This six-file 3D printable model gives a rare view into the Earth-based counterpart of many an interplanetary spacecraft. Models of spacecraft are popular, but the vehicles they represent are incomplete and of no use without the tons of sttel and concrete and systems that make up Earth-based stations like this one.
This is a 1:250 scale model of a 34-meter diameter Beam Waveguide (BWG) Deep Space Station. It prints easily without needing any support material or rafting. It illustrates the antenna's mechanical structure and its microwave beam-waveguide system. It shows correctly how the dish rotates in azimuth and elevation above-grade, while the waveguide tubes articulate to reflect radio signals to and from the receivers and transmitters, which are located below-grade (not represented in the model).
The BWG stations are the newest design in NASA's Deep Space Network (DSN). There are several in place in the Deep Space Communications Complexes at Goldstone, California, Madrid, Spain, and Canberra, Australia, and more ar being built today. Four of them, when electronically arrayed, can reproduce the gain and performance of one 70-meter diameter station. Together, these exquisitely precise ground stations comprise the thousands of tons of concrete and steel which constitute the "other end" of so many interplanetary spacecraft. This model was designed to reproduce key aspects of a DSN station at least an order of magnitude better than the free downloadable paper version.
There are six print files (.stl), which contain a total of ten parts to be printed using white ABS plastic, about 65.3 cm3 in all. The parts fit together easily and are to be welded in place using a few drops of acetone. The main reflector piece takes a good bit of careful bending and clamping and waiting after it's been printed. As designed, it will unfortunately NOT print on a platform smaller than 8X8 inches.
The main reflector requires an 8X8-inch build platform. Printer setting details and illustrated assembly instructions may be fond here: http://spacecraftkits.com/BWG.html