to do a little work at each joint. I used acetone to glue it together. It does need rudders, propellers and diving planes.

This is a fun print. As a bath tub boat, my rubber ducky doesn't have a chance against this u-boat. :)

Rift on May 27, 2011 said:

Seems I can finally post. Did you print this with any extra shells? I was thinking one extra shell but I'm concerned about a few of the elements.


DirectReflection on Apr 15, 2011 said:

This is totally my boat. Grey already in the printer. Printing shall commence.

owenscenic on Apr 4, 2011 said:

I am having problems with Part 2, It seems to cause skeinforge to choke. Even after running it thru Netfabb. I am making a 1/2 sized sub. IS there anything in that part that wold cause this?

Skimbal on Apr 4, 2011 said:

Part 2 has the hole for the diving planes it it. That is the only thing i can thing of that would be causing an error. Are the other parts printing ok?

rhmorrison on Mar 27, 2011 said:

Really COOL!

But now I need a nice matching stand to display it with. :)

cyrax on Mar 7, 2011 said:

this is awesome! i want to print one that glows in the dark.

Mando5 on Mar 5, 2011 said:

was this from sketchup 3D warehouse? how much does it weight? this is the same concept I have with my RC UAV Predator printed out by the makerbot.

How where you able to shape the ends of the pieces? thats a lot of help with joining all of the parts.

great job... :)


jVincent on Feb 17, 2011 said:

This pure awesome.

The picture looks really good, I'd look really funny though if you put the assembled sub on the build-surface looking like it just finished the entire thing.

I have to ask, did all the sections "just work" or did you have to discard unfinished prints along the way and fix settings to get it to work?

Anonymous on Feb 16, 2011 said:

You da best

trebuchet03 on Feb 16, 2011 said:


Up! software (version 1.08) is estimating roughly 11.5 hour print time for all parts and about 650g of plastic. That's an awesomely convenient amount of material (less than a 700g spool :D).

knuckles904 on Feb 16, 2011 said:

Turn it into a baking powder submarine! http://www.torgo.org/bpsubs/in...

Chooch on Feb 16, 2011 said:

I'm in awe! This is awesome and it gives me some ideas for future projects.

ftc on Feb 16, 2011 said:

Awesome work, next step is to seal it up with motorized ballast tanks propeller and control surfaces and make a RC Uboat. :-)

Railroader on Feb 16, 2011 said:

Wow, now I have to get a 3D printer just to print one out,

That raised the bar for future designs and printing. 8-)

It also encourages me to design and print out(once I get a 3D printer) large scale train cars like S(3/16 inch scale) and O(1/4 inch scale ) in modular parts.

jhdgkss on Feb 16, 2011 said:

Very cool i wounder how long it will be till we get r/c boats planes etc...

Jolijar on Feb 16, 2011 said:

When I saw it for a second I thought that it was printed on a TOM as one piece and it just advanced the belt as it printed. It looks great and is now on my print list. :)

one question though... does it float?

Skimbal on Feb 16, 2011 said:

Wow. You just blew my mind a little with that idea. That would be one really cool method of printing.

As for the floating, i haven't tested it yet. Although, it is a submarine. So even if it sinks, its still working right...


charlespax on Feb 16, 2011 said:

I guess I know what I'm doing this weekend.

cyclone on Feb 15, 2011 said:

Wow, all I can say is, wow.

bre on Feb 15, 2011 said:

You have blown my mind... AGAIN! Nice work!

dietz1 on Feb 15, 2011 said:

You rock! 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) 8-) Can't wait to try it out!

Anonymous on Feb 15, 2011 said:

This is so cool I don't even know where to begin.