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Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Tino. I am the father of a challenging child and work at a small software company fulfilling multiple roles. My busy schedule makes it all the more important to have an outlet to be creative and relax.

What made get you into 3D printing?

I’ve always loved creating and tinkering -- I built many models as a child. Initially, I modeled with cardboard and plastic but then developed to functional model-making.

When 3D printing was first introduced, I was immediately struck with its endless possibilities. Because the cost of a personal 3D printer was so high that time, I subscribed to printing services. But when prices fell, I purchased a Fabrikator Mini. Despite its quality, being able to immediately print out all my ideas was priceless!

What printer do you use?

A short time after purchasing the Fabrikator Mini I got the Wanhao i3, which is a great printer. I was finally able to print in a usable size. A while later Prusa launched its first multicolour printer, and that was super amazing. Although the MMU1 sells at a much higher price point than my first two printers, the purchase was more than worthwhile and the prints came out like a dream. Finally, I purchased the Enders 2 and 3 because I could not resist the prices!

What makes your designs unique?

I have to split my designs into two camps. In one camp are my bathtub boats, which I try to keep quite simple, so they are both printable and floatable. These designs aren’t necessarily unique, and often it doesn't take that long to design, but I hope that they give pleasure to both adults and children.


Leo the Little Fishing Boat


In the other camp is my 1:1000 line. Here I try to draw objects relatively close to the original on a scale of 1:1000 and then make them printable. I do hope that people find this camp to be rather unique. I don't think anyone’s been crazy enough to take the Prusa MMU so far to its limits.


Collection of to-scale boats

How do you get inspiration for your designs?

It all started when my son wanted a boat to play with in the bathtub. I searched online and in toy shops but couldn’t find any good candidates as they were either too big or not aesthetically pleasing. Neither could I find a suitable template for 3D printing. So I decided to draw one for my son. I let myself be inspired by ship pictures, which one sees here and there.

When my son discovered my Titanic books, he was desperate to have a Titanic for himself, so I started to draw a simpler version. Soon, however, he started to compare the size of the boats which gave me the idea to redraw the Titanic again to correct scale. My son enjoyed this activity because he was better able to understand the sizes of the various ships by comparing them. For example, it is fascinating to see how small the explorer fleet that discovered America was compared to the Titanic.


Bathtub Boat



RMS Titanic


Which do you think is your best design and why?

That's not an easy question to answer. I personally think that my design JUN has become very beautiful. My goal was simply to draw a ship, which exudes an adventurous flair, which i think it does.


June, the Jungle Queen


Of my to-scale ships, I personally find the RMS Mauretania the most successful. Here I tried for the first time to include the windows in the model and to print them out. The result fascinates me again and again.


In the end, however, it is less important which design I personally like best. I would love to know which model Thingiverse likes the most so check out my design collection!


What advice do you have for other aspiring designers?

I think advice is always an individual matter. You can take advice from others your whole life, but unless you follow your own path, you will never find yourself. For example, I would never have thought that I could make others happy with my boats, and in the end, it makes me happy and inspires me to keep creating. My advice is simply to keep experimenting and have fun! But do remember to have respect for the other designers and don't simply copy them.

All your pictures are fantastic! Could you walk us through the equipment you use and your photography workflow?

Thank you for liking my pictures! To be honest, keep it pretty simple. Most photos are taken with a Nikon D7000 and a 40mm f1.8 lens. Sometimes I use flash, but that is all!

As always, the most important thing is your own feeling for a picture. Find the right environment for your object and wait until the light is optimal.


Ferry, the Little Transport Miracle


If you don't have any natural settings at your disposal, get creative and make your own setting from simple things.


Fin, the Little Trawler


It doesn’t always have to be a big show -- keeping simple can give great results! And, as always, have fun!

PATREON: https://www.patreon.com/vandragon_de
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/vandragon_de/
YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5qU6OF3doJdhc-n7EhTXVw

LEO the little fishing boat (visual benchy)
bathtub boat (visual benchy)
RMS TITANIC - scale 1/1000
JUN - the Jungle Queen (visual benchy)
FERRY - the little transport miracle
FIN the little Trawler (visual benchy)

I wanted to thank Ana and Makerbot again for the great opportunity to present myself here, thanks :)

I'm really looking forward to the other designers you'll find.

Thank you so much vandragon_de. You've been so generous with your time. We really appreciate what you've contributed to our site!

Nicht schlecht Herr Specht. Du hast ein Auge fuers Design.

LG aus Arizona

Danke ich habe immer das Gefühl, dass es irgendwie ab einem gewissen Punkt einfach passt. Selten steht das Endergebnis von Anfang an fest.

Thanks, I always have the feeling that somehow at some point it just fits. The final result is seldom clear from the very beginning.

Es ist nicht nur das Design an sich, auch wie Du die Objekte dann darstellst zeigt Liebe zum Detail. (Ich bleib mal bei Deutsch ... bin ja froh es noch nutzen zu koennen ;) )

Ja denke das ist schon ok, ich versuche es immer zweisprachig.
Bei der Darstellung versuche ich einfach die einfachen Möglichkeiten die mir zur Verfügung stehen zu nutzen. Daher denke ich, dass es nicht so schwer sein sollte, ähnliches nachzumachen.

Yeah, I think that's okay, I always try bilingual.
I simply try to use the simple possibilities that are available to me with the representation. So I don't think it should be so hard to do the same thing.

What program do you use to make your boats?
It seems like something such as Inventor would be difficult for the curvatures of your models.

Great work by the way!

For modelling the boats I only use blender.
I know that e.g. Fusion360 would be more effective for some parts, but I got used to Blender.


I absolutely love your designs! I guess my biggest question: how do you design scale models? Do you find blueprints to go off of?



yes that's right, you need very good templates to build a ship. The best thing is, you have a scrive board (body plan). This can be used to construct the fuselage. That's the hardest thing to do if you don't have a plan. A ship's hull is rather organically shaped and it is unfortunately not so easy to imitate this only from photos. Everything else is pure diligence. As long as your templates are good, a ship is actually quite easy to draw.

Ok, Thanks!!!

Do you have tips on how to find such templates?

depends on what kind of ships you're looking for?

Probably 15-18th century ships (like this https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:478422) or modern Navy ships.

Thanks for your help btw!

The Endeavor
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My main sources, besides some books, are of course the internet. Pinterest is also quite exciting. The best thing is to choose a ship and then search for useful documents. It's not always that easy to get into the blue.

Construction plans are always a good source.
As an example


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I have no problem with my boats being remixed. It would only be very polite to label it as such, thank you.

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