ArduSat - The Arduino CubeSat Satellite (full scale model)

by MAKERFAM, published

ArduSat - The Arduino CubeSat Satellite (full scale model) by MAKERFAM Jul 24, 2012

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34200Views 10030Downloads Found in Physics & Astronomy


This is a full scale (moderately simplified) 3D printer-ready copy of the ArduSat, the wildly successful Kickstarter.com satellite for personal space exploration (received $106,330 funding, 3X their original goal!).

I am a supporter of the project, and have worked closely with Joel Spark (provided the original stl files) of the ArduSat team to create the first 3D print of this online. My daughter will be doing a week of ArduSat space science in 2013 when this launches (proud Dad).

For space science enthusiasts, see the links below for more background on the ArduSat project:





MakerBot Replicator was used for this print. I've grouped and modified a couple of the original files to make it easier to print. Specifically, I've positioned the individual computer boards for optimal printing (Use raft/full support on all of them). Also I've grouped the frame elements for a single print. As well, I've designed the frame rods with an end cap on tinkercad.com and included them here.

ArduSat_FlatFrame (contains top, bottom, 4 vertical beams, and 4 rods)
ArduSat_FrameRod_4 (separate print of 4 rods... if they break on you)

The most difficult part of this print is cleaning all the support material off of each component! Also, I did not included the spacers in the files, as the rods are a little to wide for them. I might work on that and upload a cleaned version of them in the future. As well, I may include all of the solar panels in a single print once I get the original STLs from the ArduSat team.

Toy model (a little solid model of the entire ArduSat with all panels on it):

ArduSat_ALL.zip (I've also included a compressed folder with everything)

Overall, this takes the better part of a day to print, but the resulting full scale ArduSat model is really a great thing to hold in your hand and cool desk conversation piece. This satellite will be launched in mid 2013, and used by hundreds of supporters all over the world to do unique space science experiments using the Arduino and sensor payload.

For space science enthusiasts, see the links below for more background on the project:




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Could you use this for an actual ardusat that will go into space?

Although it is exactly dimensions and design of the ArduSat, plastic wouldn't work I'm sure. I'm assuming the frame is metal in the real ArduSat.

It wouldn't work with nylon or carbon fiber?

Main problem with plastic in space/vacuum is degassing. (Also shrinkage and expansion based on temperature/direct exposure to sun)
If you are interested, how much different types of plastic are effected then i recommend:
or if you want simplier answer then:

Would it be possible to upload the CAD files? I'm interested in the payload board specifically. I'd like to print the cameras individually and then add them to the board. Much less support and I think I'll get a much cleaner print that way. Great looking project, I just started printing the transceiver board. Can't wait to see how it looks assembled.

I'm sorry, I obtained only the STL files from the designers. If you were to import this into tinkercad.com or Sketchup, you could separate that out and then save as two STLs. If you do, please post to a new make of this model. Would be great to see it separated out.

Why are all the inner boards printed on edge instead of flat? Is that to minimize warping? Since they are on edge, do you print multiple boards in one run?

The boards has detail on both sides and wouldn't lay flat. No perfect solution here, so I put them on end. Requires a lot of support though. One thought would be to split the boards to 2 thin layers that could be glued together, thus allowing to lay flat without support. Would be quite a job though. Pretty cool when it prints though.

I did split the power supply board, the transceiver board and the flight control computer board through the middle using Netfab, printed them in two pieces and glued them together. It worked out well. I also did a lot of cutting to get the cameras off the payload board also. It all looks good so far, but still needs to be assembled. I need to print the hex spacers out, but I have to figure out how long to make each set, the spacing between boards does not appear to be the same. I'm thinking of replacing the 4 printed pins with all thread as well. I'll post pictures when I have it all together.

Not a good project for first print! This takes a lot of post processing (cleaning up all the raft material). I would recommend maybe printing the frame, solar panels, or pins and then pick the simplest of the boards and give that a try. If successful then move on through the project. Makes a cool final assembled model! Good luck!

This is very cool! I'd like to print this out at SudoRoom--looks a bit advanced for my first 3D printing project.

This is really cool. But I'm having trouble getting things to print. I set raft and full support, and I'm also using a Makerbot Replicator.

This is my first time using "full support", but I'm not sure I see anything different about it?

This print is a monster when it comes to raft and support (I used a Replicator as well). It takes a good 1-2 hours (combined) to remove and clean all the surfaces from all the pieces. Final product is cool, but is a lot of work and definitely needs the accelerated printing settings. Having a pointed hook tool is perfect for removing support from the small spaces As a side note, my daughter will be selling 5 copies she/we are making as a fundraiser for her part in this project. If you have any other questions, let me know and I'll try to help out.

Here are a couple of pictures. It's the bottom of the flight computer, I stopped it early because it looked so bad. Settings were raft/full support, default accelerated. I don't think it was supposed to look like this?

Hmm, I was going to post another picture, but that option seems to have gone away, along with the previous pictures.

Sort of hard to tell from your picture (dark filament, low light). Looks like the whole thing is curling upward from the right. Also, this one has a ton of support. I see that it doesn't look very organized. I have an enclosed Replicator (cardboard), and that seems to relieve any curling or bowing. Not sure if that will help you. You could slow the speed to see if it recurs. I'll give it a try on mine again in the next few days to see if it does the same. Best of luck on this. It takes a longtime with all the pieces.